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Being well rested .. and playing well.


cphollis

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I don't know about how it works for y'all, but taking a short nap is part of my mandatory prep in front of a major gig, etc.

 

Like many of you, music comes after the day job, family commitments, etc. I find it hard to be my best musical self if I'm tired, stressed, etc.

 

On the weekends, occasionally I will succumb to a long nap. My wife knows that -- when I wake up -- I'll wander over to the piano and improvise like a savant. And then it disappears ...

 

As a society, there's strong evidence that we are chronically sleep-deprived, and -- as a result -- we don't reach our full potential.

 

So, what say you -- is a nap a part of your pre-gig regimen?

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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Had a week long run at a casino last week. I had to leave my house at 4:20 PM and would get home at 12:15 AM. Every day I'd get all packed and ready to go and at 3:15ish, then I'd take a 20-40 min nap. I felt great the entire week. The one day I didn't do this, I was dragging especially on the 45 min drive.

 

Had a corporate gig w/ basically the same time commitment on Saturday and did the same thing. Felt great.

 

I too have heard that we need to sleep more, and so I think I'll be doing this much more often.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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I always tried to get a short nap in on the road.

 

Naps are employed by strength trainers in pro baseball. Fernando Montes, pitching coach of the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers, had his pitchers come early to the park to take naps. This increased their consistency as they travelled across time zones and played at different hours of the day.

 

Source: "Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep," David K. Randall, 2012

 

This is a great book if you're interested in the nuts and bolts of sleep, and it's a quick and fun read. Another interesting tidbit from the book: If a west coast team is playing an east coast team at night on the east coast, bet on the west coast team. Their circadian rhythm is peaking while the eastern team is winding down for the night.

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

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Nap is definitely part of my pre-gig routine for the ones that start 9 or 9:30.

 

My wife teases me and asks if I'm gonna put on a sweater and have a bowl of soup too. :)

 

But it pays off when you're pulling out of the lot at 1:30!

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I've never been able to 'nap'.

 

Ok, let's start from the beginning: I have been a kind of insomniac all my life, and my sleep was made worse by apnoea (hereditary), and lately, by being seriously overweight and hugely stressed.

Despite this chronic lack of sleep, I've never been able to get that little amount of sleep in the afternoon, to recuperate forces. I've tried hundreds of times, but I seem to be unable to relax enough to get asleep. The only thing that happens, is that I become nervous from the prolonged immobility.

I've always envied those who can sleep on airplanes, trains, cars, etc... I can't do it in my own bed, let alone on things that move!

 

The result of all this, summed with the quite hard and stressful period I'm going thru, is that in the last months, I've developed a rather unhealthy habit: Sometimes, I get asleep in the middle of whatever I'm doing. When I'm not alone, like at school, most of times I wake up right away, and apologize if necessary; but when I'm alone, like at home in front of the computer, sometimes I've kept sleeping for two or three hours on my chair before waking up. Talk about sleep deprivation...

Here, I've said it.

 

 

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I've never been able to 'nap'.

 

Ok, let's start from the beginning: I have been a kind of insomniac all my life, and my sleep was made worse by apnoea (hereditary), and lately, by being seriously overweight and hugely stressed.

Despite this chronic lack of sleep, I've never been able to get that little amount of sleep in the afternoon, to recuperate forces. I've tried hundreds of times, but I seem to be unable to relax enough to get asleep. The only thing that happens, is that I become nervous from the prolonged immobility.

I've always envied those who can sleep on airplanes, trains, cars, etc... I can't do it in my own bed, let alone on things that move!

 

The result of all this, summed with the quite hard and stressful period I'm going thru, is that in the last months, I've developed a rather unhealthy habit: Sometimes, I get asleep in the middle of whatever I'm doing. When I'm not alone, like at school, most of times I wake up right away, and apologize if necessary; but when I'm alone, like at home in front of the computer, sometimes I've kept sleeping for two or three hours on my chair before waking up. Talk about sleep deprivation...

Here, I've said it.

 

Sorry to hear that, Carlo. I'd give you some advice about seeing a doctor, but I think I know what you'd say. So, I'll just say, take care of yourself man.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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The only time I need a nap before a gig is if I had a really late night the night before. A Friday where I'm up for work, then go right to a gig and don't get home til 3am, so you have the 20+ hours in a row thing going. Then on Saturday I might need a nap before the gig. Even if I get home at 3 after a long day, I still wake up before 9am. :( I typically get 7 good hours of sleep a night. Losing a bunch of weight really helped my sleep, no more snoring, no sleep apnea, etc.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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Though I have had occasions of creative bursts that have taken me late into the night (i.e. sunrise), I'm finding that my ability to absorb and express more complex ideas is best in the morning. In that regard, short pre-gig naps are a luxury that I try to afford myself whenever it's possible.

