If you’ve been struggling to sleep at night, you’ve probably tried just about everything to fall asleep. You’ve exercised, taken a hot shower, or avoided eating heavy foods before bed. Have you tried listening to podcasts or music? Music is a huge part of many people’s lives, helping them relax, stay motivated at the gym, or providing entertainment on the commute to work, but does it help you sleep?
Music as Therapy
Music has been a powerful tool for thousands of years. Cultures throughout the world have used music to improve performance, sleep, and even emotional health. After WWII, music was even used to treat soldiers’ struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Music can bring joy, and we’ve all tapped our toes or danced along with our favorite song. Music changes your heart rate as well as breathing, and can be used to stimulate the immune system or boost emotional processing or creativity.
Music and Sleep
Music does help you sleep! Music can be used to relax you before bed, and music has the power to sooth your emotions, slow your breathing and pulse, lower blood pressure, ease muscle tension, reduce feelings of anxiety or stress, and even increases the feel-good hormones, serotonin and oxytocin.
Using music to help you sleep is all about picking the right music. If you play upbeat, energetic music as you’re winding down for the night, you’re likely to have a harder time sleeping. Listening to calming music before bed will help you get into sleep mode, both mentally and physically. Studies show that the link between music and improved sleep increases over time, so if you make a habit of listening to music every night, you’ll notice even more benefits.
Music and Sleep Efficiency
Sleep efficiency is the amount of time that you spend sleeping versus the overall amount of time you’re in bed. If you have low sleep efficiency, you spend a lot of time lying in bed without sleeping, either struggling to fall asleep, dealing with insomnia, having a restless sleep, or waking up throughout the night. Music has been shown to increase sleep efficiency! That means that you’ll be able to fall asleep easily, sleep soundly, and wake up refreshed.
What Music is Best for Sleep?
When it comes to listening to music before bed, its important be choose the right tunes. Pick music with a slow beat. Since the body is very responsive to music, and your heart rate and breathing will change to match the tempo, it’s important to pick something with a slow, tranquil beat.
We all have songs that can be emotional triggers. Your teenage angst songs, or the songs that got you through your last breakup, won’t help you fall into a peaceful sleep. Whether excitement or sadness, don’t select any music that will make you emotional. Avoiding songs with lyrics will help you sleep. You might find yourself following along with the words rather than sleeping, and this could be more stimulating than relaxing.
Finally, listen to music consistently. Whenever you try something new, like using music to help you sleep, it takes your body and brain some time to adjust. If you’re stressed or overly alert in the evenings, it may take a few nights to notice any difference in your sleep. Stick with it! Before long, music will become an indispensable part of your evening routine.
Create a Calm Environment
To feel the full effects of music, you need to create a calm environment in the evenings. Dim the lights, turn off the TV, and avoid your phone or computer screens for at least an hour before getting into bed. It’s not recommended to fall asleep with earbuds, as this can be uncomfortable, cause you to wake up in the night, or even damage your ears.
Sound Sleep Medical
If you’ve been struggling to sleep at night, try playing soothing music as you’re winding down for the night, and allow yourself to relax and let go of the stress of the day. Worried that you might have a sleep disorder, or some other underlying sleep concerns stopping you from getting the rest you need? Visit us today at Sound Sleep Medical to discuss your sleep, and let us help you make sure every night is a great night.