Who: Dan Shake, 30, DJ, London, England
Surprising Oura insight: Dan noticed that when his sleep schedule is in line with his chronotype during the week, he feels more energized, clear-headed, and relaxed, leading into his weekend shows.
Based in London, Dan Shake performs internationally as a DJ — which means he works late at night and travels a lot. As a result, his sleep schedule is anything but regular. For the past few years, he had struggled with sleep and felt the effects on his mood and energy.
After hearing about Oura from a friend who recommended it, he began to incorporate Oura into his routine to analyze his sleep and track his daily habits to understand which help, and which hurt.
Tell us about your schedule and how Oura fits in.
I’ve joked that I’m probably not Oura’s target market. You might think sleep tracking wouldn’t suit a DJ’s lifestyle, but Oura has given me so many insights and benefits – even with my unique sleeping pattern!
On weekends, I tend to have two or three shows. I’ll spend the day on Thursday or Friday traveling to the show. If I have time, I’ll nap before I go on. My set can start at any time of the night. Often, I finish at 6am and only have a few hours before I have to leave for the airport to go to the next destination. On Saturday, it’s the same again: travel, attempt to sleep on a plane, perform, and then go to bed for a few more hours.
During the week, I try to get myself into a better sleeping pattern, but it can be hard the first few nights back after late shows — and on Friday it starts all over again.
“You might think sleep tracking wouldn’t suit a DJ’s lifestyle, but Oura has given me so many insights and benefits – even with my unique sleeping pattern!”
However, I do take my health seriously. I’m aware of how vital sleep is for long-term health and how detrimental it can be if you don’t sleep enough — which led me to Oura.
What have you learned since using Oura?
1. I can still benefit from a consistent sleep schedule during the week, even if my weekend sleep is messed up!
Before using Oura, I would try to maintain my weekend sleeping pattern during the week – I’d stay up late and sleep during the day. Since Oura, I’ve been going to bed way earlier on weekdays, in line with my evening chronotype, aiming to sleep from midnight to 8am.
I’ve noticed that my energy levels are more consistent. I feel fresher in the morning and clear-headed. I don’t get as anxious as I might have before, which also influences how I feel on the weekend. Even though I sleep less on weekends, I feel like my routine in the week has made me feel more balanced and relaxed before shows.
2. I’m more active.
I like to make sure I’ve hit my daily activity goal and that I move every few hours. I can easily sit in a studio for hours and not realize I haven’t moved all day, so Oura’s inactivity alerts remind me to move regularly.
3. I’ve learned how certain foods and drinks impact my sleep.
In the first few months of using Oura, I logged my eating habits and alcohol intake using the Tags feature and a personal log on my phone. Some impacts were as expected: drinking coffee in the late afternoon reduced my sleep quality.
But there were some unexpected impacts too. I’ve noticed an association between eating white bread, sugary snacks, and even fruit and sleeping worse. I realized that these foods spike my blood sugar, which increases my sleep latency, making it harder to fall asleep. So now I don’t eat certain foods that I used to when I’m trying to wind down for bed.
“It’s all about balance. I can still enjoy the fun, but I’ve made sleep a priority!”
What advice do you have for other DJs or people in your industry when it comes to sleep?
Aside from everyone being night owls, I also notice a lot of people struggling with anxiety. Although the DJ lifestyle can be amazing, behind the scenes, it’s also very stressful. You’re performing in front of thousands of people weekly, and have constant pressure from agents, managers, and labels to push yourself.
This, combined with a lack of sleep, travel, and a lot of time being alone, can make it easy to fall into bad habits. I did it for years and felt the effects of burnout. It’s only in the last year or two that I’ve started to take my sleep and health more seriously, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference. It’s all about balance. I can still enjoy the fun, but I’ve made sleep a priority!
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