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So I get home at midnight after the gig feeling really tired physically and go to bed, but I can’t sleep, thinking about what I played, what went right or wrong, with tunes we played going round and round in my head like ear worms on steroids... then I crash out at dawn, but it’s already time to get up for a new day.

Do you suffer like this? How do you get off to sleep quickly?
 

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I think it is absolutely normal to wind down after any activity.

I don’t go out as much as I used to do few years ago when I had a Jam session which would normally finish around 1 then we stayed a little longer and then I had a brief drive home.

Upon arrival I needed at least one hour drinking a cup of tea and perhaps watching some program on telly to let the level of adrenalin subside sufficiently to go to sleep.

Unless you go the chemical way (which also would require you to arrive home and wai a little because you can’t drive like that) you need to give it some time.
 

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Yes, indeed. I am primarily a pit musician and after a show it is very difficult to switch off. I usually have about 6+ hours invested in a performance - a call time of 6:30 (for an 8:00 curtain) and as a reed player, you have to show up early enough to set up the multitude of instruments (it's never just one *sigh* - why do I love it so...). Anyway, it's the same after getting home - tired, but the performance goes around in your head as does the loop of show tunes :). I try to unwind by surfing around on the iPad and eventually drift off, but morning comes early. I know the electronic devices aren't conducive for a rested mind. Perhaps trying to sleep with some form of white noise going on could be helpful.
 

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reading is good but looking at a rather stupid program like “ How do they do it “or “ how is it made” is extremely soporific

 

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For me it also depends how loud the gig is. It is really hard to go to sleep after a noisy gig. I have a regular duo gig which has a nice easy decibel level, and I have no trouble sleeping afterwards. But man, after a loud gig or rehearsal I can't sleep.
 

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Do you suffer like this? How do you get off to sleep quickly?
Go to bed at 3 am, or later, and get three hours sleep like the rest of us, then hustle off to your day job.
Get maybe three more hours, if you can, when you get home... grab a meal, then do it all again.

Played five nights a week for ten plus years this way, then the gigs thinned somewhat. My physically demanding day job started at 7:30 am.
This is how I managed.

Funny how adrenaline kicked in at the gig and lingered so long after, no matter how tired I felt.
 

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As my rare opportunities to perform are generally on the weekend, and my hype results in a goodly amount of body English onstage, I'm hungry after shows. I almost always go out to eat with a bandmate, or other friend. That tends to wind me down. It's not great for general health or trying to keep weight off though. It is however both a treat for me on top of helping me to wind down.
On second thought, maybe I'm just staying up until I get exhausted?
 

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Yeah, it sucks. Over the weekend I played 2 gigs, Friday/ Saturday. Friday I didn't get to sleep until 2am. Saturday 4am. I'm woken up by the alarm clock that is my children everyday at 7 am so I don't ever have the luxury of sleeping in. This usually translates into a 2 hour nap somewhere around a day after.

The worst part is indeed laying in bed wishing that you were sleeping.

I find reading in low light to be one of the easiest ways to tire my eyes out and get me to sleep though.
 

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I have a pretty strong need to wind-down every night, regardless of if I've been playing. I find that reading a book or magazine helps tons! Blue light from a phone/TV/computer can keep you awake, but the warm yellow light from a bedside lamp actually helps put you down.

Bonus points if it's especially challenging literature like Dostoevsky's Brothers Kramazov. Read that same paragraph seven times because you can't understand it. Then... out!
 

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I suspect this is why so many musicians abuse drugs and/or alcohol. I was a restaurant mgr. in my younger days and after a closing shift that ended at 2 or 3 a.m. I'd go home and drink a few beers and smoke a joint to unwind because I'd be so keyed up. I imagine playing music with all the loud stimulation is much the same. Or much like going to a loud rock concert and coming home feeling wired.

A more healthy way to unwind would be to read something that tends to make you drowsy. I find when I can't sleep I'll get drowsy in a few minutes if I read a dry history book. I'm a fan of noir detective stories but I also like to read history. Reading history can be very soporific, to use a word someone else used in a previous post. I've been slowly working through a history of the lead-up to the first world war, "1914: The Year the World Ended", by Paul Ham. Puts me to sleep in 10 minutes every time. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18580198-1914 If you can't sleep I highly recommend it. Plus you just might learn something. I know my education tended to brush over the Great War without much explanation of why it came about. Turns out it was about a whole lot more than the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But I ramble.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Archduke_Franz_Ferdinand_of_Austria
 

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... if it's especially challenging literature like Dostoevsky's Brothers Kramazov. Read that same paragraph seven times because you can't understand it. Then... out!
Oh man, yes!

