Jewel Gives Her Own Sleep Tips

Q: In one of your tweets you referred to your insomnia. Is that an ongoing thing, or tour-related?

JEWEL: I’ve toured all my life, so it’s hard to separate the two. It happens to me at home, also. It’s rare that I’m at home long enough to get into a routine. I’m a very light sleeper anyway.

Q: Is that something all entertainers deal with while on tour?

JEWEL: Yeah, I think so. It’s something musicians talk about a lot.

Q: Where do you sleep while on tour? On the bus or in hotels?

JEWEL: I sleep on the bus. We’ll all be asleep as we drive to the next town, except the driver, obviously! If there’s a city with a nice hotel, I’ll go in. But you get tired of packing and unpacking your stuff all the time.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve gotten about sleeping, and who gave it?

JEWEL: There are a couple of things I learned over the years. I learned from my friend Ellen Tart to get direct sunlight in the morning. I found that can become really effective, helps set your body clock. I tend to like to get up in the morning and go for a run outside. Another good tip came from my old tour manager Keith Anderson, who said to assume the time zone of wherever you are. So I always live in the local time, no matter what.

Q: Do you ever take naps?

JEWEL: Not typically, no. I have a pretty active mind, so it’s hard enough getting to sleep at night as it is. I also believe in sleeping in cold rooms at night. Like Arctic cold.

Q: Do you listen to music before sleeping? Read a book?

JEWEL: I’m probably the opposite of most other people. My business is words, and phrasing. Listening to music is kind of like going to the office for me. I tend to dissect all the music I hear. When I read, I tend to get more stimulated. And I can’t watch anything popular on TV, without trying to critique the writing, so I try to watch things that are formulaic, like “Forensic Files.” Nothing like a little murder and blood evidence to fall asleep!

Q: Do you use ear plugs or eye shades?

JEWEL: It’s funny, I live on a 2,000 acre ranch and there’s no noise. But I sleep with ear plugs and a mask. Yeah, I know. Really sexy. But I can actually hear the refrigerator clicking on. I’m so sensitive to sound I even have to unplug the TV. I can hear an electrical hum even when it’s not on. It’s nuts!

Q: Do either you or [husband] Ty snore?

JEWEL: Nope, luckily. That would have been a really rough thing. Ty sleeps like a baby, all the time.

Q: Do you have a special pillow or stuffed animal? Or maybe sleep with a pet?

JEWEL: I sleep with my little Shih Tzu, George. He’s like an animated teddy bear. He’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I take him everywhere.

Q: How much do you sleep each night?

JEWEL: It just really varies. My ideal amount is eight hours, but my schedule changes every day. Sometimes it’s maybe four, and I’m lucky to get that.

Q: Do you sleep on your back? Side? Stomach?

JEWEL: I don’t know. I turn around a lot. My side, I guess. What does that say about me? Can you read positions a person sleeps in like tea leaves?

Q: Beats us. That’s one of those things psychoanalysis could answer, but maybe you wouldn’t want to know. Speaking of that, do you dream?

JEWEL: I dream when I’m falling asleep and when I’m waking. It frustrates me that I can’t write music as fluidly when I’m awake as I can when I’m dreaming.

Q: Can you suggest any recently released CDs that might help people sleep?

JEWEL: Why, yes, I can! I actually wrote “Lullaby” for that reason. I’d been writing them for myself for quite some time. When I was homeless, I was afraid to fall asleep on the street, so writing myself lullabies was a mechanical way to make myself relax. “Lullaby” is a mood album for folks to unwind to at night after a long day at work, but I’ve heard a lot of folks are using the CD during traffic hour, too!

Q: Not to sleep, hopefully.

JEWEL: [Laughs]. Nope, just to ward off road rage!