Music—Better than Counting Sheep Part 1
We’re not just “Sleepless in Seattle”! Our whole nation appears sleep deprived with over 70 million of us suffering some sleep disorder, while millions of others just try to get by on too little sleep.
The long term risks of sleep deprivation include: high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, depression, mental impairment, triple the mortality risk, and institutionalization of the elderly.
Even if you already knew all that, it still doesn’t help you get to sleep at night. Make sure you practice good sleeping habits:
- Establish and maintain a regular bedtime and wake up time
- Avoid stimulants before bed like alcohol and caffeine
- Stop smoking if you smoke
- Exercise earlier in the day, rather than just before trying to get to sleep
- Avoid prolonged TV or computer viewing before bed
- Eat earlier in the evening and not too heavily so your food has a chance to digest before going to bed
- Darken the room you’re sleeping in
But if you still have trouble getting to sleep, music may be the missing element you’ve been looking for!
4 Ways Music Can Improve Your Sleep
Studies demonstrate that:
- Music can help you fall asleep more quickly. It calms and soothes your mind, helping reduce stress and anxiety.
- Music can improve the quality of your sleep, helping eliminate disturbances. Music can serve to drown out other noises that tend to wake you.
- Music can increase the duration of your sleep. The more soundly yousleep, the longer you stay asleep.
- Music can have a cumulative effect on improving sleep over time. By routinely experiencing the above benefits, your body and mind adjust to the new patterns of improved sleep and these become the norm.
And music does all this without the unpleasant side-effects or addictive risks of medication—not to mention that it’s a whole lot cheaper!
What Music to Select
To induce sleep, you’ll find the greatest benefit from soft, instrumental music with a slow beat. Music with around 60 beats per minute that correspond with a resting heartrate appears to be best. Also, arrangements played with string instruments and minimal brass and percussion seem to have the greatest potential for helping you nod off.
Most sleep studies find that classical music from composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and their like meet those qualifications well. Other music with a similar beat and rhythm may also be effective. The key is to listen to music you enjoy and that calms and soothes your spirit.
You can create a playlist of your favorite lullabies or other soothing music, but you may find it simpler to grab something “off the shelf” that can induce sleep. Wholetones is a collection of seven instrumental CDs that were composed to promote healing and restoration.
Forget counting sheep and set your audio device at a soft volume and see if you don’t fall asleep quickly and rest more thoroughly!