The night before a big audition comes with a terrible catch-22: You know you need to get a good night's sleep to be on top of your game in the morning, but with all of the anxiety and nerves coursing through your body, it becomes nearly impossible to nod off.
What can you do? Here are 5 surefire steps for getting on the express train to Dreamland.
1. Turn off the laptop/iPad/TV/tablet/iScreenThing. The light emitted from screens fools your body into thinking it's still daytime, messing with your natural circadian rhythm.
2. Eat a varied diet. Researchers recently found that getting a range of nutrients was crucial to nabbing a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
3. Don't smoke. Since nicotine is a stimulant, it can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. Also avoid caffeine and alcohol in the five hours before bedtime—both can mess with your sleep cycle.
4. Take a hot shower or bath. The drop in body temperature after you get out naturally makes you sleepy.
5. If your mind's racing through "what-if" audition nightmares, get up and write them down. Sleep experts say that putting your worries down on paper will minimize them, and expunge them from your system so your mind can let go.