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Superstar DJ Steve Aoki explains how he gets by on 3-4 hours of sleep a night


Music superstar, producer, and DJ Steve Aoki is one of hardest working professionals in the music industry. As proof, in 2014 he was given a Guinness World Record for “most traveled musician in one year.” He’s also known for getting very little sleep and even has “I’LL SLEEP WHEN I’M DEAD” tattooed on his neck. We asked him how he’s able to work so hard, sleep so little, and not burn out.

Aoki’s new album “Steve Aoki Presents Kolony” is out on July 17.

The following is a transcript of the video: 

So I’m literally on the road for 300 days of the year. My schedule is pretty grueling. I tour, on average, between 230 to 250 shows a year. Every single year. When we do, let’s say, 250 shows … we’re adding in 50 more dates of just travel dates. So I’m literally on the road for 300 days of the year.

Like I never get 8 hours. ‘Cause it’s really difficult to find like an adequate amount of sleep. And I know that’s like your … that’s what you should be getting, 8 hours. So, you know, repair your brain. So your brain works properly and you repair your muscles and stuff like that. But on average I probably get … it’s more like maybe 3 to 4 hours. Sometimes less.

Whenever I can … I nap. So in transportation … I’m napping. I can nap, you know,  literally standing up. And when you’re on the road with me you have to learn how to nap anywhere because we are, we are, like a moving train that just doesn’t stop.

And I have to ask myself the question I guess, like, “How do I go without burning out?” That’s … it takes me a while to really think about that answer. I train my brain to accept that the road is my home, instead of the road is not my home. It’s just a mental thing everything’s mental. Actually, everything starts right here. And if you can control that, you …  then you don’t get burnt out. And you have better discipline.  

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