Can Music Make You Fall Asleep In Seconds
We mentioned earlier that some researchers suggest youd need to set aside as much as 45 minutes of listening to music in order to induce sleep. However, many folks dont have that kind of time and may seek out more effective tunes that could help you fall asleep quicker.
During a study, neuroscientists in the U.K. found that the 8-minute song Weightless by Marconi Union led to a 65 percent reduction in overall anxiety among participants and a 35 percent drop in their physiological resting rates. In fact, the participants became so drowsy that they were advised to not listen to the song while driving.
Chill Out And Ambient
Chill-out music can be a mix of genres, including blues, jazz, and pop. The main idea behind these tunes is to generate an ambient environment in which you dont overthink or dwell on the memories of the day.
Think of it this way: the only thing the sounds should make you do is stare aimlessly at the ceiling, contemplating an awesome night of deep sleep and relaxation.
Check out this YouTube mix.
From Deep Focus To Deep Sleep
Ive spent much of the last three years exhausted. I had always been a sensitive sleeper and a night owl late nights studying in undergrad and years of pounding the pavement going to concerts. And yet I still found it startling when that propensity for burning the midnight oil shifted to full-blown insomnia.
I tried what felt like every remedy. Peppermint tea. Counting not sheep but things around the room. Reading. Aromatherapy. Progressive muscle relaxation. Guided meditation. Some helped. Some didnt.
Sleep studies ruled out apnea, and I refused to go back to Ambien after waking up in my apartment covered in apple sauce and McDonalds wrappers and the sound of my car running outside.
What has helped in my journey to scoring the ever-elusive eight hours of sleep has been the sounds of ocean waves. The gentle spilling of water on an hours-long loop courtesy of Calmsounds Sleep Waves has tremendously upgraded my sleep health. Along with a regimen of melatonin and an essential dose of cannabis indica .
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Musical Features To Aid Sleep
The study revealed music that aided sleep had more emphasis in lower frequencies such as a stronger bass, had a slow and sustained duration of musical notes, and had non-danceable rhythms.
In music terms, the music had quite a dark mix, it was legato, and was not complex or strong in rhythmic activity, Mr Dickson says.
The research also suggests its not just classical music or lullabies that can help people sleep. In fact, individuals can fall asleep to a wide variety of music genres.
Based on the findings of the study, we have evidence that the musical features we uncovered appeared to be more important than the genre in aiding sleep, he says.
The list of songs successful in aiding sleep share similar musical features. Image: Supplied.
For those considering turning on the speaker to help switch off, consistency is key.
Mr Dickson recommends making music a part of your bedtime routine. He says developing the habit of listening to music for 45 minutes at bedtime for about a month has been shown to positively impact sleep patterns.
However, if youre a healthy sleeper, music isnt likely to improve the quality of your sleep further. And while there are no known side effects for using music as a sleep aid, its always best to consult with your GP first, Mr Dickson says.
Music is most useful for people who struggle to sleep because of insomnia related to anxiety or stress, rather than medical issues like sleep apnoea, he says.
How To Use Music For Sleep
To make the most of your pre-bedtime musical moment, youre going to want to keep a few things in mind. The big one is to choose music thats on the slower sideBreus recommends between 60 and 80 beats per minute.
Bedtime is not the time to listen to up-tempo songs,” he says. Save those for when you want to wake up in the morning. Breus is also a fan of leaving lyrics out of it. Sticking to instrumentals means you arent trying to follow along with the words, he says. It helps your brain rest better.
Beyond that, you should feel free to pick something that you enjoy the sound of. I like the idea of listening to something youve heard before, says Winter. You wont focus as much on the song because you already know it.
Be sure to avoid tracks that might trigger negative emotions. Nobody is going to feel ready to sleep if they are being transported to a super emotional time in their lives.
Some other best practices experts recommend:
- Dont use earbuds. They can be uncomfortable when you rest your head on your pillow.
- Make sure your other notifications are turned off if youre listening on your phone. Nobody needs to hear an email alert go off at midnight.
- Start playing sleepy songs about 30 to 45 minutes before you want to be asleep. This gives the music time to work its magic.
- Pick a playlist that lasts about 90 minutes. That way you dont wake up at 3a.m. still hearing the music playing.
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New Age Music For Heightened Mood And A Relaxing Life
A less direct way in which music helps you to sleep is by its effects on your mood and emotional state. Whether we realize it or not, our mood has a significant impact on how well we sleep.
Stress is unquestionably the most common challenge for people who struggle with sleep. Those who suffer from depression, anxiety, and any other mood disorder often struggle with sleep and may even have insomnia.
There have been several studies conducted that have tested musics effectiveness in reducing stress in high-anxiety situations. These studies are often performed on people who are undergoing medical treatments like surgery.
