Fast track your vocal development with daily habits for better singing – Sleep, Hydration and Nutrition.
Improve your confidence in your voice by making sure that your body, (which houses your instrument), is well looked after.
Starting with these three key elements and improving each one in small 1% increments adds up over the long run.
In this video I review the Daily Habits for Better Singing:
- 01:27 – Sleep
- 03:15 – Hydration
- 04:48 – Nutrition
Daily Habits for Better Singing: Sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep for your body is essential for all singers. Sleep supports cognitive brain function, increases energy levels, repairs and rejuvenates your whole body and in turn, your voice.
Aim for seven to nine hours but some people require more. It’s something that you can track with your smartphone or a tool like a FitBit.
I love my Fitbit to track my sleeping patterns. You can get an app that syncs with your Fitbit and it gives you a sleep score.
Consistent sleep can be challenging to maintain if you’re on tour or do shift work.
I don’t want you to get hung up on the fact that you need to go to bed or wake up at a certain time each day.
In an ideal world, that would be optimum, however, depending on the season of life you are in, you just need to roll with it.
When I’m on tour, I often have very little sleep, so I might need a “disco nap” to make up for the sleep that I might have lost from a late night to an early start.
The bottom line is, I’m aiming for seven hours overall. Firstly, figure how many hours you need and let’s aim to hit that.
Daily Habits for Better Singing: Hydration
Hydration is a must for vocal folds to work well. Decide on how much water you need to drink to stay hydrated.
To work this out, I use a very generous hydration calculation of 0.03 x (your body weight in kg) = litres of water to drink.
This is a very athlete focused calculation and I believe singers are athletes!
Now, if you’re eating a lot of fruits and vegetables that have a high water content, you will get a percentage of that amount taken care of from food, however, aim towards getting that particular amount of water daily.
Use a water bottle that you know the volume of and aim for as many of those that helps you meet your target.
There are also a ton of apps that you can pop on your phone that can help you to track your water. I use Water Minder.
Daily Habits for Better Singing: Nutrition
When we look at nutrition, you have to do what’s right for your body.
What I’m mindful of are the elements of nutrition that might trigger any adverse effects in your body and make it a little harder to sing.
- Dairy – For some people, dairy really triggers excess phlegm, but not all people.
Monitor your dairy intake. You can use dairy alternatives or be mindful in the three days leading up to an important performance and remove those triggers from your diet.
- Acidic or Spicy foods – You might find eating anything that’s too spicy or too acidic can cause reflux.
Reflux are gastric acids that can move up your esophagus and touch your vocal folds.
To minimise reflux, avoid eating those kinds of foods too close to bedtime or when planning to lie down.
If you find yourself in that situation, just prop yourself up on a couple of pillows. Hopefully that will mitigate any potential reflux that you do have.
If you suffer from something more serious, like GERD you may have been advised by your medical professional to take antacids to balance pH levels.
Keep a Vocal Journal
Occasionally we don’t even know we have reflux. This is called silent reflux.
You’ll find that particularly when you wake in the morning, you might notice a little bit of rasp to your voice that you might think is just you and your voice waking up.
Think back over the last few days about the food that you’ve been eating, if there’s been anything particularly acidic, particularly spicy, or dairy and anything else that you know triggers you.
Try eliminating these foods from your diet when you’ve got no gigs so you can test out and document any changes.
Track and write it down in your vocal journal to see what patterns jump out at you.
Use this information to inform you of which nutritional elements support or challenge your vocal health.
You’ll be more intentional about keeping your nutrition on point so that it supports efficient singing and pretty much just good living.
If you have any questions about sleep, hydration or nutrition and how they impact the singing voice, comment below.
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