How To Get A Proper Night’s Sleep For Voiceovers

Sleep is Underrated


My Nocturnal Hellscape

If you’re anything like me…then you are nothing like me. So that was dumb what I said.  Scratch that.

But if you are anything like yourself, you know you need a good night’s sleep.

For myself and my wife, we have two small humans living with us that seem to think that their bed is not their bed and that our bed is their bed and everything else that is ours is not ours and is actually theirs, including our sleep.  Our sleep is their sleep.  By that I mean that we do not sleep, because they own it and it is theirs.  Sorry, my italics key was accidentally locked there for a minute.

How this usually plays out is through late night (see: early morning) wake-ups wherein one, or both, of them will join us in our (see: their) bed, along with my wife, the cat, the dog, their overlarge stuffed animals, their blankies, and my ebbing will to live.  Other times this will entail them waking up because they are sick, and then proceeding to vomit on themselves, the floor, the walls, us, our (their) bed, life, the universe, and all matter everywhere.  I am reminded of this when I catch that faint whiff of throw-up stench that you just cannot ever seem to get out of the carpets.  So we will be moving soon, because my wife tells me that we apparently cannot sell children and can only sell our house instead.

So if you are looking for a house that smells faintly like throw-up, then dear reader: today is your lucky day.

On the rare occasions when we are not blessed with overpopulation in our (their) bed, my wife and I usually sleep like the following, and I have employed my fantastic and incomparable art skills to bring clarity to this matter:


No, I do not have a beak.  No, my wife is not Medusa.  Yes, our dog is made out of clip art. And no, we are not flipping each other off.  Please do not take the fact that we sleep on polar opposites of the bed lead you to believe that my wife and I do not love each other.  We do: in fact we just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary this past Thursday, which is a point in time where couples celebrate 3650 days of not killing each other with a hammer.

It's just that my wife and I have simply both come to the epiphany that sleeping close to each other may actually result in more small humans in our home, and our (their) bed cannot possibly hold any more of them, or the bed legs will buckle, sending all of us plummeting into a parallel universe where sleep is outlawed, Michael Bolton music reigns supreme, and cats are in charge, and unfortunately I would instantly be sent to prison there for hate crimes.

However, this is not the ideal sleeping position, as there are still far too many lifeforms on the bed.  This does not facilitate restful sleep conducive to voiceovers.  And neither does this example, which sometimes happens and serves to reinforce my distaste for all cats everywhere forever until the end of time:


As mentioned previously, sometimes we are subject to small humanoids crawling into bed with us, bringing so many items and luggage with them that my drawing now requires a legend.  Please observe how:

  • my wife has not moved
  • the dog was unable to tolerate the extra occupants and has now fled
  • my 6-year-old son’s leg is crossing over mine which is an invasion of my personal space
  • the cat is seemingly unconcerned that my oxygen levels are falling
  • my 2-year-old son is compelled to stretch out completely until everyone else is pushed completely off the bed
  • I am now unconsciously brandishing fists and preparing to harm small animals.


When this happens, the following is the only sensible thing to do:



A Good Night’s Sleep for Good Voiceovers

Maybe you sleep like this during the night:


Or, perhaps you sleep like this:


Or maybe you do not sleep and you look like an angry fist-brandishing Medusa.


However you sleep, make sure it is a full 7 to 9 hours.  Now, here is where I freely confess a little “do as I say, not as I do” syndrome, because I usually only manage five hours per night.  Again, I blame the small humans.  I am working on it, believe me.  WebMD stresses the following:

“Most adults need 7 to 9 hours, although some people may need as few as 6 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Older adults (ages 65 and older) need 7-8 hours of sleep each day. Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual. The Alexander family will never get sleep because of the two small humans who claim their parents’ bed as their own, and they should henceforth renounce any and all hopes for sleep ever period forever and ever amen.

I found WebMD's explanation curiously specific.

Above all, though, you should never ever ever sleep like this:


I know it is incredibly tempting to run out for every single little audition that may pay the rent or mortgage, no matter the time of day they land in your inbox.  Resist the urge.  You need your sleep.

So: once you have officially committed to sleep for the night, here is what the Pro's do:

  1. Take some anxiety medicine, like I do.  I know exactly where to find my anxiety medicine because they come in a package labeled "Jelly Beans."
  2. Turn off all lights
  3. Turn off your phone (or put it in sleep mode).  Alternatively, park your car tire over it and throw the keys in the lake.
  4. Move to a house that is near a lake.  (This is actually Step 1A).
  5. Lay down and try to sleep.
  6. Leave your phone to charge in a different room so that the temptation to check it for available jobs is precluded by the fact that you are sleeping naked and someone will undoubtedly point and laugh if you get up.
  7. Sleep naked (this is actually step 5A).

