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Matthew J. Edlund M.D.
Matthew J. Edlund M.D.

Please, Lady Gaga - Get Some Rest

Rest improves creativity, not just health

Please, Lady Gaga - Get Some Rest

Crisscrossing Europe, Lady Gaga halted a concert in Sweden to tell her fans she would not take time off despite exhaustion - "I'll sleep when I'm dead." Without apologies to Warren Zevon she continued, "I know I'm running myself into the ground, and that alcohol will kill me someday, but I would rather not die on vacation."
Lady Gaga, you got it all wrong. When it comes to writing and playing music and real creativity, sleep is not the enemy but your friend. In ways you may not yet appreciate, you can

Sleep Your Way to the Top:

1. Rest is not boring, it's incredibly active. You see your hair grow and your nails grow - but you don't see your brain grow. That's what happens during rest.
2. You need sleep for learning and memory - and creativity. Without sleep you don't lay down new memories and create new brain cells that help you write new music.
3. Booze is not just negative for survival, it really fouls up sleep and creativity. Even an ounce before bedtime can add 15-25 awakenings to your sleep, making you sluggish, tired, and slow.
4. Rest is exciting. If you learn the right kind of active rest techniques - and there's physical, mental, social and spiritual techniques to choose from - you may achieve totally different kinds of peak experiences very quickly.
5. Tea is great stuff, but use it at the right times. All that tea you drink may jack you up for a concert, but then leave you too wired to get the sleep you need to rebuild body and brain.

I don't expect you to believe me. You probably think you just don't have time to rest. It's not easy performing, running das Haus of Gaga and its extraordinary fashions, Gleefully making videos. No wonder you're exhausted.
So here's a proposed schedule for your very full twenty-four hour day:
1 AM Finish performing
1 AM - 4 AM Post-performance party. A good opportunity for social connection and social rest. Then -
4 AM Sleep in a comfy, cool, quiet place, so you can get the deep sleep and REM sleep you need to reorganize memory and come up with new songs, styles, and clothes
12 Midday - Wake up time. Perfect for getting on some interesting vintage duds. Then walk in sunlight, warming up your physiologically cold brain as you improve mood and immunity; see the book "Power of Rest," Harper One, 2010, for more
12:30 Breakfast
12:30 - 2 PM Planning the day; meeting with crew and work teams
2 PM - 4PM Connecting with members of das Haus of Gaga, other artists, producers, the media, reviewing new projects. Cool down afterward with physical and mental rest techniques like very cool, very fast paradoxical relaxation
4-6 PM Fittings, clothing and hair tryouts, stretches and physical workouts, meetings with friends
6 PM Dinner - lots of vegetables and fish for the hard night's work ahead. When you finish dining, leave a few minutes for spiritual rest techniques to get you excited about the coming night
7 PM A walk or dance to clear head and body. If you like you can try going FAR throughout the day - use the rhythm of Food - Activity -Rest (FAR) to help make life musical and keep your body healthy
8 PM Pre-performance power nap. Next some tea, at a time that helps you perform and not wreck later sleep.
9 PM A brief snack, followed by light exercise, including dancing at the Pre-Performance Party. Finish with paradoxical relaxation and other rest techniques to put you deep in the groove
10-1 On Stage
Rest for Success

Lady Gaga, you want to live on stage, not die on it. You want to write new music, create new fashions, when you can blow people's minds. So start by resting your way to success. With the right types of activity and rest you'll remake body and mind. Then you can do something truly fun - surpass yourself.

About the Author
Matthew J. Edlund M.D.

Matthew Edlund, M.D., researches rest, sleep, performance, and public health. He is the author of Healthy Without Health Insurance and The Power of Rest.

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