The performance ends. You bask in the applause. Excitement flows through you and everyone around you. And now you are supposed to go home and….sleep? Are you kidding?
What kind of routine can you establish to help turn off all the stuff in your mind so you can rest?
1) During the run of a show, exit the theatre ASAP and go home. (In the past, casts would often go out together to eat and drink. Ice cream anyone? Not so these days. Too much sugar.)
2) Get ready for bed.
- Shower (keep your hair dry) and get into night time clothes.
- Heat your bed with a heating pad or one of those cool hot water bottles. Make your bed cozy and comfy.
- Set up a fort of pillows. One or two for your head, one on each side of you….
- For girls, put a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow.
- Put on “white noise” to keep out unwanted sounds.
3) If you were in a musical event, begin to stop the music from rolling in your head; otherwise the music will keep you awake. How can you stop singing in your mind? END the music at the first phrase, sing in your mind a big “Amen,” then sing the first phrase of Away in a Manger or some other totally different, simple tune.
When a tune from your performance comes back into your mind (believe me, it will), repeat this procedure. It may take three or four times, but after that, the show music will not enter your mind again.
4) Prepare food and drink and bring it to your bedside table.
- Drink a half cup of chamomile tea (Yogi Bedtime Caramel is great), and eat a bit of mashed banana with some yogurt on it.
- OR have some warm milk with a bit of added honey and cinnamon, and eat half of a banana with a handful of peanuts.
5) Get into bed and do not take ANY electronic devices with you.
6) Read. With just a dim light on or a small flashlight, read a “junk” book for 15-20 minutes.
7) Last bit. Make a final trip to the bathroom, go back to bed, turn out the light and Zzzzzzzzz.
If you need more relaxation, some actors and singers will add the “4-7-8” method. Inhale deeply, taking 4 seconds to do so. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Slowly exhale taking 8 seconds. This method clears your mind, gets oxygen to your brain, and relaxes your muscles. After five breaths, most people are asleep.
The key to sleeping after a performance is finding a routine and sticking to it. Then you will be snoozin’.