Sufficient sleep is essential to your vocal and general health. We spend up to one-third of our lifetime sleeping. It allows our body to restore its energy and healing processes take place.
A sufficient sleep is essential for your vocal cord and other voice box muscles, as it is for the rest of your body.
Therefore, insufficient sleep may affect your voice and is a most common cause for hoarseness. In such a case, your voice may become thicker and lower than usual, if you strain your voice, you may suffer hoarseness, and in extreme cases, lose your voice completely.
Vocal professionals in general, and singers, in particular, should make sure to have a proper sleep on the eve of performance. So here are some sleeping tips:
We recommend trying several positions to find what works best for you:
- On your back:
- Recommended for those suffering from back and neck pains. This position allows you to avoid pains, and straighten and release four spines. It is not recommended in the case of snoring or heartburn.
- When sleeping on your back, support your knees with a pillow, to avoid pressure and arching. You can also support each of your arms with a pillow, to help your muscles relax.
On your side
Researchers showed sleeping on your side is the best position to sleep, for the following reasons:
- It helps clear your brain more effectively.
- It helps to dispose of chemicals and waste harmful to your nervous system.
- It helps to minimize snoring since lying on your back allows a better airflow than on your back, where your tongue falls back blocking your airways.
- It is good for your heart, blood, and lymph system.
- It is especially recommended in the case of acidity and acid reflux. In such a case, it is recommended to rest on your left side.
- It helps digestion since it allows food move more easily through the digestive system and helps the disposal of waste.
- The healthiest way to sleep on your side is keeping your lower leg straight and the upper leg bent, or in the fetal position, with both legs bent against your belly. It is advisable to switch sides during the night or sleep every night on a different side. In this position, we recommend placing a pillow between knees.
The least recommended sleeping position is on your belly since it usually twists the spine, which may cause pain. It also prevents you from straightening and releasing your shoulders. However, if you choose to sleep in this position, put a pillow under your lower belly, to stabilize your spine.
General tips for better sleep:
- Use thin, orthopedic pillows. Try several pillows until you find the most comfortable to you (some prefer sleeping with no pillows at all).
- Use an orthopedic mattress, neither too soft nor too hard;
- keep your computer and cell phone away from your bedroom;
- Dietary tips:
- Avoid energizing and sweetened drinks such as coffee, tea, coca cola, and alcohol, before bedtime.
- Avoid heavy meals before bedtime;
- Avoid sleeping hungry.
- An oatmeal before bedtime is good for your general and vocal health.
- If you suffer from sleeplessness or nightmares Consult your dietician. Take a general checkup, to detect vitamins and minerals deficiency. If you take medications, consult your doctor.
- Follow a healthy, balanced diet. For details, see the previous article.
- Breathing tips:
- Make sure your bedroom has enough fresh air. If necessary, install an air freshener in it and in other rooms.
- Perform the following relaxation exercise before bedtime:
- Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds. Hold your breath for 7 seconds, and then breathe out through your nose for 8 seconds. Repeat the exercise 3 or 4 times before bedtime.
- Keep your environment clean and tidy. Always tidy up a little before bedtime.
- Calmness tips:
- Write down all your unfinished tasks, so they won’t disturb your peace of mind while sleeping.
- It is recommended to have your bedroom and sheets painted in calming colors such as light blue, light violet, and white.
- In addition, use the following TMRG solutions:
- TMRG Laughing Solution, for relaxed feeling;
- TMRG Classic Spray, for immediate relief of your vocal cords;
- Exercises with a TPV device, for vocal professionals and people with vocal issues. It also helps regularly relaxing tense voice-box muscles.
So to all a good night!
Talya, a TMRG Voice Specialist.