Sleep is a fundamental part of our life. Our quality of life, mental health, and physical health may very well depend on sleep quality.
Better sleep often links with better concentration levels in students. You will have higher productivity, your weight gain will be lower, and you will better regulate calories if your sleep quality is good. Your risk of heart diseases will be lower, and you will have a more robust immune system. Ensuring you get quality sleep as regularly as possible should be one of the main priorities to lead a healthier life.
One way to increase sleep quality is to utilize sleep music, as it can help us fall asleep faster while improving our overall sleep efficiency.
Can Music Help with Our Sleep, or Is It A Myth?
We often use lullabies to put babies to sleep. There is good scientific backing on how music helps us sleep faster. Sleeping faster allows us to get a night of deeper sleep. Lullabies aren’t only for babies; they can also work on adults if we use the right kind of music. Music with a relatively slow beat works exceptionally well when it comes to falling asleep faster. Children from various age groups sleep better after listening to soothing music or soft melodies. The study focused on infants and children from elementary school. Science supports this common observation. As mentioned earlier, younglings aren’t the only ones who get the benefit of sleep from soothing melodies before bedtime. People of all age groups have reported having had a better sleep after listening to sleep music.
The connection between music and sleep has good support from scientific studies all over the world. It works on young people and people who are relatively old, and everyone in-between. People who have schizophrenia also reported to finally have gotten some sleep after listening to soothing music before bedtime. One study required adults to listen to 45 minutes of relaxing music before heading to sleep. They reported having had better sleep quality from the very first night. Even more amusing is that the benefits of listening to these types of music seem to have a cumulative effect on the study participants. They reported having a better sleep more often when music had a presence in their sleep routine. A recent meta-analysis of music-sleep-studies focused on ten different high-quality studies. It established that those with both short-term and chronic sleep problems benefitted from music.
How and Why Does Music Affect our sleep?
A series of steps allows us to hear and comprehend sounds. These steps convert various sound waves that come into the ear to electrical signals inside the brain. A cascade of physical effects takes place when our brain attempts to interpret the sounds. These effects, directly or indirectly, become responsible for promoting better sleep when a specific type of music is in play. It’s also said to reduce some of the issues that correlate with inadequate sleep.
Some studies also suggest that music affects our regulation hormone, which helps it enhance our sleep. These regulation hormones include our stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is bad for a plethora of reasons. For one, having high levels of it increases alertness, anxiousness and leads to inadequate sleep. Hearing some melodies can decrease said cortisol, which explains to a certain extent how music helps people sleep better.
Listening to music also releases the pleasure hormone known as dopamine. Dopamine is released in our body when you are doing fun activities such as eating and playing. Noises from streets, planes, or loud neighbors, can diminish sleep effectiveness. These disruptive noises may result in many negative consequences, including heart diseases. Music can assist in negating these environmental clamors.
Different tempos, melodies, and rhythms in music can trigger different reactions, as can music with lyrics or no lyrics at all. The music that is relaxing triggers changes to our body that copy the sleep state of our body. A slower breathing, lower blood pressure, and a slower heart rate are different physiological changes that allow our body to relax and fall asleep. Soft melodic music has a soothing effect on our emotional brain, which eases tension, stress, and anxiety. Music also helps with sleep efficiency.
What is sleep efficiency?
That is the estimation of the time you spend in an actual sleep state contrasted with the time you lay in bed. The lower efficiency of sleep can be a sign of restless sleep with periodic interruptions for the duration of the night, having trouble falling asleep timely, or waking up late in the night not being able to go back to sleep again. Studies show that a pre-sleep musiclistening period can help you fall asleep faster and get some of that REM sleep. REM sleep is one of the five stages that the brain goes through while we are sleeping. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is unique and only relevant in mammals and birds, denoted by the eyes’ quick random movements and low muscle tone, allowing the sleeper to dream vividly. REM Sleep helps our brain to compress information and store it. Scientists believe that it helps with learning, mood, and memory. A lack of REM sleep can have adverse implications, both emotionally and physically.
What kind of music helps us sleep?
Scientists have conducted research studies investigating a diverse range of genres and playlists, and the consensus isn’t evident regarding the optimal music for sleeping. A self-curated selection of smooth melodies works well. One significant factor remains that songs affect our bodies differently per our musical taste and preferences. However, when selecting music or creating a playlist, it’s crucial to consider the tempo. The speed at which the music plays is often measured by BPM (beat per minute). Music around the range of 60-80 BPM makes the best sleep music. The average resting heart can range anywhere from 60 to 100 BPM, and harmony of 60-80bpm allows the body to rest and sync accordingly.
The effect music has on us is fascinating. Music is not just for relaxation and sleep; many can enhance performance, creativity, focus, stamina, and avoid emotional triggers. Scientists discovered that during surgeries, music reduces pain in patients. An analysis of over 70 different studies indicated that listening to music during, before, and after surgery reduced anxiety and pain. Patients utilizing music were also comparatively less reliant on pain medications. Suffice to say, music can help you get better sleep quality, and music can make you fall asleep faster.