Hey there you night owl, yes, you. You’re probably reading this post sometime after midnight which isn’t much of a surprise since you’re the type of species that tends to be more of a night dweller -- and hey, most highly intelligent people are known for burning through the midnight oil, so I get it.
And you know … after so many years of doing the “grind,” you know, that part of your career where you’re making it all happen, going for it … maybe working a full time job during the day, writing your songs at night, pulling double or triple songwriting sessions, finishing that urgent deadline mix, yadda yadda we find ourselves in that zone more than what we want to.
And for a long time, the unfunny thing in my own experience…is I felt heroic about cramming in as much as I could in a twenty four hour period. “Hey, Benjamin … how’s it going?” Me: “Crazy…I’ve only slept for 90 minutes last night.” Like, hey isn’t this cool how passionate I am to make it … I’m working myself to death. But you know what? It appears that there’s nothing cool about that.
But get this, even if you tried to set aside time to sleep you still wouldn’t be getting the quality sleep that you need. And QUALITY sleep is 100% crucial. It’s the #1 health and backbone of your mental, creative and physical state that you need to take care of. Without proper sleep consider yourself pretty much screwed. So let’s stop thinking that sleep is a waste of time.
Don’t quote me on this but I think songwriters, producers, mixers can often be at the forefront of not getting quality sleep. This is not just because of the demands of our industry (the workload and late hours), but because most of us are looking at computer screens all day and often we’re on way too long before the sun goes down. Yes, light plays a huge factor and influences on how sleepy we feel (more on that below) . As you’re about to find out, sleep deprivation is bad for you … like potentially terminally bad long term.
So, as some of you may know, I’m active in the biohacking community (look up Dave Asprey, Tim Ferris, Ben Greenfield, etc)…where “biohacking” is basically the process of deconstructing health and biology and getting better results by using new methods and measuring results.
I really started paying big attention to sleep 3-4 years ago and took a deep dive.
So if you’re still with me here…you probably are asking…”How can I improve my sleep?” But also please note: This question should NOT be “Hey what are the best sleeping medications?” You don’t need that (in my opinion).
So voila…this is how I’ve experimented and changed my sleeping habits to improve my overall sleep quality and health. This is what worked for me and are suggestions based on the research I’ve done on myself so results are going to be different for everyone.
Evening/Before Bed Routine:
I mentioned above, but if you want to learn more about circadian rhythms and how modern technology is screwing you over, grab yourself a coffee because you’re going to want to stay up to watch this piece by Dr. Jack Kruse on circadian rhythm. It’s just over two hours but it’s fascinating!
Based off this above presentation, you’ll probably want to immediately get the Flux app for your computer and phone…it will dim your computer screen as the sun goes down and eliminate the blue light. But the biohackers I know keep it turned on all the time and have the maximum blue light blocked in the settings 24/7.
Sleeping Environment - put more time into the conditions of where you sleep…and you’ll change your life.
For those looking to go overboard (No, not you, Goldie Hawn and Jack Russell):
Don’t take my word for it, but my hunch is that (and from what I've heard) most people stop taking sleep meds after getting some of these key things in place.
Another key piece to check out is Ben Greenfield’s podcast with Dr. Mercola. Ben is a health consultant of mine and this is perhaps one of the most interesting pieces he’s put out.
Killing Fat Cells, Fixing Mitochondria, Growing Superfoods & More: The Official, Much-Anticipated, Mind-Blowing, Geeked-Out Podcast With Dr. Mercola.
And … this last piece is especially important to all of you because you spend so much time in a studio and you’re being exposed to tons of EMF and WiFi, cellular signal, wireless keyboards/mouses, etc. Now, if we think that this is all true ... WiFi, EMF and how it’s affecting us in an unhealthy way … it’s going to be crazy news when the word really gets out. FYI, cellular phones are listed by WHO (world health organization) as a Class 2 carcinogen. Anyways, here’s the full post.
Surely by now, you understand the key role that sleep plays in our life. As of today you can start applying some of the suggestions listed above, or at the very least learn more about the harm of sleep deprivation with the media references just listed. So what are you waiting for?! Oh, let me guess…you can’t get out of bed. And maybe that’s a good thing.