Happiness, testosterone and great performances

Testosterone, that famous anabolic steroid, is closely linked to performance, muscle growth and energy. Testosterone is closely linked to confidence, creativity, focus and memory. It is important to peak performance for both men and women. If you can get your testosterone levels higher, then your performance on trumpet, both physically and mentally, will be better. How can we boost the natural testosterone that is so beneficial to us?

The first, and perhaps most effective, is getting more sleep. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep. The more sleep you can get, the higher your testosterone levels. Also, try to keep your weight low for optimal levels of testosterone.

After sleep, we each respond, in terms of our testosterone, to other kinds of events in different ways. So, we need to develop our own individual approach.

Some benefit from running, weight-lifting, or some other kind of exercise. Some benefit from interaction with their friends, especially after high-stress activities like work or academic testing. You can test your own testosterone levels with a salivary test, but it is very expensive if you are trying to tweak your pre-performance testosterone levels with a wide variety of possible activities.

But the good news is that you probably don’t need to get expensive testing. In general, there is a direct correlation between testosterone levels and a feeling of happiness and confidence. If you keep a trumpet journal, keep track of your own perceived happiness levels after you try different pre-performance routine. You might also want to ask your close friends (especially if you have a practice buddy), what they perceive your happiness level to be. If you consistently write your results down, you will eventually be able to zero-in on your optimal testosterone-boosting pre-performance ritual.

There are many dubious, somewhat-dubious, or poorly-written articles on ways to boost your testosterone. Read them at your own risk. Here are some of my take-aways from my research on boosting your testosterone:

  1. Reduce your alcohol, caffeine, smoking, sugar and simple carbs.
  2. Increase your green veggies, protein, healthy fat (like coconut oil and olive oil), vitamin D.
  3. Lift weights, do bodyweight exercises, run sprints, walk, do martial arts, reduce your weight.
  4. Get lots of sleep, sunlight, have conversations with positive people, have training or trumpet buddies.
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How important is sleep?

Sleep seems to slip by as a sort of luxury that ambitious people (for instance, trumpeters wanting to win a job) have to do without. And yet, study after study points to the importance of getting good sleep, so that you can perform BETTER. Athletes have been shown to perform 6%-9% better with one more hour of sleep than normal. Students perform better and doctors make better decisions with more sleep. Did you know that about 65% of Americans do not get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day? Sleep–especially the REM cycle in the early hours of the morning–rejuvenates the body and mind.

What is the mind doing during sleep? It is encoding the experiences of your day, including your practice sessions, lessons, rehearsals and concerts, that you experienced during the day. Your mind on sleep is doing the big job of transferring these experiences into long-term memories. Do you want to memorize better? Get your sleep. Do you want to finger a tricky passage with more confidence? Get more sleep. Do you want to be a stronger trumpeter with more high notes? Get your sleep.

Do you want to be a happier trumpeter? Get your sleep!

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