 

As I school teacher I find that I take on a lot of commitments (rehearsals, etc.), in addition to my regular marking, so on many nights of the week I work until very late. There was a stretch where, like Marino, I was falling asleep at the computer. Carlo, after undergoing two years of physiotherapy for my back problems, I want to tell you how bad sleeping upright in an office chair can be for your back. I have changed my ways. If it is possible to get even some sleep when you are feeling that tired, you might find that you are able to return to your work at the computer after some rest and work more quickly and efficiently. I'm no expert, but that's been my experience.

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For whatever reason, yesterday, I barely made it through a 2 hour day time gig... I was falling asleep as I played the WHOLE gig, I could never shake that feeling of deep sleepiness. A bad feeling to endure that. I would have to occasionally stand up as I was playing, to prevent unconsciousness. I cracked absurd jokes to make myself laugh at the lunacy to stay awake.

But I am not so sure I agree about sleep being directly related to creativity... depends on the individual. I think Einstein and perhaps Tesla, two of the greatest known mega geniuses to walk the 20th Century scene, were not known for much sleeping.

I know a friend who played his ass off when sick. I can play about the same when ill as well.

 

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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When I was younger I could sleep 8 hours straight no problem after getting home at 3am. Of course I was younger and usually drunk.

 

My body just doesn't work that way now. I'm on the same schedule as back then (five nights a week and rolling in late) but now as a DJ and sober. I'll sleep maybe four or five hours, eat something while half awake, and then go back to bed. In fact that's where I'm headed right now. I take this one step beyond a mere afternoon nap ;)

 

As far as keyboards are concerned, I think I've done some of my most inspired playing while exhausted. I'm less nervous, the barriers are down, emotions are up, and I'm much more willing to step out of the box and take chances.

 

Of course it can all blow up in your face too. But looking back at it, some of my biggest moments on keys were when I was about ready to collapse.

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I've been in sleep medicine for the last six years as a technologist. While I can't dispense medical advice on a forum, if anyone has any general questions about sleep, I can point you in a direction.

 

Ken

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

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I try to lie down on the couch for about a half hour before a gig. I try to lie down so that I can wake up a half hour before leaving for the gig...this gives me plenty of time to get dressed.

 

Usually I listen to classical music in the car, on the way, to stay about 20hz, low Beta. My logic is to stay in that zone as long as possible; the band music will put me back on track as soon as we start playing.

 

If I feel like drinking a bunch I try to stop at a KFC...the chicken forms a super barrier for the liquor, and no matter how much I drink I always feel like it's just 2. I play better with a few drinks (not a lot) in me.

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I live for the nap. 30-45 minutes is all I need to put a meaningful surface charge on my battery - enough that I can survive and thrive on pretty much any night. When I miss my nap - it's not pretty. I'm miserable, my sense of timing is way off ... the difference is tangible.

 

Therefore, I plan gig days around this requirement - especially Fridays (which means I'm gigging after a more or less full day at work). I do everything in my power to create the opportunity to leave 60-90 minutes early - so that I can get a solid hour of nap time in before having to leave for my gig.

 

Nights I don't manage to get my nap can be painful!!!! Now, I've heard recordings for nights with and without naps - and I'm surprised at my consistency (it didn't feel that way!!!! However, I feel so much better when I get a nap that it's still a priority....

 

The SpaceNorman :freak:
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Perhaps Ken can comment on this, but I've noticed that when I awaken out of the natural sequence of the stages of sleep, I feel better during the day.....even on less total sleep.....than if I were to be awakened from a deep (e.g., REM) stage of sleep, like when the alarm sometimes goes off. So if I naturally wake up....even if it's an an hour or so earlier than the alarm time....I'll just stay up, and I tend to feel better even though I'm getting less sleep, overall.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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I have a brilliant app for my iPad, it's called Sleep Cycle. You set it like an alarm clock, and it wakes you when you're in the lightest sleep of your circadian pattern within the parameters you have set, so that you wake gently, and are not jerked awake from a deep sleep.

 

EG, I am having a nap, and want to wake at 7pm. I set the app for 7, and the parameter at 10, 20, 30 minutes, or whatever. The alarm - a choice of soothing music btw, not a shrill noise - wakes me at the time when I am closest to waking naturally, to the nearest 10, 20 or however minutes I have set.

 

Only costs pennies, and I may not be napping any more restfully, but I certainly wake up a lot more peacefully! It's one of the best things I ever bought, can't recommend it highly enough.

 

 

 

SSM

Occasionally, do something nice for a total stranger. They'll wonder what the hell is going on!
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That's a cool app SSM, thanks for sharing. I have an alarm clock that gradually increases in volume with a variety of soothing sounds (e.g., "sea shore").

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Perhaps Ken can comment on this, but I've noticed that when I awaken out of the natural sequence of the stages of sleep, I feel better during the day

 

Very likely.

