~By Asa Fris, McKinney North HS
We’ve all been in a play or musical where something feels off. Either you’re really tired, your voice hurts, your grades hurt, or you just don’t feel good. Unfortunately, these are signs that you are probably not taking as good of care of yourself as you should be. And with Festival just around the corner, we want you to be in top shape for the amazing weekend ahead!
Fortunately, we have some helpful tips and tricks to help prevent a lot of these problems from happening to ensure that whatever performance you’re giving is the best it can be.
As the National Sleep Foundation (NSP) says “Sleep is food for the brain.” As performers we must take care of all parts of ourselves: mind, body, and voice. Without sleep, especially as teens, we cannot maintain a healthy mind, and an unhealthy mind means a weaker performance.
Ok, when I’m in a show, I feel so tired… what can I do?
The first step is to know how much sleep you need. The NSP that only 15% of teens get the required 8-10 hours of sleep per night. And unlike losing your voice and regaining it later, lost sleep can't come back. The negative effects of not getting enough sleep will tend to remain present even if you have temporarily fixed your sleep schedule.
So what are some things I can do to help?
Have a set time to go to sleep.
Let’s say my school starts at 7:30 in the morning (which it does). That means I need to get up at 6:45, so eight hours back would be 10:45 and I need twenty minutes to get to sleep so my set time to get to bed is 10:25. I now know without a doubt if I don’t get in bed by 10:25, I’m likely not going to be getting enough sleep.
Ok, I know when I need to get to sleep by, but how do I ensure I do get to sleep by that time?
Manage your workload.
Homework. What do you do if you have homework you think will keep you up past your set time to sleep? A big culprit here is procrastination. We all procrastinate to some degree, but sometimes you need to get your work done when it’s assigned. Communicate to your teachers about times like tech weeks, respectfully asking for deadlines to be extended, or grading to be more lenient. (Don’t forget to ask your director to email the other teachers and give them a heads up about late night rehearsals!)
Be wary of other distractions
Technology like phones or laptops can keep us up, and while checking on our feeds at the end of the day can be relaxing, we can easily get hooked. Suddenly we’ve passed that set time when we need to sleep. Some methods to help with this include not allowing your phone to come into your bedroom, or setting an alarm on your phone for when you need to put it away and start to sleep.
So what are you waiting for?? Get to bed already!