October 15- Things that go bump in the night…
“From ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night: Good Lord, deliver us!”- Old Scottish prayer
Oh the things that go bump in the night. Usually in the middle of the night. The bump of an unbooked date lying smack in the middle of a tour with only five weeks left to secure a show. The nudge of a late notice lying on your desk. The shake of an unpleasant conversation that rewinds and repeats for the entire night. Who among us hasn’t been roused by things that hover and irritate us as we try and recouperate, rest and restore ourselves?
The hours between dusk and dawn are particularly favorable for the chest clutching realization that there will be more month than performance income, more lack than lustre, more less than more. Darkness seems to intensify our inner most anxieties and fears, calling spectors and long-legged ghosties into our desperate attempts to relax and dream.
Whether your night is during the hours of darkness or early morning to noon, sleep is essential to well being. Often as music people, we juggle daylight jobs and late evening playing opportunites, throwing sleep into an erratic, jagged exercise of futility. Restlessness and sleep deprivation disrupt our natural rhythm, resulting in anxiety and irritability. “The unrefreshed are just not that much fun to be around.” Sarah Ban Breathnatch reminds us.
Work to make restful sleep, whether during the day or night, a part of your physical maintenance. Realize the routines that make for a good rest, no matter when you have to schedule it. Take a warm bath instead of a stimulating shower, drink hot tea instead of alcohol, limit eating and television in the hours before lying down. If the ghoulies and ghosties creep in, picture yourself lying in a hammock by the ocean or gently in the crook of a loved one’s arms. Picture the world dissolving into black and seek to be soothed by nature’s night.
In sleeping there are dreams, some good, some bad, some incredibly enlightening. We must dream to live and we live to dream. Learn habits and tricks to sleep well – no matter the ghoulies, the ghosties or the long-legged beasties.