How are you doing sleep-wise? If you’re like most musicians, sleep is not the first thing on your mind when it comes to career goals. However, sleep plays an important role in our mental and physical health – and that includes how well we perform as musicians!
In this article I’ll give 5 tips for getting better sleep so that you can be more prepared for performances or recording sessions. Let’s start with…
1) Cut out caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime
Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase anxiety, sleepiness and disrupt the body’s natural sleep cycle.
- Try switching to decaf coffee or tea
- Drink something warm before bed to help you relax your muscles (e.g., milk)
- Avoid energy drinks altogether! They’re packed with sugar which will just give you a rush and lead to a sugar crash
2) Make a schedule for when you need to sleep
Knowing what time your body needs sleep will help regulate sleep patterns and prevent sleep deprivation.
- Figure out when you need sleep throughout the day to feel well rested
- For example, if I’m on tour, I know that my ideal bedtime is between 11 p.m. & 12 a.m., but I can’t always stick to that. Try to supplement with a nap during the day – as long as the last no more than 20 minutes.
3) Set an alarm so that you can wake up at the same time every day
When sleep patterns are regulated, the body’s natural sleep-wake hormone will fluctuate at a consistent interval.
- This means that you’ll start feeling more refreshed and awake during the day!
- Make sure your alarm is loud enough to wake up ourself or others in the room if necessary.
4) Don’t drink alcohol before bedtime, either – especially not right before going to sleep
- Alcohol disrupts sleep because it suppresses the sleep hormone, making sleep very difficult.
- It also makes you more likely to wake up in the middle of a deep sleep cycle and feel unrefreshed when you do eventually fall asleep again.
5) Turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime
- Electronic screens (phones, computers) emit blue light, which suppresses sleep hormones and tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime.
- It also hurts sleep quality because the artificial lights disrupt our natural sleep patterns.
I know we said 5 tips, but we added in a bonus tip…
6) Create a relaxing pre-sleep routine like reading or meditation
This can help you sleep better and more deeply. It’s also great for winding down after a long day of work, school, performing, or other activities.
- Try to stop any intense thinking about the past day or what you need to do tomorrow so that your mind is relaxed
- Listen to soothing music, but not your own – you may enjoy it so much that you won’t want to go to sleep!
We hope you found these 5 tips helpful. Which ones have you tried? What are your sleep hacks to improve quality of life? Let us know in the comments below!