SLEEPY HEADS: The importance of sleep as a dancer
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for any human to function. Any dancer or even dance teacher can become overwhelmed with the physical and mental demands of the art. We all need sleep!
From late night rehearsal to early morning performances, it is easy to disregard a lack of sleep. Adequate sleep not only makes you feel better during the day but also increases your energy, strength, memory and immunity. That means, you will feel better throughout the day.
Sleep consists of cycles. Each sleep stage is uniquely essential in order to look and feel healthy. To have an efficient sleep, we must get ideally approximately. 6-8 hours per night. Any less and you can feel very sleepy, which is not ideal for a dancer, we need lots of energy.
Dancers must be strong, and when we sleep our body repairs itself. During deep sleep, in simplest terms, growth hormones are released. They stimulate muscle repair and growth, fat burning, bone building and helps us recover, overall improving our athletic performance.
With the cold weather ahead, most of us don’t have time to get sick. Sleep can also help build our immune system to reduce susceptibility to illness. Sleep is the easiest and most natural way to avoid a cold or flu this upcoming winter.
Memory is especially important as a dancer. When we miss sleep, our memory tends to fail, or not work as well. Both deep REM and light sleep are needed for efficient learning and memory processing. How else will we remember all that choreography ready for next week?
If you are having trouble getting enough sleep or a great quality sleep, here are some ideas to ensure a better rest:
Dark rooms are best: Make sure there is no harsh light present in your bedroom, even if it slips from the cracks of your blinds. If you need a night light, ensure it is gentle in colour and not too harsh on your eyes.
Cooler temperatures: Your bedroom should be cold compared to other areas of the house. We sleep and feel more comfortable in cooler environments.
Stay away from technology: Try to turn off your phone, TV or electrical devices before you get into bed. Technology only stimulates the mind we are trying to switch off.
Build healthy habits: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Create a sleeping schedule: set up the candles, have some herbal tea, take a bath or read a book. Make yourself sleepy!
Buy new pjs: Having new pajamas is the best feeling. It really helps us to adjust and get excited for bed. Why not add some cute slippers and a fluffy dressing gown as well?
And if you’re really feeling tired…
Take a power nap: Naps are an awesome way to recharge. The ideal nap time is 20 minutes, any longer and you may feel worse.
Sleep is super important and nothing is better than waking up feeling fabulous!
What helps you feel relaxed before you fall asleep?
Sweet Dreams from the DZ team! Xx