If however you find yourself tossing and turning, growing angrier by the minute, and feeling as though you are about to harm small animals, I have a cat you can borrow.

Voiceovers are important.  Sleep is important.  Good sleep before good voiceovers is important.

You are welcome.  Now please go to bed so that I can get all the jobs you will not be auditioning for because you are naked.  *points and laughs*


PS, I stand with Ukraine.  Do you?




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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire
[email protected]


33 thoughts on “How To Get A Proper Night’s Sleep For Voiceovers”

  1. Josh, I found this blog post curiously satisfying. I applaud your use of such advanced graphics to academically explain the various vagaries of nocturnal repose.

    Please do not dispatch your cat just because she lays on your throat while sleeping. As a cat expert, I can comfort you with the knowledge that she loves you and is merely monitoring your air intake in case you cease breathing so she may instantly rush to resuscitate you by scratching your face and/or eyes. This is a standard way cats show affection and is in no way related to wanting to know the instant you die because they prefer fresh meat.

    Your post was also curiously timed. I was told by the health app on my phone this morning that I average 5.38 hours of sleep a night, including weekends. And that is without extra humans sharing my space. My heart goes out to you.

    1. SLEEP! What does it even mean?!?!? I don’t know, my friend. What I DO know is that for the past few weeks I’ve been waking up here and there at around 2am and NOT FALLING BACK ASLEEP! The other night it was driving me so mad I decided to watch something serene and peaceful in order to lull me back to sleep. I chose “Logan.” 🙂

      1. You may want to check your Vitamin D levels, or take a magnesium supplement. In consultation with your doctor, of course.

        1. Checking. *pause*. Vitamin D levels report extreme deficiency. Big surprise. Once again, I blame the cat. And the kids. And other things. *reserves the right to add to blame list later.*

  2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! i have never read a blog that had so much crazy stick figure art. NICEly done josh. Sorry youre losing sleep! I can only imaging what’s going to happen to that cat eventually !! MEOW THUD!!!

  3. I think you may be the new L. S. Lowry. The artwork is sublime!
    Oh, how I remember the days of kids in the bed and no sleep. Soooooo glad that is in the past. Mmmmmmm, wait a minute, was that a grandchild I had in my bed this weekend. DOH!

    1. Good times, eh? Yes…my favorite is how Asher loves to stretch his limbs completely out…all four of them…until everyone but he is smushed up against the wall in our own ooze…or falling off each side of the bed. We have a picture in a photo booth at the Puyallup Fair from a few years ago where he is doing that in his waking hours as well. Little space hog!

  4. My pastor said, in a sermon last week, that every hour of sleep before midnight is the equivalent of two hours of sleep after mid-night! That said, I still don’t get enough sleep….. like last night, it took me FOREVER to fall asleep!

  5. Haha, I fight to get to bed on time just to get 7. Because data is so expensive, I have to do a lot on night data, which means going to sleep early and getting up before the sun – take that sun – and the band too! hahaha!
    Thankfully, I have managed to strike a balance of getting some solid Z’s, but it’s hard, it really is. I can’t even imagine your setup – despite the art. I’d have thrown a few tantrums and taken to the couch many moons ago, LOL. Little story; in the second to last place we stayed, we had the WORST stairs in existence. My dog couldn’t climb them and he was getting sicker by the day and didn’t want me carrying him upstairs (which I get today). Anyway, that meant sleeping downstairs, on, you guessed it, the couch!! lol. I think it was for about 4-6months I slept on the couch. Would do it again if my Doodles (not referring to art, LOL) required it! I made that thing up to sleep just as comfy as my actual bed – minks make a fantastic mattress!

    Hope you manage to find more Z’s. Catch a falling Z and put it in your pillowcase – never let it fade away – they sure won’t, LOL. Seriously, hope you get more sleep! 😀

    1. Thank you Marius! Yeah, for whatever reason I’ve been waking up consistently around 2 or 3 each morning and it’s nearly impossible to fall back asleep. I just can’t put my finger on the reason. Hmmm.

      [ wait for it ]


          1. Haha, we all do. Just sometimes I get this thing to pray for people for something very specific and small, but that does mean a lot, and HE usually does those and fast too. I think it’s simply to show HE cares about all of it and HE sees.
            LOL, yeah, words of knowledge have never been a strong gift with me. Not in that sense anyway. Technical stuff, like how to build complex node setups, that functions well, but eh, lol. I think it’s because of my dependence on HIM in that area and the practice that has gone along with that. We grow!
            Speaking of, how has the sleep gone the passed few days?

