Sleep is a wonderful thing. It refreshes us, helps clear our mind of the stresses of the day, and prepares us for the challenges of tomorrow.
Of course, sometimes we may need a little help to fall asleep. Maybe we live in a spot where we can hear all sorts of external noise, from heavy road traffic to the neighbors next door. Or maybe we're having a bigger problem with "internal noise"—stress, anxiety, and all those other feelings that can weigh us down and make us uptight. What can be done to help a person get some shut-eye?
A lot of people have found that music helps a lot. Let's talk about why music can contribute to a good night's sleep, and how to choose the right music for the job.
Why Music Can Help You Fall Asleep at Night
Research indicates that music can help with both short-term and chronic sleep problems. Why? What's the connection between music and sleep? Here are just a few reasons why music can help.
Music Affects Our Mood
It's no secret that the kind of music we listen to can have a major impact on our frame of mind. When you listen to relaxing music that evokes feelings of tranquility, your mood will improve, you'll tend to feel less anxious, and you'll be more likely to doze off.
Music Has a Physiological Effect On Us
Studies indicate that our breathing and heart rate will often mirror the beat of a song. What this means in terms of sleep is that the more mellow the music is, the less tense your body will be—and once your body is physically relaxed, it will be easier for your mind to follow suit.
Music Can Become Part of Our Sleep Routine
When you regularly listen to soothing music to go to sleep—or even background noise, for that matter—then over time your body will recognize it as part of your routine. In other words, once you turn on your sleep music, you're signaling to your body that it's bedtime.
What Type of Music to Choose for Sleep
Now that we've established how music can help you fall asleep, the next question is: What type of music should you listen to when you want to start counting sheep? Here are some tips that can help:
Choose Music That is Slow
Experts recommend that you listen to music with a beat of about 60 beats per minute. As you fall asleep, your heart rate will slow to mirror that tempo. In contrast, uptempo music may have the opposite effect on your body, and actually wake you up.
Choose Music That is Soft
It's true that some people prefer to blast their music as they fall asleep. In most cases, however, it's more helpful to listen to softer music, or even background noise like ocean waves, in order to get relaxed and promote good sleep.
Choose Music That You Associate with Good Memories
Many people will listen to songs that they associate with fond memories, whether from childhood or later in life, as they fall asleep. Songs like that can act like "lullabies" that will help you to feel comfortable as you close your eyes.
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