Music plays a lot of roles in our daily lives. Be it for leisure or for helping you pass time while working, a lot of us probably can’t imagine a world without music.
Another good purpose of music is that it has been discovered to be of great help for those who find it difficult to fall asleep. For many people, music creates a relaxing environment which helps them fall asleep easily.
If for some reason you find it difficult to relax and sleep, you’re about to find out how sleep music can help you rest and sleep soundly.
We’ll look at what happens to your body when you sleep with music, how sleep music can be of help to those struggling with insomnia and yes, we will recommend some playlists that you can try.
What Music Does To The Body
Music is a wonderful and powerful tool that has continuously played a role in daily performance, emotional health and sleep. It has powerful and diverse effects on the mind and body, influencing breathing and heart rate.
Music has its own way of triggering the release of hormones, stimulating the immune system and boosting the brain’s cognitive and emotional centers. The feeling of pleasure that floods the mind at the sound of a favorite song is one that we are all familiar with.
There are different responses to music all varying with every individual. This is why there exist different preferences for different kinds of music; classical, R&B, pop, and so on. Here are some other things that music does to the body that you might find interesting:
- Triggers the memory center
- Music triggers the hippocampus which is the center for processing memories and is in charge of long term memory storage. This is why music from the past can help you re-enact memories. A song can help you bring back fond memories of the past.
- Boosts serotonin levels
- The hormone serotonin creates the feeling of “happiness”
- Relaxing music boosts the release of this hormone and creates that feeling of pleasure that lightens the mood.
- Slows heart rate and lowers the blood pressure
- Music triggers many physiological changes in the body that mimics sleep. Some of those changes include slowing the heart rate and reducing the blood pressure which helps you fall asleep easily and stay asleep. This is why soothing sleep music can be such a helpful tool for people suffering from insomnia.
How Sleep Music Can Improve Sleep
A lot of scientific studies have been done on sleep music and its effect on sleep in humans as well as how sleep music can help an insomniac. Relaxing music has a tool for sleep could do the following:
- Lower blood pressure
- Slow breathing
- Lower heart rate
- Ease muscle tension
- Reduce stress and relieve anxiety
- Reduce sleep inhibiting hormones like Cortisol
- Trigger release of sleep-aiding hormones like oxytocin and serotonin
- Quieten the nervous system
All these are very necessary for you to feel relaxed enough to drift into sleep and stay asleep. The right music can have a soothing effect on the brain and help relieve stress and anxiety, which are the hallmarks of insomnia.
Listening to music before bed helps improve sleep quality. Research on men undergoing medical treatments like surgery has shown that sleep music can lower anxiety significantly in them more effectively than prescription drugs.
That all said, we all have different tastes in music. The choice of music that works for someone else may not work for you too, and vice versa. It’s important to find the type of music that you like and is most relaxing for you.
A large percent of the male population suffers from one sleep disorder or another. Sleep deprivation means that your body is not getting the right or adequate sleep you need to function properly every day. If you always wake up tired and spend the whole day long for your bed, then you may not be getting the right amount of sleep you need.
Recent research suggests that men who work night shift (starting at 6 pm or ending at 7 am) are at increased risk of many diseases. Anxiety, pain, and sleep disorders are often listed as causes of sleep deprivation in men.
There are so many other reasons why you’re not sleeping enough. It could range from long working hours or a heavy workload, staying out late to even eating and drinking a lot close to your bedtime.
Whatever your reason for not being able to sleep enough, it’s important to identify it and make the necessary lifestyle changes to remedy it. Getting enough sleep is all about cultivating that habit and adjusting your body clock to sleep and wake up at the right times.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder that has become a global issue. Even though research results insist that more women suffer from insomnia than men, statistics still show that quite a large population of men struggle with insomnia of varying degrees and causes.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by:
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Waking up a lot during the night
- Waking up too early in the morning and finding it difficult to get back to sleep
- Sleep problems lasting at least one month
- Waking up tired and not feeling rested
Men who have this problem also have a hard time concentrating or paying attention. They always feel irritable or grumpy. They might often get aches and pains and do not feel well physically.
