Music and sleep

Sleep and music
Image courtesy: www.pinterest.com

Image courtesy: www.pinterest.com

In a previous article of ours, we talked about sleep deprivation and about ways to cope with it, such as the use of adjustable beds or the consumption of specific food. But aside from what you taste or how you lay down, your sleep can be influenced by what you hear as well. And interestingly enough, music happens to have a consequent impact on the quality of your sleep.

Throughout the latest centuries, it has been discovered that music was a good and effective way to deal with sleep deprivation, to soothe down anxiety, and to even help one combat illness. Naturally, sleep issues happen to be another issue music could help with as people have noticed that it was easier for them to fall asleep after or while listening to relaxing music. Calm music may lead one to feel much more at peace, which is the ideal state of mind to have in order to achieve a good night of sleep.

Choosing the right type of music to sleep to

As you have probably already guessed, there are specific types of music to help you fall asleep. After all, you can’t really imagine yourself feeling sleepy when listening to heavy metal or any other kind of music that might be too up-lifting and energetic.
However, it is also absolutely true that music remains a matter of taste and choice, so you may want to listen to whatever you want to, as long as it helps you deal with your difficulty to fall asleep.
Nevertheless, here is a list of music we made to help you find fast what may work the best for you. But first of all, as we have stated before, note that you need to avoid your favorite songs at all costs. That is because such songs would either stimulate your thoughts or emotions too much, as you could link them with past events or memories that are either precious or negative to you. That will only keep your mind alert and awake as it would view and review all those scenes linked to such songs instead of relaxing and getting your body ready to sleep. In such cases, it is much better to opt instead for music that would quiet your brain. For instance:

– Nature sounds:

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Of course, sounds of nature like the sound of rain, of the ocean, of birds or of snow help soothing down your body as they are not only repetitive sounds, but the sole fact that they are purely natural calm down your guts. It is because us humans belong to Nature which we funnily-enough call « Mother Nature », which brings a sense of safety that instantly makes your brain comfortable.

Furthermore, the fact that such sounds are so repetitive is a good way to make you forget about your worries and your thoughts, which of course helps you fall asleep much faster.

– Classical music:

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Did you know that classical music was used in hospital to help heal the patients? Or that it was also used to help plants grow? Classical music has wonderful effects on living beings. And what is not so surprising anymore is that it also helps to overcome insomnia as it puts you to sleep much faster than you would expect it.
It goes without saying that you should of course avoid upbeat partitions or concertos that would stir up your emotions. You should instead opt for relaxing and slow compositions that would quiet your thoughts and calm your emotions down.

– Ambient music:

Ambient music is usually used by students when studying as it helps them disconnect from the outer world and focus instead on the task at hand. It is a bit like nature sounds as it consists of repetitive sounds without being disturbing or perturbing. So, typically, putting on some ambient music in your room even before you get into your bed is a good way for you to prepare your mind and body to sleep.

– Audiobooks and podcasts:

If you are one of those people who would rather listen to people talking instead of simple recurrent sounds, then don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you. Podcasts and audiobooks are also a good way to relax before you get in your bed. Just like music, people’s voices can also help distract you from your own disturbing thoughts, which makes you less prone to insomnia. Of course, it is useless to precise that you should avoid books with suspense and an interesting plot that may keep you awake instead of putting you to sleep.

However, after several studies, it has been discovered that audiobooks weren’t as effective as classical music or nature sounds, in the sense that letting them playing while you are asleep may disturb your sleep and interfere with your dreams, especially in the case of young people.

Regardless of that, older people can be assured that music or podcasts can be quite effective and can help them improve the quality of their sleep. Not only do they help one fall asleep faster, but they are also a good way to get sleep of a proper quality as they keep your brain and body soothed and relax throughout the whole night. 

How music makes you fall asleep

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Now, let’s see how music actually makes you fall asleep.

First and foremost, it has been discovered that music  helps lower you heart beat and slow your breathing. Classical music especially allows your nervous system to slow down and your blood pressure to drop a little bit. Music can also reduce the release of a stress hormone called noradrenalin that is usually heavily produced by patient suffering from insomnia.

Furthermore, music also helps you release those feel-good hormones such as dopamine which would put you in a good mood right before sleeping, thus erasing all those worrying thoughts that may keep you up at night.

Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that in order for music to work well on your sleep, you need to first get used to it. So even if you have a hard time the first days to fall asleep with music, you will see that with time, it will become much easier for you to join the dreaming world as your brain will have gotten used to music and will see it as a trigger to make you fall asleep.

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