Another late rehearsal, tech week coming up followed by a week of performances. Or maybe you are singing another gig at the local club. Either way, the singer’s peak performance time is in the evening. You get home late and need time to unwind, so you aren’t getting to bed until the wee hours of the morning. The next day you have to get up early to make it to work for your other job or maybe an appointment or an audition... Whatever your particular situation may be, if this schedule sounds familiar it may well be you are not getting enough sleep. Though we can do this for a short period of time a consistent sleep deficit will eventually lead to serious consequences to the health of your mind and body.
How much sleep should you be getting? With a wealth of research on the subject, The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults should be sleeping 7-9 hours every day. This is a personal thing, so just saying getting 7 hours for the sake of an extra two when you really need 9 hours of sleep won’t cut it. See how you feel after a night’s sleep of different lengths.
Some things to assess are:
Just like exercise and diet, sleep is critical to your overall health. And just like exercise and diet, sleep needs to be a priority. You need to plan and schedule it, don’t stay up to complete everything on your to do list, your health is more important. Here are some tips to getting a better night's sleep:
Still, for some of us, our schedules become irregular, especially if long distance travel is concerned (traveling will be the subject of a future article). For an irregular schedule, aside from sticking to a regular sleep schedule, all the tips above should be adhered to. In addition, assuming you will have a late night followed by having to go out the next morning:
If you do continue to experience sleep disturbances or other problems on a regular basis, make sure you go to see your physician about it.
Sleep is such an important time for our minds and bodies to heal, to flush away toxins, to clear our minds, to rebuild. As singers who need to be alert to all that’s going on around us and within us during a performance, we really cannot afford to be skimping on sleep, so find a way to prioritize it and make sure you are getting enough!