Did You Know?
Max Richter’s ‘Sleep’ is a cradle song, termed as ‘my personal lullaby for a frenetic world’ by him. This eight-hour piece includes pieces that will take you into a trance-like state, and holds the record for being the longest live broadcasted composition of music.
It is a well-known fact that most Americans have trouble getting enough sleep. In fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), 40 millions Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Sleep deprivation can have serious repercussions; it can affect memory, decision-making abilities, and overall mental health.
As babies, most of us went off into dreamland peacefully listening to lullabies. But can music help adults sleep as well? Well, the answer is yes, and no. Music may not make you sleep, but it can definitely help you sleep.
Music And Sleep
The International Journal of Nursing published a study of 557 adults suffering from sleep disorders. In this study, music was played when they were sleeping. Over a short period of time, improvement in the sleep quality of most individuals was seen. In certain cases, there was no significant difference. Such cases may need a longer study to get conclusive results. We can safely assume that, music doesn’t have any negative effort on sleep, and it is not an expensive option either.
How Music Benefits Sleep
If you find that getting enough shut-eye is difficult because you share a bedroom with a nocturnal sibling or noisy roommate, music might help you a lot. Grab your headphones, make a playlist of some sedative songs, and relax. You’ll forget all the annoying noises in the background and sleep like a baby.
Our heart starts beating on the rhythm of music. This uniform motion helps induce sleep. Which is why, listening to rock music or very fast songs is not recommended when trying to sleep. It’s better to go for classical, soft rock, or jazz music.
As we sleep, our body relaxes, temperature reduces, heartbeat slows down, and breathing becomes slower. Listening to music helps fall asleep as it mimics some of these effects. The heartbeat and breathing will slow down. As such, it induced sleep.
Listening to your favorite music triggers feel-good chemicals in the brain. This puts your mind at ease. Instrumental music is extremely helpful in distracting the mind from racing thoughts. Avoid music with a lot of lyrics, as these can stimulate certain thoughts. Just let go of all the unnecessary thoughts, envelope yourself in the beautiful rhythm, and drift away to snooze land.
The Kind of Music That Helps Sleep
The impact of music on sleep depends on the kind of music as well. Music has the power to sooth as well as excite. Music with lot of lyrics can distract the mind, so it’s best to opt for instrumental pieces. Classical, jazz, or downtempo music like Enigma can help you sleep faster. Choose the kind of music you enjoy.
Sleep Music for Babies
Listening to lullabies before sleeping is extremely relaxing for babies. They simply comfort them. This also strengthens the bond between parent and baby. Also, early exposure to music is beneficial, as it enhances brain development.