Bulletproof Radio Short Report: Deeper Sleep & Relaxation
By: Dave Asprey
September 9, 2014
The Bulletproof Radio Short Report is a highly condensed show to quickly bring you the most important ways to upgrade yourself and kick ass at life. This week is about hacking your sleep and energy levels with the Sleep Induction Mat. In this episode, you’ll hear about the benefits of the ancient art of acupressure, how to manipulate your nervous system to maximize relaxation, and how to upgrade your feet and skin (not just your sleep!) with the mat. Enjoy!
What You’ll Hear
- 0:26 – The Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat
- 0:40 – A quick hack for deep sleep
- 1:32 – Manipulating your nervous system
- 2:50 – Benefits of acupressure
- 3:57 – How to use the Sleep Induction Mat
- 4:58 – Upgrading your feet
- 5:30 – Mid-day recharging & relaxation
- 5:42 – Anti-aging and facial skin rejuvenation
Dave: I’m Dave Asprey and you’re listening to Bulletproof Radio. This is a Bulletproof Radio short report. Most of the short reports are about hard hitting new science that you can use, but every now and then I answer questions or provide other information for people. Today I’m going to be answering some questions and explaining the Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat, which is something that you may have noticed that we have on the site. It’s not something I talk about that often, but it’s something that I use just about every night.
If you’re looking for an easy way to put yourself into deep sleep without using drugs and things like that, there’s a way to do it that is not obvious. I’ve been sleep hacking for a very long time. I’ve written lots of post about it. I’ve been interviewed on national news about it and the technology that I use, along with many others, here is based on a really ancient practice. I even travel with this quite often, but not always.
The Sleep Induction Mat, it looks kind of like a large pillowcase crossed with a porcupine. Here’s what it looks like if you’re watching. The front of it is covered with extra long, very sharp plastic spikes. The back of it has everything you ever wanted to know about famous quotes for sleep and it’s actually a really slick thing to have on your bed anyway.
The way this works is really kind of funny. Your nervous system worries about stuff when you’re going to sleep. You’re fight or flight response is always keeping one eye open and it’s wondering what’s next, what should I be worrying about. When you lay on something that’s sharp like this; these don’t penetrate your skin, but they activate the acupressure points and they make that part of your body go oh my God, I’m going to die; being stung by a million bees. Of course it’s not true and it’s not even that much pain, but it’s enough to make your body pay attention.
Then when you don’t jump up and run away the body realizes, oh I guess it’s time to calm down. You’ve seen this with a puppy. If you’ve ever held a struggling puppy until it just goes limp, you can do that to your nervous system. There’s this incredible relaxation that comes when your body relaxes. You realize, oh I thought there was something in this spiky mat that was somehow risky, but there wasn’t. When that relaxation comes you get deeper sleep all night long and it’s remarkable.
You lay on it for a few minutes, you stimulate the acupressure points, and at first this is kind of intense. Then all of a sudden you’re like actually no, it just feels good and you melt into it. This is just a way to help get into deeper sleep faster. It also increases blood circulation, which has an effect on releasing endorphins and other beneficial hormones that come in response to the increased blood flow. It feels you have a ton of acupuncture meridians all along your back. The ones along the spine and shoulders boost relaxation and give you that deep restfulness, so you get more energy when you wake up.
The idea is if you’re going to go to sleep, go to sleep faster and sleep deeper. Using the acupuncture or acupressure meridians in your back can really help you do that. The experience is first like a flood of warmth to your back. Then you get this huge dramatic release of muscle tension and melting is the way I describe it.
Most of the technology for this comes from China, India, the Middle East and some from Russia. You might have seen people laying on a bed of nails doing advanced Yoga, it’s the same idea. This isn’t just quite as extreme and it’s not going to actually be dangerous for you. I suppose it might be also useful for making coleslaw if you shredded cabbage on your Sleep Induction Mat, but I’ve never tried that.
Here’s how you use it. You lay the mat down on the bed or the floor and you put a small pillow above the mat. You lie down slowly and let the nodules on it press into your back. The acupressure nodules are pretty long, but they won’t penetrate your skin. Lie down slowly and just relax. The endorphins come pretty quickly. Usually about fifteen minutes is good. Some people do thirty or forty minutes. When I was writing the Bulletproof Diet Book I only slept about two hours a night for five nights straight in order to get the content out, just get it out of my head and onto paper.
Every night I would go to sleep on this mat, and one time I actually slept for two hours on it and it didn’t cause any harm to me. But it sure felt weird when I woke up, so it’s a safe thing to do. I recommend about fifteen minutes for the average person. If it’s too intense, put a T-shirt and it won’t be too intense. The other thing that is remarkable here is that back tension gets better; you’re overall energy flow feels better.
For me I’ve been a tenderfoot my whole life, I’ve walked outside for long periods of time and it always hurts. What I started doing with my Sleep Induction Mat was I put it on the floor when I’m sitting in my office chair or even when I’m standing at my stand desk. I learned how to stand on it and now I can walk out in the backyard with the kids, even over terrain that I never could have tolerated even when I was trying to. I feel like it’s helped my feet by pressing on those energy meridians and on the nerves there; it’s helped them to become more resilient.
I’ve also used it for a midday recharge if I’m really tired; I want to lay down for ten minutes, you lay down on this. It causes more relaxation than you normally would. You could also use it on your stomach. A few people use it for anti-aging on the face to encourage blood flow, although I’ve never really liked that use of it. This is one of those things that it’s reusable, it’s sharable, and not terribly expensive, but it really does affect your sleep quality and I recommend you give it a shot.