I suffered from insomnia for about 18 months quite recently. More specifically I suffered with a type of sleep onset insomnia (problems with getting to sleep) called ‘sleep anxiety’.
In short, it means you get physiologically and/or mentally stressed about going to bed. It can arise for all manner of reasons, but for me I’d had around 10-14 days of intensely disrupted sleep.
Initially I’d just been ill with a bad stomach bug. But after that it was just one thing after another that prevented me sleeping properly. When I say I wasn’t sleeping well, I was getting around 2-4 hours of sleep a night, in 20-30 minute chunks. If you’ve ever experienced this, you’ll know how brutal surviving on that little sleep can be.
This inability to get consistent sleep led to a state of anxiety around sleep. This is where one gets irrationally stressed that they will not sleep, which in itself prevents sleep. The stress association was with my own bed, at night. I could nap in the day because it wasn’t night time, and I could sleep when staying over at someone else’s house because it wasn’t my bed. It was weird, but pretty debilitating.
I would go to bed at 9/10pm, and not sleep til 3/4am. Over the course of 6-8 months I managed to claw sleep at 12am/1am, after which the anxiety started to subside. If you can get any sleep, then the anxiety starts to abate. However, even now, if I get even slightly worked up around bedtime I will end up struggling to sleep. I don’t stress now, but I’m far from care-free about sleep as I once was.
The reason I share this is so that if you too struggle with getting a solid and restful sleep routine, you know where I’m coming from.
What I learned during this time
Through this experience I did a lot of research about sleep, what it’s for, how to get more of it, etc. I found I was fighting to keep my voice “above water” for that initial 6-8 months. Lack of sleep was killing my ability to improve my own voice, and massively hurting my ability to recover from hard voice days or illnesses.
We all know sleep is important for rest, but people often underestimate or underappreciate just how much sleep does for you. I wanted to feature five things that sleep is essential for when it comes to keeping your voice in great condition. Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Sleep Boosts Your Singing, Your Brain, and Your Body”