I recommend “ Crime and Punishment" then with the needed reference literature of Nietzsche .

Guaranteed you will be consigned to Morpheus ( the god not the one on matrix)
 

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Do you suffer like this? How do you get off to sleep quickly?
I have this issue almost daily, not only after a late gig (I have many interests and often stay up till 2-3 am).

I don't have a solution, but am fortunate to be able to handle nights with 3-6 hours sleep (with in the weekend sometimes a few hours extra).
 

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I have a pretty strong need to wind-down every night, regardless of if I've been playing. I find that reading a book or magazine helps tons! Blue light from a phone/TV/computer can keep you awake, but the warm yellow light from a bedside lamp actually helps put you down.

Bonus points if it's especially challenging literature like Dostoevsky's Brothers Kramazov. Read that same paragraph seven times because you can't understand it. Then... out!
Now this is a good recommendation! It took me 30 years to find my solution to insomnia. No one has the full answer for your personally, but consider the following techniques. I find that I need to use most of them to get to sleep after an over stimulating evening.

1). Do not watch TV or anything with a “blue” screen for at least 60 minutes prior to going to bed. (IPads, Kindle Fire, iPhones and droids all have blue screens). It turns out that that these devices are very stimulating to your brain. For some, all they need is a distraction to get to sleep, but for true insomnia, blue screen distraction will keep your brain stimulated

2). Allow yourself a 1 hour gap between the end of your gig/watching and blue screen, and laying down.

3). No coffee or cigarettes/cigars after 12:00 noon.

4). I struggle to find things to do in the last hour before I lay down. I have found that reading is helpful. Books that are not highly thought provoking or suspenseful are a good diversion. Conversation with anyone who is awake. (Phone is fine, FaceTime is not). Doing chores around the house works too.

5). Doctor tells me that there are only two things you should be doing in bed. One is sleeping. Don’t read in the bed. Don’t sit on the bed. Don’t watch TV on the bed ever. Don’t read in bed. You want your brain to associate the bed with sleep. (The one other acceptable activity for the bed is easy to figure out).

6). Learn to breathe to relax. There is this fancy word called Meditation. My Dad used to try to teach it to me. “Sit with perfect posture on a meditation stool. Breathe in your nose, breathe out your mouth....Focus on the energy channels in your body.”.....blah, blah, blah....hooey. I could never figure it out. One day I went to a Doctor who said, this is how you meditate. “Sit or lay in a comfortable position. Breathe in, for say 4 seconds. Then breathe out for a bit longer, maybe 6 or 7 seconds. You will be meditating as long as your exhale lasts longer than your inhale. It doesn’t make a difference whether you use your mouth or nose. Repeat procedure. During your breathing session work to slow down your respiration....so maybe after a minute or two, strart breathing in for 5 second and out for 8 seconds. Just focus on breathing and counting. Try to ignore everything else. The longer your respiration cycles are the calmer your brain will become.” When I first started doing this, I couldn’t last for more than 5 minutes without being bored out of my mind. After a month, I could do it for 10 minutes. Now I can do it for 20 minutes.....Over that 20 minute period I can usually slow my cycles down to 12 seconds of breathing in and 18 seconds of breathing out. (Yep, 2 breaths per minute - I’m told I am excessive. Do what ever works for you). If I don’t do this, I have trouble sleeping.

7). Any alcohol you drink after 7 p.m. will wake you up in the middle of the night.....all that hard work to get to sleep gets erased at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. if you have been drinking. Evidently a beer is great for getting you to sleep, but also great for waking you up way before you want to be awoken.

Enjoy the journey!
 

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The worst part of this is that the last tune you played is on a endless loop in your brain. And its never a good song!
 

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I listen to a different genre of music (or reruns of Art Bell) on my way home to cleanse the palette. No matter what I've been playing, after 3-4 hours I need a change!
 
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