For a lot of us, music is a powerful tool that we use every day. We can find solace and peace in melancholy melodies, sing and dance to an upbeat pop tune, or get our blood pumping with a loud and heavy rock track. Why not use music as a way to fall asleep at night? As children, a lot of us had some form of sleep music played for us to get to sleep.
Read on below to find out more about the ways music can be used for a great night’s sleep!
How Sleep Music Soothes the Body
Most of us fell asleep as babies watching a crib mobile spin around and listening to its tune or having someone sing us a soothing lullaby. But as we have grown up, a lot of people stop using music as a sleep tool. But music’s effect on the body is real and can make a significant impact on us.
Music has been shown to have an effect on our autonomic nervous system. This is the body system that controls bodily functions we do not have to think about using; breathing and heartbeat. This means playing music before bed has the potential to lower your heart rate and help bring you to a more relaxed state.
Before bed, it is best to stick with music that does not elicit a strong emotional response one way or another. A fast hard beat can get you ramped it and make it harder for you to fall asleep, and a sad slower song could bring up painful memories that could keep you up. Something in the middle is ideal. Although it is not the only option that will work, some research shows that melodies without words may work the best.
Chemical Reactions Make the Difference
Music has the ability to produce chemical reactions inside of our bodies. Cortisol is a chemical our brains produce that is responsible for increasing awareness and responsiveness. You can see how higher levels of cortisol at bedtime could lead to a long night staring at the ceiling. Music before bed can bring cortisol levels down to the point your body is able to relax and allow you to drift off to sleep.
Dopamine is another chemical from our brains. This chemical is the one responsible for pleasure. Getting paid, having sex, eating a great meal, anything we do that is pleasurable will release dopamine.
Listening to music can cause your brain to release dopamine. This will help bring you to a calm, relaxed state of mind. Increased dopamine levels from music before bed can help relieve some minor aches and pains you may have that could keep you awake as well.
Best Music to Fall Asleep With
There are a lot of music genres you could pick from to fall asleep with. The one that works best is going to be subjective. However, choosing music with a lower beat per minute, BPM, can help.
The human heart rate at rest falls in the 60 to 100 BPM range. Studies have suggested listening to music with 60 to 80 BPM can lower your heart rate closer to this range and allow you to fall asleep easier.
Music Genres That Could Work Best
If we listen to her, Mother Nature tends to know what is best for us. Whether it is with a soundtrack or a sound machine listening to crickets chirping, the crash of thunder and lightning, or waves pounding on a shore can put many of us at peace and right to asleep.
World music is another popular genre of music for falling asleep to. This style of music covers a large spectrum of sounds and styles. Finding a song or melody from other parts of the world that encompass more acoustics than vocals can allow you to lose yourself and the day’s problems as you drift off to sleep.
The genre most people associate with inducing sleep is classical music. Classical compositions that are piano-heavy tend to be the best choice in this genre. Many of the classics can be set to a faster pace and very dramatic, making it harder to fall asleep. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee may not be the best choice to induce a night of restful sleep.
Life has gotten faster and more demanding of us as we get older. We need all the help we can get to turn off and fall asleep at night. Incorporating sleep music into your nightly bedtime routine can help reduce stress levels and have you sleeping like a baby again.
If you have a favorite song or style that tends to mellow you out, why not give it a try tonight? If it does not work, you were probably going to be lying awake anyway.