Researchers have discovered that listening to music can lower anxiety significantly and can be even more effective than certain prescription drugs.
Best For Easy Use: Headspace
Why We Chose It: This user-friendly app is designed to make finding sleep music quick and easy. Helpful suggestions point out features like how to set a timer without making the app feel clumsy or cluttered.
Offers “sleep music radio” for extended play
Soundscapes provide 3D auditory experiences
Few sleep music features available in the free version
Sleep music apps are designed to reduce stress, slow your body and brain, and induce a peaceful state. Headspace is a feature-rich app designed in a simple way that makes it quick and easy to access its library of sleep-specific audio tools.
The Sleep icon at the bottom of the app is easy to identify and leads to a library of options that include Sleep Music, Soundscapes, Sleep Radio, and more. Its worth noting that nearly everything in Headspaces Sleep Library requires a premium subscription. Headspace costs $69.99 annually, or you can pay $12.99 monthly.
One thing that stands out is how easy it is to set a timer when choosing sleep music in the Headspace app. After picking a track, the app prompts you to choose a duration of time for the music to play. You can choose as little as 10 minutes or up to 500 minutes, offering some of the most flexible options in terms of playback that weve seen in sleep music apps.
- Price: $69.99 annually or $12.99 monthly
- Platforms: iOS and Android
- Additional features: Breathing and meditation exercises
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Reduces Stress And Anxiety
Lifes worries can have a tendency to creep up at the most inopportune times, including bedtime. Tense thoughts can keep you up all hours of the night, and one of the ways music can help you sleep is by alleviating stress and allowing you to drift off to sleep.
A 2011 study found that listening to music reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol in patients undergoing surgery.
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Meditation Music For Improved Sleep Efficiency
Sleep efficiency is the measurement of the time that you spend asleep compared to the overall time you spend in your bed. A lower sleep efficiency can be an indication that youre restless, awakening throughout the night. Some people also refer to this as tossing and turning.
Research proves that a pre-bedtime music regime can help you fall asleep quicker, thus boosting your sleep efficiency and ensuring a well-rested night of sleep.
Music is an effective treatment for both short-term and chronic sleep disorders. The therapeutic effects of music on your sleep increase with time. This means, the more consistently you use music to help you sleep, the more effective it will be at aiding in your sleep efficiency.
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Can You Learn Anything While You Sleep
Wouldnt it be incredible if we could learn new things in our sleep such as languages? Unfortunately, we cant learn new things in our sleep, but we can hear them whilst we are sleeping. This means that if you fall asleep listening to the same words being repeated over and over, you can recall around 10% of the words the next day. This is a great way to improve your vocabulary.
A Nightmare Becomes A Meditation
The story of William Basinskis Disintegration Loops is inextricably tied to the most nightmarish day of the 21st century.
In 2001 the composer, trying to archive a series of melancholy, repetitive compositions from the 80s, realized that the act of playing the dusty, decaying tapes led to their destruction. The musical results were interesting and unexpected, and he let them play out to their demise.
Shortly after the New York composer finished, however, planes struck the World Trade Center, and the tapes became an artifact of the devastated emotions from that time and place . Art, like everything else, can collapse and vanish.
Nearly two decades later, the loops still have a lulling, meditative quality. For all the shock of their origin story, these compositions have a hypnotic way of bending time. Not much happens as far as melody or dynamics the changes in tone and mood are slow and sometimes imperceptible. But put one on in a dark room and an hour passes in an instant. The dissolution of the music mirrors the mind drifting away into sleep. How strange that music so bound with trauma could end up bringing so much peace and rest. Lord knows we need it now.
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This Music Is Scientifically Proven To Help You Relax And Fall Asleep
Its not a secret that music is a powerful universal language. It can pump you up during workouts, inspire you before going into an important job interview. It can help you relax and reduce anxiety. In fact, music has been scientifically shown time and time again to calm the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine, and psychological stress response. Classical music and sounds of nature seem to be particularly effective.But what happens when a group of scientists and musicians decide to create the most relaxing music by employing scientific principles? The British Academy of Sound Therapy set out to create the worlds most relaxing song. In collaboration with the Manchester band Marconi Union, the song Weightless was born.
According to the Mindlab Institution, this particular song can reduce blood pressure and decrease blood levels of cortisol . The researchers saw a reduction in overall anxiety to be as much as 65 percent. The study also added in a few more tracks for comparison.The research concluded these 10 tracks to be the most effective in reducing stress and anxiety.Marconi Union Weightless
Finding A Music Genre That Soothes Your Soul
If youd like to see how relaxing music can positively impact your sleep, try finding a music genre that you enjoy and find to be soothing. Each persons definition of soothing is different, so explore a few different types of music content to find the one that best quiets your brain and gives you that relaxed, sleepy feeling.
