You turn off the lights, pull the comforter up to your chin, and close your eyes with a sigh. It is at this point your brain decides to go into overdrive and your thoughts begin to race, keeping you awake into all hours of the night. If you are one of the many Aussies who experience this and crave a good night’s rest, perhaps you should give sleep music a listen.
Sleep deprivation ruins not only your night but the following day as well. You’ll find yourself struggling to get through your daily activities when you haven’t slept well the previous night.
But does music have the answer? Using a special kind of sleep music may just help your mind relax and put you in a better space. Read on to find out more.
What is sleep music?
One of the primary reasons you may be struggling to fall asleep is that you are extra sensitive to stimuli. This means that anything can disturb you and cause your mind to become awake and restless.
Sleep music has a gentle baseline of rhythm and melody and does not vary too much. It drowns out other stimuli and wards off mental disturbances, thereby relaxing you enough that you doze off. The best sleeping music is able to drown out external sounds and put you into a state of relaxation. Without the intrusion of noises, your brain can calm down and let your body prepare for sleep.
Which is the best sleeping music?
There isn’t a definitive list of the best sleeping music just as there is no list for the best music in general because music tastes are highly personal. Your choice of sleep music might vary drastically from the person sleeping next to you.
When it comes to choosing sleep music, you should go with something that relaxes you and lets your mind wander off. What is soothing to you may be jarring for someone else, but the most effective way to find out is to experiment. The best sleeping music is music that you enjoy because that will put you in a peaceful mood.
What kind of music is classified as sleep music?
For some listeners, a repetitive rhythm creates a relaxed sleeping environment while others prefer a combination of instruments and natural sounds. For some, white noise that is inspired by nature – for example, a rain storm or the sounds on a beach – may induce sleep.
The general consensus is that slow music or low tempo music which is not beat- or bass-heavy is the best sleeping music. However the same may not be true for you because individual tastes and preferences are different for sleep music.
But no matter what kind of music you choose, the best sleeping music is that which brings about a relaxed and soothed state of mind for you.
If you’re not sure what kind of music to look for, try describing it in these words to find the best sleeping music for you:
What are the benefits of sleep music?
While science still struggles to understand sleep, it knows for sure that we need sleep and we need a lot of it. It is believed that sleep allows the body to recuperate from the exertions and injuries of the day while the brain is able to process emotions and experiences and rewire itself in preparation for a new day.
The relationship between sleep and our physical and mental health is apparent and using sleep music is one way of ensuring that the mind and body are running optimally and functioning effectively.
Some of the benefits that are associated with sleep can be indirectly attributed to sleep music. The best sleeping music is known to bring about the following benefits:
- Boosts the immune system
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Induce growth and healing within mind and body
- Control appetite and hence manage healthy weight
- Improve mental health and promote emotional balance
- Boost attention span, memory and learning
Sleep music is one of the best ways to help get a better night’s sleep. It is entirely free of side effects and is easy to use.
What does science say about sleep music?
According to neuroscience, it is hard to quantify the effect of sleep music on individuals because of the personal relationship with music. However it has been established that when we hear music that we love, our brain is flooded with dopamine or a feel-good hormone.
Listening to sleep music that you like before going to bed can make you feel good, which is critical in ensuring relaxation and promoting a good night of sleep. In fact a study by the Semmelweis University in Budapest indicates how sleep music can play a vital role in mitigating sleep related issues and problems.
Why does sleep music work like this?
Music is one of the most effective forms of human art when it comes to reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Both factors are vital for sleep music as it lulls you into a mood of relaxation.
According to this study most people find that natural sounds are the ideal type of sleep music. Natural sounds work on the autonomic nervous system to bring about a sense of relaxation, but pre-recorded sounds and sleep music can have an equally powerful effect.
Daniel Levitin, a musician turned neuroscientist has heaped immense praise on sleep music. In his New York Times bestseller This is Your Brain on Music he says that sleep music has a profound impact on our mood. According to him, music has the ability to do things that language simply cannot. It can loosen up the most uptight individual and reduce stress after a fight or disagreement when words simply are not enough.
This ability of music to relax and soothe forms the underlying mechanism of sleep music.
Still not getting enough sleep?
The quality and quantity of your sleep depends on your mental and physical health. You should have tranquil mind and a relaxed body to get the best sleep.
Sleep music is an aid to help you sleep better and you can use it when needed, with no side effects. However you may like to combine sleep music with these other helpful ways to relax before bedtime:
Food and beverages: Drink a cup of herbal tea like chamomile to help you unwind. Avoid stimulants like alcohol or caffeine for a few hours before bedtime.
Mindfulness: Try sleep meditation or a simple mindfulness exercise to calm the mind. Did you know that sleep meditation for kids is a great way to make bedtime easier?
Physical aids: If you are easily disturbed by light and noise, buy blackout curtains for your room and invest in a good sleeping mask and ear plugs.
Turn tech off: One of the biggest culprits when it comes to missing out on sleep are our smartphones. The blue light from the screen and the constant notifications and pings can keep your mind alert and disturb your sleep even when it is just sitting on your bedside table. Try leaving your phone on silent or keeping it in a different room at night. Instead of scrolling, try reading a book before bedtime.
Set the atmosphere: Evaluate the comfort of your bedroom and your bed. Is your comforter too warm? Do you and your partner pull the covers off each other? Are the reading lights too bright? Is the room so cluttered that you feel anxious when you are inside? Is your mattress uncomfortable? By making small changes like adding a dimmer to your bedroom lights, you’ll be setting up a better night for yourself.
Sleep music is a great way to put yourself in the mood for sleep. You might also be interested in our post on How to Fall Asleep Faster.
If emotional worries are distracting you and interfering with your sleep, you may need to find a counselor. However if you still struggle with insomnia and find yourself tossing and turning in bed, it is best to consult your medical practitioner to rule out any health problems.