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Does music help you sleep better?

by Tina Sendin October 25, 2019

Does music help you sleep better?

If you’re having trouble getting some quality snooze night after night, there are some sleep hacks and relaxation techniques that you can try.

But if all else fails, try listening to certain music.

Apparently, it can help you sleep well.

 

Music helps, according to studies.

The next time you experience some tossing and turning at night, try to hit play on some relaxing music.

According to Stanford University researchers: [1]

"listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication."

They also added that music is such an easy tool to use for inducing sleep and getting rid of stress, because almost everyone can access it.

To fall asleep with calming music, you will need to listen for a minimum of 45 minutes in a comfortable position.

Don’t expect it to happen overnight though. To see obvious improvements in the quality of sleep, you will need to make this a habit in as much as three weeks.

 

What are the benefits of bedtime listening?

Once you get the hang of things, the dividends are significant – bedtime listening is said to even solve sleeping disorders by improving both the quality and quantity of snooze time. Specifically, it can:

  • Make you sleep faster
  • Reduce the frequency of you waking up in the wee hours
  • Help you wake up feeling so much rested

 

What kind of music helps you sleep?

Studies found that music with 60 beats per minute can affect the brain in that it synchronizes with the beat. This causes alpha brainwaves, which is present in our brain when we’re feeling relaxed. [1]

According to Michael Breus, Ph.D., upwave expert and author of The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Simple Rules for Losing Weight While You Sleep, relaxing music tunes not just your brain but also your heartbeat towards la la land. He adds:

“As you are falling asleep, your heart rate begins to slow, and starts to move toward that 60-beats-per-minute range.”

If you’re wondering what exactly you should listen to, “Weightless”’ by Marconi Union is apparently the “most relaxing song ever created,” even more relaxing than “a massage, walk or cup of tea.” It has 60 beats per minute, which then goes down to 50.

According to Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, “Weightless” is an effective sleep inducer because of factors such as:

  • The intervals between notes producing a feeling of relief and relaxation
  • Unsystematic chimes that trigger deeper relaxation
  • Low sounds and hums that put you in a trance, much like Buddhist chants

The song is so relaxing that it created the following effects on participants of the study conducted by Mindlab Institution: [2, 3]

  • Studies found Weightless was 11 percent more relaxing than any other song and even made many of the women "drowsy" in the lab.
  • It induced a 65 per cent reduction in overall anxiety and brought them to a level 35 per cent lower than their usual resting rates.
  • It reduced blood pressure and decreased blood levels of cortisol (“the stress hormone”).

The British Academy of Sound Therapy also created a playlist of 10 songs that are considered the most relaxing tunes. [2]

  • Marconi Union – Weightless
  • Airstream – Electra
  • DJ Shah – Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)
  • Enya – Watermark
  • Coldplay – Strawberry Swing
  • Barcelona – Please Don’t Go
  • All Saints – Pure Shores
  • Adele – Someone Like You
  • Mozart – Canzonetta Sull’aria
  • Cafe Del Mar – We Can Fly

If you don’t like any of the above songs, you can check out Joni Mitchell’s “Blue Room Hotel” and Miles Davis’ “Blue in Green”, which both have 60-80 beats per minute.

Native American, Celtic, Indian stringed-instruments, drums and flutes could also work in calming the brain and inducing sleep.

As a bonus, here's a 10-hour version of Marconi Union's "Weightless":


 

Sources

[1] https://www.unr.edu/counseling/virtual-relaxation-room/releasing-stress-through-the-power-of-music

[2] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8830066/Band-creates-the-most-relaxing-tune-ever.html

[3] https://dreampadsleep.com/blogs/news/music-scientifically-proven-help-relax-fall-asleep




Tina Sendin
Tina Sendin

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