Sleep Is The Cousin Of Death

When I heard Nas say “Sleep is the cousin of death,” I took that statement literally. I swear I’ve kept the worst hours known to man since I was in junior high school. And apparently in hip-hop, since everyone’s so busy grinding, sleep is definitely not on the menu. Poor hip-hoppers, too busy hustling for pennies when they should be reading up on the four hour work week.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that when I don’t sleep, my mood, work ethic, and eating habits, suffer. After years of working from sun down till sun up, I now try to make 2am my cut-off point for all work-related activities so my brain and body can just sort of shut down.

That said, as I’m writing this, it’s 5:06am, and I’m still up. Why? Because when you’re a creative soul, holding yourself to a time constraint, no matter how professional you wanna be about the situation, is tough. During the day it’s all about phone calls, emails, and day to day bullshit that comes with being in the music business. Night time, particularly after midnight is when I really feel like banging on the MPC. It’s always been that way for me, I’m a night hawk.

The accepted school of thought says adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, which to me is pretty unreasonable. You’d have to have no life at all to get 7-8 hours of sleep. Imagine being in the music business and trying to keep up that type of sleep habit

But the reason why I’m writing this right now is to give folks some advice, and urge you producers, DJs, and engineers out there to try to get as much rest as possible. You may think getting 7-8 hours is a pipe dream, but it’s not. A couple things that can help you accomplish this goal.

1) Work on your time management skills. Specifically, get tasks and jobs done when they need to get done and don’t procrastinate. The sooner you finish, the more time you have to rest your body. You’ll wake up re-energized and be more focused throughout the next day. You may think you will get more done if you grind 20 hours a day, but in reality it’s better to have 12 hours of strong effective work than 20 hours of half-ass work where you’re dragging because you’re too tired.

2) Eat properly. Keep caffeine and carbohydate-laden foods to a minimum as the sun goes down. The more of that stuff you eat late at night, the later you’ll stay up. You have to let your body and mind tire in an unaltered natural way.

3) Wake up before 10am. When you’re a producer or engineer you settle into the musician lifestyle, which is late nights and sleeping into the afternoon. Nope, you gotta get up and start your day at 10am like a relatively normal human being would. Once you sleep into the afternoon, laziness settles in.

4) Don’t watch TV or movies when you go to sleep. Really, just shut the lights and let your eyes close. TV just keeps you up longer. Again this goes back to time management. Going to sleep should almost be like a job, or something you put on a to-do list, because we’re all go getters and nobody wanna sleep while someone else is out there getting rich. But we gotta do it.

5) Put the phone on silent. Nothing is more annoying than a phone call in the middle of the night, and it breaks your sleep up and will make you cranky in the AM. To hell with that late night booty call, get some pussy on your lunch break instead.

If anyone else has tips, feel free to add them in the comments.

Aight, I’m bout to head to bed my damn self. Gotta catch a few hours of Zzzzz’s, then it’s off to the beach for the day. 4 hour work week… believe it!

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  • Hold Tight The UK Garage And Grime… UK I Rep Thats Me When I Rhyme!

    I now try to make 2am my cut-off point for all work-related activities so my brain and body can just sort of shut down.

    That said, as I’m writing this, it’s 5:06am

    ^ LOL!

  • Vicious Seiger

    Good Post, Working the graveyard shift at a bank drains me like a latina stripper trying to make payout. The 20 vs 12 is damn true I noticed that in myself when I don’t go to sleep and try to coast through another day looking like an extra in a George A. Romero film. I also find drinking Iced Green Tea made me cutback on all of those Pepsi Binges I was on. Also I gotta co-sign on turning the phone off… nothing is worse than friends calling you when you’re getting some good sleep with some dumb ass sh!t and then remembering this is when you sleep by saying ” Yo, were you sleep?” or “Man, you sound tired you need to get some rest.” – No, Duh MotherF@#ker… if it wasn’t for your retarded ass I’d still be sleeping. Once again, good post.

  • chad bro chill

    i enjoy masterbating before i go to bed puts me right to sleep

  • dronkmunk

    This should be titled : “(Lack of ) Sleep is the cousin of death.” Or something like that. I appreciate the nas reference, but it doesn’t make sense because the piece is about sleep being a good thing..

  • DevilintheFlesh

    If you really grind hard you are ready to go to bed….Most peoples idea of “grinding” is pathetic. Work Hard, Play Hard is my motto.



  • Queens Boy

    thanks for this post and the tips my nig! i am currently a suffering insomniac and my blood vessels always pop around 4 am i usually get aroung 1-3 hrs. of sleep at best and it’s crazy cause now i got my first job and all damn it’s gonna be hard gettin up everyday at like 6 man well, thanks again 1

  • k swanger

    Good post…

    I’d rather read about shit like this, than some fake ass rapper’s jewerly or rhyme style…

    Come with more of this…

  • phantom

    “To hell with that late night booty call, get some pussy on your lunch break instead.”

    Awesome line.


    chad bro chill wins. nolo.

    Great post.

    As far back as I can remember, I’ve never gone to bed naturally either. I stay up later than everybody, even if I’ve been up all day, like today. I’m starting to think that this is just how my body operates though.

    Another good option is reading a book.

  • northern california bay area

    its 5:04am right now

    im still kinda thizzed out,

    im def. an owl

    i got to sleep now but ill be ack up in like 4 hours

    i also try to go to bed at 2am when im home but im usually juss out partying or makin music all evening/night n dont come home till around 430 or 5am, if i even come home at all that night

    i always wake up with my right eye puffy as hell, but that shit goes away…

    imma try to sleep now…

  • http://Google Tshisikule casperance fhatu

    Hey man.nas is talkin abt those who are too lazy to think.who sleep day in day out