Insomnia makes it difficult to complete routine tasks like going to work, taking the kids to school and even taking care of yourself.
Short term insomnia can occur due to the following:
- You have something in your life bothering you like; a breakup, financial crisis, family disagreements, a query from your boss and so on.
- You may be trying to adjust to a new environment, new job, and so on.
- You may be working on a new project.
- Overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol.
Long term insomnia can be caused by:
- Poor sleep hygiene or habits
- Worrying about your inability to sleep
- Alcohol and illegal drugs
- Certain medications
- Difficulty in sleeping may be common for people in a particular family
- Medical conditions or illnesses that make sleeping difficult
Sleep Music And Insomnia
Insomnia opens the door for heart diseases, depression, anxiety and poor general performance in men. Coping with insomnia is a nightmare that most men would do anything to wake up from.
Research has shown that men handle insomnia worse than women and research results have continued to throw more light on the great benefits of sleep music for those who have this problem.
The qualities of sleep music that make it a very helpful tool for managing insomnia come from their tempo, progression, construction, and length. All these elements combined should create a relaxing effect on your brain and allow you to ease into a sound sleep.
One popular example of music that can help with the management of insomnia is Weightless by Marconi Union, which was composed with the help of sound therapists. There are no repeating melodies and so the mind relaxes completely because it is not anticipating what is coming next.
Besides its soothing melody, it has other qualities specific to most sleep music that can be of help to any person dealing with insomnia:
- Its tempo of 60 beats per minute has a strong relaxing effect on the body and the mind.
- Its progression starts from 60bpm (beats per minute) and slows to 50bpm, slowly guiding the mind to a calmer state — a proven technique for helping insomniacs drift off to sleep.
- The song lasts 5 minutes, enough time for the mind to slow down and for the body to relax.
Here are some other songs we would recommend to help you sleep better:
Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel (Instrumental)
How You Can Use Music To Improve Your Sleep
Let’s look at tips that can help you use sleep music to improve your sleep or deal with the symptoms of insomnia.
1. Opt for Lyrics-Free Music
Most doctors would advise their patients to go for sleep music that has no lyrics. Lyrics can be mentally stimulating as your brain is processing the words. The aim is to give your brain cognitive centers some rest, not engage them actively.
2. Go for Slow Beats
Songs that have a rhythm of 60-80 BPM are generally recommended. The body gradually adjusts the heart rate to match these beats, thereby slowing your blood pressure and helping you reach a sleeping state soon enough.
3. Make It a Consistent Habit
The good effects of music on sleep gets better over time. It may not make much difference in the beginning but the effects begin to kick in strongly if you stick to it for a few weeks.
4. Create a Relaxing Environment
In a stress-inducing environment, the effects of sleep music may not be significant. A cool and relaxing environment boosts the outcome. Keep the room as dark as possible and give yourself time to adjust to the darkness as you ease into sleep.
5. Choose Something Neutral
Do not go for a song that makes you feel powerful emotions like sadness and excitement. These emotions will interfere with the relaxing effect of the music and reduce its efficacy.
6. Pay Attention to What Sounds Help You Relax
When choosing the right music to include in your bedtime routine, identify what sounds calm you down. Be it sounds from nature, white noise or ASMR-style whispers and tapping, find whatever works best for you.
Remember that different types of music have varying effects depending on the individual. What’s important is the effect you will see in your sleep and mood.
Don’t underestimate the power music can have on your overall health and wellness. Sleep music is a fantastic tool you should try if you are looking for ways to improve the quality of your sleep.
So feel free to create your own sleep playlist with your favorite soothing tunes and listen to it on those sleepless nights or when you just need to unwind.
Besides music, scents have also been proven to have a calming effect on your mind and body. Check out our article on the powerful effects of aromatherapy and consider adding that to your sleep routine as well.