Plan your sleep as precisely as your work. It may sound really strange on a audio related blog, but read on, I guarantee that it’s worth. Yes, even sleep is deeply connected to our job, or to be more precise, many times, the lack of. Sleep deprivation is common when overly tight deadlines approaching.
No need for sleep
Many think that sleep is a kind of human behaviour which is a defective side effect of our existence, and sleep deprivation can lead to more work done. Some even like to brag how little he/she slept over the last few days/weeks.
But is it true? Does sleep deprivation makes you stronger? Does it let you to do more work? Or even on a more serious note, is it healthy?
Well, we can’t argue that sometimes less sleep equals to more work, which eventually means that you do more edit/mix/sound design.
Some even say that they feel more productive when they sleep less. But be aware that there are serious pitfalls!
Effects of sleep deprivation
While you may feel more productive, more strong after some sleep deprived days, it seems that it’s almost only you who thinks that. It is almost the same effect as when drunk people try to drive a car and they definitely think they could win a Formula 1 race. Our problem is much less dangerous in short run, as no one will get hurt by it. No one, but your job might be affected quite seriously.
Let’s see what are the symptoms:
- Your brain will start to crave for the most probable and fastest solution. While this might sound like a brilliant thing, it means that without your conscience decision your brain will drop many many creative ideas and solutions and makes you focus on the target, without serious alternate paths. This means exactly that: you loose creative power. And as you become more sleep deprived, your brain will try to compensate even harder, so in real life, you become much less creative.
- Lack of judgement. First it may not be that serious, but even after a few days, your judgement is compromised quite heavily. For example in a mix session you may think you have brilliant ideas and solutions but as others might check your work, they recognise that it is full of bad decisions and wrong paths. This is true both creatively and mix wise. Add too much or too little highs or lows, over-compress certain things, miss obvious bad edits or fades, etc. I think you get the idea.
- Loss of precision. Post people are usually extremely organised and precise in their jobs. Nobody want to miss and edit, every little detail have to be perfect. Bad news, with less than optimal sleep, you’ll loose more and more of these minute details, which eventually means that the quality of your work suffers. While some might endure sleep deprivation better than others, everyone is affected no matter what he/she thinks.
- Distractions. Every little thing, even very tiny things can distract you, which again, means less precision, more bad edits or mix decisions. In extreme cases it can go such a long way as even your well-known equipment can become and obstacle, and as we all know, if you fight the equipment, you cannot do a brilliant job.
These are just a few examples of the side-effects of sleep deprivation. Remember? First you might thought that this article has nothing to do with sound, but as you can see now, although not directly, it is very much sound related. Probably the most dangerous thing is that these things are happening to everyone whether the person is aware of it or not. So while it is mandatory to keep the deadlines and get the job done, it is in your best interest to sleep well and have a fresh brain. And the aforementioned examples are only focusing on our vocation, but as we all know, these things can seriously affect your health in the long run. To summarise it, I share a brilliant TED video, where Russel Foster very eloquently and professionally explain why proper sleep is necessary for all of us.