We have a lot of dreams as musicians. We spend our time dreaming of touring with our bands, composing symphonies, dropping records, or singing on Broadway. Unfortunately, most of those dreams are daydreams. Too often, we fill our nights with practicing our craft and less actual sleeping.
As difficult as dragging yourself away from practice can be, getting the sleep you need is necessary too. And once you understand why sleep is important for singers and musicians, you’ll see why.
It Promotes Creativity
If you’ve ever tried to do a complicated task while tired, you know how difficult it can be. A lack of sleep leads to decreased memory and concentration, which doesn’t exactly make it easy to remember chords or song lyrics, let alone come up with new music.
Additionally, a lack of sleep can increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol. This can increase stress and anxiety levels, making for an awful headspace for creativity. Fortunately, a good night’s sleep can lessen cortisol while increasing feel-good endorphins for better mental health and more creativity.
It Protects Your Body
Creative endeavors are such exercises of the mind that we often forget the way they use our bodies. But as a musician, the way you interact with your instrument depends on how well your body is, and as a singer, you are the instrument. Sleep deprivation impacts the body in a plethora of ways. For example, it can:
- Weaken the immune system
- Contribute to high blood pressure
- Create a hormonal imbalance
- Worsen chronic pain
- Decrease coordination
We know. “The show must go on.” But the truth is, it’s just more difficult to give it your all when your body is under a lot of stress. Just like you’d take the time to tune up your guitar, take the time to tune up your body.
Tips for Getting Better Sleep
But knowing why sleep is important for musicians and singers isn’t enough. Actually getting the sleep you need is the trick. And short of giving your bedding a little extra TLC, it’s not always easy to find ways to get to sleep easier, especially when your head is full of music. Try these tips for a better night’s sleep:
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every night.
- Have a set winddown routine at night.
- Set down your projects 30 minutes before bed.
- Avoid electronics right before bed.
- Don’t consume a heavy meal or excessive alcohol right before you go to sleep.
Ironic as it is, it’s tough to sleep as a dreamer sometimes. But taking the time to take care of your body is worth it in the long run. That way, you can truly—as Aerosmith says—“Dream on.”