Coffee and stress
Adrenalin pumping, hawk eyes on the conductor, eagle eyes on the sheet music, neurons squeezing out memory from rehearsal, empty stomach, no sleep and lots of caffeine.
Coffee and stress is what broad us physically up that stage and so this is usually the physical situation of a concert.
Some times we are blessed and enter a flow state where everything becomes easy, we don’t feel the sauna heat or north pole temperature, we become one with what we are doing. No thinking, just the moment, just the music, just the flow.
Any way it went, when it’s over, we have a problem! How do we come down from either state? Back to normal life and needs?
Another thing is the coming down frome coffee and stress after these events
Most of the times you go for dinner after the concert or rehearsal and that will get you to bed very late, because usually you will finish off with a nice drink somewhere and then head where you sleep or take a train and rest on the train.
I think you get where I’m going. This is fun once in a while and anti stress as well. Social relationships and time spend together is definitely also very valuable and will help your mood and health. BUT try to limit it, to find a compromise.
Way to go – how to manage in the long run
Maybe two times you bring your own light dinner and eat it during breaks (you will be surprised how many will follow your healthy example) one of those two times you have a drink with the others and then head home, the other time you go straight home.
Every third time you stay for dinner and do the whole ritual!
It definitely improves your overall sleeping hours and still keeps you socially active. Furthermore, will it improve your health and fitness, if you do not eat big meals and drink a lot every time after a concert.
The next day you will be able to play, because we always do, we are trained to play in our sleep!! But you will feel your neurons trying to keep each other awake and asking desperately for a break, or the magic word COFFEE!
Coffee and sleep
Coffee is a wonderful thing and it keeps your body alert, lessens pain and fatigue.
To some amount it can help prevent obstruction of blood flow. Also get it quicker to your brain, where the oxygen is needed. But your body can get used to it and react less all the time. I know many musicians, me included, who can just sleep off right after having a double espresso!
Well, who doesn’t love the coffee break in a practice or rehearsal session.
But it can also prevent our body from getting into the relaxed mood at night to go to sleep.
So caffeine can have an impact on our sleep if we drink much of it later in the day, if we are not yet used to it. Caffeine can do a better job if we do not abuse of it.
Real danger to sleep quality and health
In terms of sleep quality, however, what is actually much more dangerous are
nicotine and alcohol.
Researchers found that coffee does not have so much effect on our sleeping patterns and sleep quality as we can often hear. As long as we do not drink tons of it in the evening. Which, unfortunately I do.
Caffeine is a stimulant and can enhance stress symptoms as well, so the dosage of caffeine or tea-caffeine is very much depending on your own psychological well-being. We should avoid cigarettes and alcohol before sleep (especially).
One important comment on the coffee is: don’t sweeten it (too much, at least). It’s the sugar that will have a more damaging effect on your health than the caffeine.
Coffee and stress – what’s new?
Yeah, we know. It’s our life. So don’t come tell me it’s dangerous!!
Well, let us change what we can and add some good stuff : bananas, dark chocolate, lots of water, no sugar (as it will curve our attention further down than it has been in a short energy boost). And we can add to some level, dependent on our anxiety and stress state, black coffee and tea.
If you want to read more about food that enhances performance, have a click ——> food for musicians.
Never miss a good sleep though! Follow the advice on my article ———> lack of sleep and impact on performance.
If there is no other option, you will have to cut down your concerts, gigs and teaching sessions, travels and tours. And where do I get the money from?
I have listed some ways for musicians to design their new life style and accomplish paid work from home.
If you are interested have a look at what I propose: ———–> life design for musicians
Stay healthy my flute friends, eat and sleep and be happy!!!