Sleep Hacking Tips For DJs

July 1, 2016

As DJs, we live very interesting lives. Night after night, we’re responsible for making parties happen and showing people a great time. We play music, showcase our talents, have a few cocktails, mingle with interesting folks, and actually get paid for it! It sounds like the perfect life and career, right? It pretty much is, but it definitely has its fair share of challenges. Whether you’re a full time DJ, or splitting your time between a day job and evening gigs, lack of sleep is one of the biggest obstacles that you will face. Here are a few tips on how you can make up for the sleep deficit created by your busy DJ career.

Take Naps

Whenever you can fit it in, a 20-30 minute nap can restore your alertness, prevent burnout, heighten your sensory perception, and make you more productive. Keeping naps under 30 minutes is key, since anything longer may result in “sleep inertia” from waking up in the middle of the deep sleep cycle. Artist Salvador Dali kept his naps at the proper length by lying down with a key in his hand, holding it over a dinner plate on the floor. When he reached the point in his nap where his hand relaxed and dropped the key onto the plate, he knew that it was time to get up and get back to work. You can also turbo charge your naps by downing a cup of coffee or energy drink ahead of time. Since it typically takes 30 minutes for the caffeine to hit your system, you’ll wake up from the nap with an extra burst of energy. Just what you need to get back behind the decks and murder the dance floor later in the evening.

Take Advantage of Travel Time

If you’re at the point in your DJ career where you reached “jetsetter” status, congratulations, you’re definitely doing something right! You also have a golden opportunity to catch up on your sleep. Before your next flight, spend a few bucks on a proper travel pillow and some earplugs or noise canceling headphones. As soon as you leave the runway, lay your head down, clear your mind, and get caught up on your sleep. Go ahead and let yourself drift into the deep sleep cycle, the flight attendant will wake you when it’s unboarding time so that you won’t miss your gig!

Keep Your Sleep Schedule Consistent

Proper rhythm is just as important to your sleep cycle as it is to the music you play. If you’re able to, keep the same sleep pattern every day of the week, whether you have a late night gig or not. For example, if you play out until 3am on Friday and Saturday, and wake up at noon the following day, keep the same schedule on week nights as well. This regular pattern will help satisfy your internal clock and minimize the risk of insomnia throughout the week.

Manage Your Alcohol and Caffeine Intake

DJs not only have music coursing through their veins, but there’s plenty of alcohol and caffeine in there as well! Unfortunately, both of these substances can greatly reduce the quality of your sleep. To add to the struggle, both are bladder stimulants, which can lead to the interruption of your much needed sleep cycle. When it comes to caffeine, try to stop all consumption 4 to 6 hours prior to bedtime. For DJs, this usually means a quick coffee or Red Bull as you start your set and water from there on out. If you like to partake in a few alcoholic drinks while you spin, keep in mind that your body will typically burn off one drink per hour. So, if you’re 8 drinks into a 4 hour set, that booze is going to be in your system for a while. And, when you go to sleep that night, it’s very likely that your REM sleep will be interrupted, and your body will not receive the rejuvenating sleep that it needs. By limiting your alcohol intake to one drink per hour, and downing water between cocktails, you can minimize the negative effects on your sleep cycle.

By taking the time to make a few tweaks to your nightly routine, you’ll be able sleep more efficiently and pursue your DJ dream with a new level of energy and focus!

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About Mixcity Inc

Mixcity Inc was founded in 2008 with the mission of creating innovative software solutions and engagement tools for the working DJ. The team's first DJ product, KueIt, was groundbreaking when it was introduced years ago, and still remains an industry standard software solution to this day. Mixcity's latest innovation, JammText, is a revolutionary text to screen software solution that allows DJs to reach exciting new levels of crowd interaction and audience engagement.