          2. That’s awesome And I was kidding. I know…I have a hardline to Him too…we all do. Prayer is our hardline to the Father…through the Name of His Son…bringing our cares and needs before Him. I have a morning hot tub devotional nearly every morning and that’s my time of prayer and petition. And it’s not going well, brother. Awake at 2am this morning again and just couldn’t fall back asleep. Might be Might be time for some melatonin. Ya know, or someone to knock me out.

  6. I love your art work, Josh! As for the little ones who won’t let you sleep, I’ve been there. But enjoy having them in your bed because soon enough, they will be all grown up. The barf we can all do without though…

    And yes, I stand with Ukraine!

    1. This is true! And there are actually miracle solvents able to MOSTLY cover it up. It’s just the chunks now that we still have the pleasure of extracting. 🙂 Oh, have I said too much? And yes…we do relish these times actually. They are such snugglebugs…when they want to snuggle that is, and not simply smush us off the bed.

    1. Hahaha! That’s pretty funny. Ya know, just the other day, I…

      ***looks Kristina directly in the eye***

      Help…meeee….gaaahhhhhh…crackle…petrifaction sounds***


  7. Aawwwww, I miss having those widdle baby people snuggling up in bed with me, awwwwwww.

    Now I just get the cat on the rug next to my side of the bed (she KNOWS she is not allowed ON the bed!) waking up at all hours to lick herself as if the very universe depended upon the loudness and ferocity of her licking. Ughhh. Cats.

    1. Right? Yes I love having the kids in there when I’ve ALREADY had a good night of sleep. Not the case lately. And yes! I never told you, but in high school choir we sang an eerie prognostication song with the line, “Cats are waiting to take over the world.” I am not excited about this forecast.

  8. Joshua, I AM the angry fist-brandishing Medusa. Or, I was… Until I recorded and delivered my latest VO job just now… Now, time to turn the lights off, get cold (specialists suggest sleeping at a temperature of 18.3 deg Centigrade – I’m currently feeling cold in a room that’s set to be air-conditioned at 27 degrees), as I fall asleep.

    Having said that, I should say that I am on your team about trying to get enough sleep, but that I don’t get enough… and worse! I don’t get it at a regular time.

    I just came here to tell everyone, that sleeping at the same time every day is as important as getting enough sleep.

    I try to do as I say, but I end up not doing as you say (did I get that right?).

    So, it’s time to turn off my computer, the lights, and my consciousness as I put an end to this 32 hours of awake-ness.

    PS: thank you for this wonderful post of yours. I completely embodies the feeling of being awake too long.

    PPS: I may come back and delete this comment later. Enjoy it while you can.

    1. I have now placed a lock on your comments so they may not be in any way deleted. This lock will expire after your next 32 hours of awakeness. Enjoy the coffee. PS, please always do as I say that I meant what I said and not what I said that I meant that I did what I should do, as I said. Got it?

  9. I literally guffaw out loud reading these! Thanks for the morning chuckles and helping me to keep it all in balance. I seriously love your humor!!!! Amanda

  10. Isn’t it peculiar how beds appear to defy logic and general physics? Somehow beds seem to accommodate more items and creatures than can fit inside of a home’s space. Yet, on this bed – a space within that space, it all appears to fit. Moreso when you need that sleep.

    Happy 10 year!!!

    1. It defies logic indeed! Now if only I had the physique of a stick figure man. Then I wouldn’t care so much. In fact, this blog probably would not have been written, because there would be no issue! I could slither on and off the bed like a string, and so could my wife and pets and children: not bothering and not being bothered. O to be like string. But alas, I’m a frayed knot. 🙂

  11. And this is exactly why my wife and I instituted a no human under the age of [insert wife’s current age here] rule! On the rare occasion the little miss does enter our room pre-wake-up time, she gets an escorted walk back to her (read: her) bed, a quick check to make sure she’s ok, and a pat on the head night night. Thankfully, she’s a pretty heavy sleeper—at least until 10 minutes before my alarm is meant to go off—so it doesn’t happen too often.

    Of course, ll of that is a moot point, as I’m typically auditioning/recording at night due to my recording space/budget constraints in this season of life. Now I understand your encouraging comment to “GO TO BED” on my Burning the Midnight Oil blog post. Some day I’ll have a more regulated schedule, work flow, life, etc.

    Oh, and something completely unrelated, can I call dibs on all of your VO work/clients when you change to graphic design/comic book illustration? You’re clearly very talented, so you should probably pursue that and help a brother out… *big grin and doe eyes*

    1. *waves hand* “You don’t need to have my voiceover jobs. Graphic design isn’t the career I’m looking for. You can go about your business with your doe eyes. Move along.”

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