Many of you may live through the day to day effects of the topic that we’re about to touch on. As musicians, we typically come alive in the evening, whether that’s our preferred state or not. With that, comes mornings that become too early too quickly and often we’re left dragging in the day. A lack of sleep can lead to physical effects, psychological effects, a general disdain, a lackluster attitude and even worse - a low functioning brain. Nobody needs this!
International Musician fills us in with “The National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 30% of the general population suffers from sleep disruption. According to the American Psychological Association, most healthy adults do best with 16 hours of wakefulness and an average of eight hours of sleep per night. However, individual needs can vary from requiring as little as six to up to 10 hours of sleep per night. Sleep requirements do not decline with age, though the ability to sleep soundly may.”
Your very first step is to minimize the distractions in your environment while you sleep. Find a way to shut-out any excessive noise, even if you have to use a baby’s sound machine. Just do it, we beg you! Invest in a quality mattress. Seriously, we mean it. This will save you years of only being half-awake throughout your life. Your mattress and sleep quality are just as important as your food choices while you’re awake.
Despite the fact that touring and traveling have almost completely come to a halt at this point of 2020, let us be reminded that “Travel, especially when you cross time zones, can upset your biological (circadian) rhythms. Compound that with being in a strange place, and you have a recipe for exhaustion. Environmental factors like a room that’s too cold or hot, noisy, or bright, may be beyond your control on the road.”
When it comes to traveling, when we’re all back in action, one tip that we love is to bring your own blanket and pillow. If you don’t have enough room for your coziest blanket, we at least suggest splurging on a super soft sheet set that could include pillowcases. You’ll be happy to be consistently in your own sheets, especially if they are particularly cozy and allergy-free. If you have the room, be sure to include the actual pillow, that way you can confirm that you’ll be getting the pillow-fill that you prefer. We all know that can really break you during a midnight sleep.
Whether on your or not, it’s time to embrace those blackout curtains. It is important to note that these curtains must not be relied on too much though, as they can become quite the crutch, can throw off our sleep scales when they once were aligned with the rising and setting sun and they can let you sleep through the day far too easily. On the flip side, if you’re really in the groove or a long streak of night owl-ship, then we suggest embracing blackout curtains.
Remember to be cautious of how your body reacts to too much or too little food and exercise when it’s close to bedtime. Figure out what works for you. Is it a cool shower that allows you to shake off the day? Do whatever it takes to calm your mind and allow it to shift into sleep mode. Tomorrow morning, you’ll be all the better for your efforts.