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!