Country, rock, jazz, new age music, meditation musicthese are just a few of the available music genres that people find to be relaxing and conducive to a sleep state.
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What Is The Best Bedtime Music To Fall Asleep
According to Sleep Advisor, researchers found which music genres and instruments did the best job at reducing stress and fostering relaxation. Music that is around 60-80 beats per minute was the most relaxing and includes Native American, Celtic, Indian-stringed instruments, drums, and flutes. They also learned that sounds of nature, and also weather like thunder and rain can be beneficial. Other music genres that scored highly were jazz, classical, and easy listening. Binaural beats are also effective in helping you sleep better. As you can see you have a lot of choices!
Avoid Naps During The Day
Due to poor sleep at night, people with insomnia tend to be sleepy during the day, which often leads to daytime napping.
While naps of short duration have been linked to improvements in alertness and well-being, there are mixed opinions about the effects of napping on nighttime sleep.
Some studies have shown that regular naps that are long , and late may lead to poor nighttime sleep quality and even sleep deprivation .
In a study of 440 college students, the poorest nighttime sleep quality was observed in those who reported taking three or more naps per week, those who napped for more than 2 hours, and those who napped late .
A 1996 study found that older adults who napped frequently had lower quality nighttime sleep, more depressive symptoms, and more limited physical activity. They were also more likely to be overweight than those who rarely took a nap .
A recent study of high-schoolers concluded that daytime napping led to shorter sleep duration and lower sleep efficiency (
A study of 24 young adults demonstrated that sedative music promoted deeper sleep .
Listening to Buddhist music may be another great tool for better sleep, as it can reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. This parameter is known as sleep onset.
Buddhist music is created from different Buddhist chants and is used for meditation .
Lastly, if relaxing music isnt available, blocking all noise could also help you fall asleep faster and promote uninterrupted sleep (
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Philip Glass ‘metamorphosis I’
The Philip Glass catalogue is an overwhelming goldmine of some of the most interesting and forward-thinking art music of all time.
There’s something so hypnotic about the repetitive ‘Metamorphosis I’ that makes it a great starting point for anyone looking to add the legendary composer to your sleeping playlist.
How To Find A Music Therapist
There are currently 9,712 board-certified music therapists, a spokesperson for the Certification Board for Music Therapists told BuzzFeed News. Of that number, 9,129 work in the US.
A 2019 survey conducted by the American Music Therapy Association found more than 1 million people received music therapy services in 2018, according to responses from nearly 3,000 professionals. However, its unclear how many people receive music therapy for sleep issues, specifically.
The survey also found the average rate for individual music therapy sessions across the US is $77 per hour group sessions are about $88 per hour.
Depending on where you live, music therapy is a reimbursable service through Medicare or Medicaid. Some private insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna, and Aetna will pay for the service, the AMTA says. Generally, music therapy, like other types, is reimbursable when its preapproved and deemed medically or behaviorally necessary to reach the individual patient’s treatment goals, according to the association.
The service can also be reimbursed via other sources, including grants, private pay, workers compensation, and state departments.
About 31% of AMTAs survey respondents said their music therapy sessions were covered by either government funding or a third-party health insurance. You can find a music therapist through the AMTA or CBMT.
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Radiohead ‘you And Whose Army’
The quirky coo of Thom Yorke’s voice is just ethereal enough to lull you into a dreamlike state, but still immediate enough to ensure you dont’ get bored if you’re lying in bed willing yourself to sleep.
Radiohead are one of the world’s biggest bands. You have your favourite songs of theirs and you know which ones make you feel relaxed. This is the one for me. Your results will likely vary.
Music Treats Painand Helps Sleep By Association
Another indirect benefit listening to music may have for sleep? Its ability to reduce pain. Physical pain and discomfort are common obstacles to sleeping well. Like mood, pain and sleep have a complex, dynamic relationship that works in both directions. Pain interferes with sleep, and sleeping poorly increases our sensitivity to pain. The good news is, when you improve one, youre likely to improve the other.
Theres a growing body of research demonstrating what our ancient ancestors seem to have known: music can relieve pain.
- An analysis of more than 70 studies shows listening to music before, during and after surgery reduces pain . Patients who listened to music were less reliant on pain medications.
- Listening to music can help both acute pain and chronic pain, including hard-to-treat chronic pain associated with conditions like fibromyalgia.
- At the same time it relieves anxiety, music also music stimulates the immune system, and provides an outlet for emotional release, which may help explain why studies show music is effective in improving pain in a range of conditions and circumstances, in both children and adults.
Scientists arent yet sure why music has pain-relieving effects. It may be musics ability to relax and relieve tension, or to distract from the unpleasantness of physical pain. It may be musics stimulation of hormones , the emotions and memories music evokesor all of the above.
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