Lack of sleep is one of the worst things for singing.
Most of us are aware that logging 7 to 9 hours of sleep is of utmost importance to our physical and emotional well being. Sleep helps us to combat stress, which has been shown to be the basic cause of most of the dreaded diseases we would prefer to avoid. We are aware that we have more energy and focus and feel more able to accomplish the things we get to do each day. Most of us notice that we are considerably more tolerant and loving towards others when we are well rested. Great sleep gives us the energy to choose to eat healthy foods and to get adequate exercise. We reach for water rather than caffeine or sugary drinks to provide a rush of energy. Being well rested gives us a greater ability to make good life decisions which benefit us in every area of our lives. We look better. Our skin glows and our eyes sparkle. Well rested people smile more and are more engaging to others. Energy breeds energy, so a well rested person can be a lifter of others as well as feeling upbeat themselves.
All of these good habits contribute to becoming or continuing to be a great singer and effective performer, but without proper sleep, at proper times, the voice becomes tired and sluggish, and the body slumps out of alignment and has a difficult time supporting the voice the way it is meant to. A tired body causes the singer to use throat muscles for support which is bad anytime, but when the poor vocal cords are already fatigued from lack of sleep, vocal problems such as strain, polyps, and nodes can begin to develop. The best hour to fall asleep is anytime before before 11:00 pm. It’s a scientific fact that there’s a small window of time (usually between 11:00pm and 12:00am) that our body releases human growth hormone, which is necessary for the nightly repair that our bodies provide while we sleep. Sleeping is rest for our souls, restoration for our minds, and repair for all of the cells and tissues that make up our wonderful bodies. There is no way around it – singers must sleep well to sing well for a lifetime!
It’s best not to sing at all on days when the voice and body are tired – but many of you, like me, have to sing to make a living. There are a few things we can do to try and compensate, but the best idea is to avoid much singing and talking on those tired days.
1. Drink lots of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
2. Eat healthful, natural, energy promoting foods.
3. Relax and reduce stress.
4. Gently exercise and stretch to help the body with energy.
5. Practice good alignment, posture, and breathing.
6. Warm up your voice very slowly and carefully.
Get a good sleep tonight and see for yourself how much better you can sing in your own amazing voice!