 

Sleep is broken down into two categories: REM and Non-REM sleep. Non-REM is stages 1,2, and 3. Stage 1 is the drifting off period. It may seem like an eternity but it only lasts a few minutes at most. We're aware of our surroundings to a degree and our thoughts begin to get scattered. Stage 2 is a deeper than 1 but still considered a light sleep, which seems to be ok since we spend 50% of our night in it. Stage 3 is deep sleep, restorative sleep. Our bodies do maintenance during 3. Growth hormones are released in stage 3 in kids to aid in development. At age 20 those hormones slowly diminish along with our stage 3 percentage. Stage 3 is practically gone in the elderly.

 

REM is not a deep sleep. It is also called paradoxical sleep as it can look very much like wake--the brain waveforms are identical. The amplitude of REM waves is generally lower than wake, but not always. REM is also associated with dreaming, though I'm aware of studies that indicate dreams can happen in other stages. During REM our brains collect their thoughts, so to speak. Memories are filed away. The difference in our perception of a night of sleep can depend greatly on how well our REM periods went. Many people who complain of memory problems are positive for sleep apnea, which tends to be more severe in REM.

 

 

We wake naturally after each REM period and either move broadly or change positions. You could wake after 1 sleep cycle and do just fine. I'm ok on 3 hrs in a pinch. If you get up after two cycles, or around 5 hrs, you've gotten core sleep. Core sleep includes two REM periods and just about all the deep sleep you're going to get for the night. You should be good to go.

 

 

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

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Hey thanks, Ken! So it goes like this:

 

Stage 1 -> Stage 2 -> Stage 3 -> REM -> Awaken/Move/Shift Positions -> Stage 1 -> Stage 2, etc.

 

I used to be more familiar with this....

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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So it goes like this:

 

Stage 1 -> Stage 2 -> Stage 3 -> REM -> Awaken/Move/Shift Positions -> Stage 1 -> Stage 2, etc.

 

 

Pretty much. The second cycle has less or no stage 3. The third and possible fourth cycles just flip between stages 2 and REM with tiny bits of wake and stage 1.

 

Watching people sleep is both fascinating and extremely boring. Everybody sleeps the same. But reliably, there's something new every night to learn.

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

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That's fascinating, Ken. From your account, it appears that Stage 3, being the restorative/maintenance phase, could be considered the most important. But do most people usually get only one Stage 3 period in a whole night of sleep?
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Thanks for that fascinating info Ken. Question: When I take a 20-40 minute nap in the afternoon, am I drifting through stage 1 into stage 2 for a bit? Does even this bit of sleep help in some restorative fashion?

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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A 15 minute nap in the afternoon does wonders for the rest of my day. I don't know the science behind it, but I know it works.

 

Unfortunately, I doesn't happen as often as I'd like.

 

Being rested and ready for a gig for me involves a routine that sort of starts the day before, by making sure I get a good night's rest. From there, it's a sequence of stuff that I won't bore you all with, the main point being not so much the stuff itself, but just having a routine that I follow that puts me in a good frame of mind.

 

If I can manage it, exercising 3-4 hours before gig puts me in a good place, energy-wise. I remember reading in Motley Crue's book that they lifted weights right before going on stage, which seemed like a brilliant idea, though I'm not usually set up for that. They also did tons of pre-show drugs too, though, so I'm not saying the Crue is in all respects a good example to follow.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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...It appears that Stage 3, being the restorative/maintenance phase, could be considered the most important. But do most people usually get only one Stage 3 period in a whole night of sleep?

 

Most of the time we'll only see one run of stage 3 in the first cycle in adults. A few people will have a little stage 3 in the second cycle. Every once in a blue moon we'll see some 3 in the third cycle--I could count the number of times I've seen that on one hand. Many people get no deep sleep at all, but that doesn't seem to affect how they perceive their night. People are considerably more fatigued through the day if they miss REM.

 

Question: When I take a 20-40 minute nap in the afternoon, am I drifting through stage 1 into stage 2 for a bit? Does even this bit of sleep help in some restorative fashion?

 

It seems to. I just read a short article in The Week magazine about taking the perfect nap, which they said was around 20 minutes. There is a dip in our circadian rhythm around 2-230 in the afternoon that would be a great time for that nap. You don't want to nap so long that it puts you off of your normal night time schedule. And yes, 20 minutes is enough for you to cycle from stage 1 into stage 2 and have a perceived benefit. This assumes, of course, that there aren't any other factors prohibiting the nap from doing its job, like untreated sleep apnea.

 

Speaking of which, here's a link to the STOPBANG questionaire, a popular screening tool for obstructive sleep apnea. This is not meant to replace a consultation with your doctor, but it's a good jumping off point. I can't stress the importance of treating apnea enough.

 

STOPBANG Questionaire

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

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