Sleep!, Overlook practice tool?
MonkeyDAthos
Nov 14 2018, 02:48 PM
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Posts: 2.826
Joined: 28-October 10
From: Portugal; Bombarral
A little back story and personal experience:
I was one of those kids who would be like; "pff, sleep. don't need that"
Often I would be running with an average 3-5 hours sleep or not sleeping at all.

Couple years ago I went 3 days without sleep (with just will power, no caffeine or any aid from substances). I remember I had a gig late that night, but my body just went on shut down mode. My potassium level dip into the red zone and I found my self unable to move both my arms and with heart shredding over above the 500bpms.

Ended up sleeping in the local hospital, leaving in the morning in a more stable condition.

But ever since those days I've never been able to maintain a consistence sleep for more than 2-3 months.

Nowadays my main issue is a restless mind. I can go to bed at 22:30 and stay awake until 6 AM to wake up at 8AM for work or school.
My body is relaxed but my brain is raging no stop.
And it's exhausting, anxiety starts to build up. It becomes hard to even put some solid food in your stomach. And you are just trying to survive the day.

My first year in a jazz school, was hell. I was barely hitting 4 hours sleep, was exhausted all day. I was trying really hard to improve, but I SUCKED and I couldn't improve, I would get lost in the harmony more than I like to admit. felt like shit.

I would go back home and often think that I not cut for this, maybe I should just quit. I would dread waking up again to fail again. I would leave the bus near the subway terminal and just panic.
It really took a toll on me.

The second semester of the first arrived!
I knew I needed (need) to change my habits. So I started to try and get atleast 7-8 hours (like a normal human tongue.gif ).
And I recall the other guitarist coming to me and asking me! Dude what are you doing diferent, like you following the changes and being more overall musical.

My answer was quite simple: I am sleeping.


After some research I've came across this podcast. Which was the cousciouness call that my subconsciouss was trying to make (I know this sounds hippy, but oh well.)
I think there's a lot of things said in it that not only we can apply in our lifes, but to our overall progression with the guitar.



One of my favorite quotes from it is. (Around 30:00 onwards) (and around 40:00 using pianists example)
"practice does not make perfect, practice with a night of SLEEP makes perfect!"

I am still trying to fix myself! There are days that anxiety just beats me up. but I am working on it!

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This post has been edited by MonkeyDAthos: Nov 14 2018, 02:54 PM


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Caelumamittendum
Nov 14 2018, 02:54 PM
Learning Rock Star
Posts: 5.675
Joined: 14-June 08
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
Good advice!

Struggling with sleep for years now, not because I don't want to, but I was diagnosed with sleep apnea a few months back, which has been going on for some years. It was so bad, that I had an AHI number of 107, which if I recall correctly means waking up/holding breath etc 107 times an hour. Apparently my body was only getting around 61% oxygen too. More than a third too little oxygen for organs, brain, all that. The sleep test showed that I hold my breath in total 18 minutes out of every hour! No wonder I felt totally bad all day long, fell asleep here, there and everywhere. So I got a CPAP machine to help me sleep now. I still forget about it or hope I can do without it, but when I use it, I feel so much refreshed.

Last 2½ years I've had probably 2-3 hours or sleep each night, and then add waking up, not sleeping well in those hours. Sleep is very important.

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SpiritCrusher
Nov 14 2018, 05:58 PM
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Joined: 20-May 14
From: Denmark
If I could bring back the years of my high school and fix my sleep problems, I would do it. I've basically wasted my years, and even though I practiced a lot, I didn't improve as much as I'd like to back then. I've found that doing mindfulness meditation fixed my sleep problems as I also had a mind with racing thoughts.

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Todd Simpson
Nov 14 2018, 10:56 PM
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Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Sleep is crucial for getting better at anything. With guitar, your brain is still chewing on bits you learned that day, so giving it time to wrestle with new bits over night, helps the next day. I've got Bens same issue of sleep apnea and have to wear the darth vader sleeping mask to force me to breathe. It's been much better since I started that.

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Adam
Nov 14 2018, 11:27 PM
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Joined: 13-October 18
From: Poland
I've suffered from insomnia for almost all my life but since I got myself out of it in 2018 I decided to have around 8 hours of sleep daily, no matter what. At first I kept missing deadlines at university etc. but after few weeks I got used to it. My memory, concentration and performance improved dramatically. I'm getting noticeable results at playing guitar since then too. I can't imagine not sleeping enough again. Sometimes I take a sip of whisky to help me fall asleep or lie down with earphones on but on my gym days I'm too exhausted not to fall asleep.

As for the practice. I changed my approach and instead of pulling an all-nighter, etc. I do 3-4 sessions 15-20 mins each between other activities. Again, much better results than 1 long session daily.

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Kristofer Dahl
Nov 15 2018, 08:05 AM
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Couldn't agree more!

30 minutes of focused practicing is worth more than 2 hours of distracted practicing. And sleep is the absolute best tool to stay focused!

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