We’ve all had those restless nights where we toss and turn, frustratingly trying to get comfortable so we can get a good night’s sleep. But sometimes, the stressors of our day-to-day, the bustle of traffic outside the window, or the shuffling of roommates can make it impossible to fall asleep easily.
It might sound hopeless, but the outlook is quite hopeful! There are some really great tips and tricks to help combat those sleepless nights, and believe it or not, the key might be music!
Sleep music is a relaxation tool that might be just what you need to wake up feeling refreshed every single day. Here’s what it’s all about.
Why is a Good Night’s Sleep Important?
The term for your ability to fall asleep quickly and feel more rested is known as sleep hygiene. Maintaining good sleep hygiene is super important, because it can help protect your mental health, physical health, and even your quality of life.
When your computer is acting funny, you know how the first course of action is to hit that reset button? Usually your computer wakes up working perfectly, and you can think of sleep in the same way. Sleeping hits the reset button on our body, letting us prepare for the next day.
In the brain, sleep can improve your learning and cognitive function. It enhances your problem solving skills and cognition, helping you make sound decisions. Additionally, it can restore your mood and enhance your productivity during the day.
As for physical health, getting good sleep can reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular ailments. It helps maintain a healthy balance of hormones that regulate your appetite while also positively affecting the way your body reacts to insulin, the blood glucose monitor.
You get the picture — sleep is important! But how in the world can music help make it better?
What is Sleep Music?
When you were a kid, your parents might have sang you a lullaby before bed to calm you down. These soothing melodies are often just the thing to put an infant’s mind at ease, finally letting mom and dad get some shuteye.
And this type of phenomenon isn’t something you outgrow: the benefits of relaxing music before bed can drastically improve your quality of sleep.
Sleep music is just any type of song or melody that you play as you drift off to sleep that helps facilitate a positive sleeping environment. It should be something that helps you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for longer. Some people might classify white, or ambient, noise into this category as well.
Does Sleep Music Work?
Music can make us feel all sorts of emotions. Pop music might get the blood pumping before a workout, whereas a ballad can get those tear ducts flowing. Since music has such power over our feelings, it must also be able to help us sleep… right?
Let’s look at the science. In one study of older adults, it was concluded that listening to music before bedtime was effective in improving sleep quality from just the very first night. This means that continually listening to music may have a cumulative effect, becoming more and more effective each time you use this technique.
Another study showed that sleep music can reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. Similarly, it reduced the number of awakenings during the night and improved the participant’s satisfaction with their nightly slumber.
So listening to calming melodies has shown to improve the quality of sleep, reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep, and then decrease the amount of times you wake in the middle of the night. On top of that, sleep music may be able to drown out other noises, like cars, animals, or housemates, making it effective in indirect ways as well.
Who knew that something so simple could have such amazing effects? But why exactly does it work this way?
Why Does Sleep Music Work?
The way that music makes us feel often has a lot to do with its tempo, or speed. Songs with a slow tempo are effective for stress management and bringing you overall feelings of comfort.
Certain types of music may cause the brain to synchronize with the alpha brainwave. The alpha brainwave is a type of wave that indicates your noggin is in a restful state. So it’s believed that if you listen to music and remain in this state for around 45 minutes, you’ll be able to induce sleep pretty easily.
Sleep music’s effectiveness mostly boils down to the way it can relieve feelings of stress. Feeling uptight or overwhelmed can cause your brain to spin before bed, which can make you feel restless and lead to difficulties actually falling asleep. Also, being stressed is associated with higher levels of cortisol, which increases your alertness. Sleep music is thought to be able to decrease cortisol levels, allowing you to ease into a chiller headspace.
What Type of Music Works Best for Sleep?
Sleep studies are conducted nearly everyday, and there’s a surprising amount of information related to the effectiveness of sleep music. It’s important to note that everyone’s individual preferences are different, so what works for someone else may not work for you. Most people will have the best response to slow, calming tunes, but if heavy metal makes you think of counting sheep, then go for it!
Most research has found that music with a tempo of 60-80 beats per minute (bpm) is most effective in helping you get some rest. This is likely due to the fact that the average resting heart rate is anywhere from 60-100 bpm, so many hypothesize that it helps the two sync up.
If you have a music streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music, there are tons of curated playlists that contain songs which exist in this range. Instrumental tracks might work best, but again, experiment with what seems to feel most natural for your preferences.
How To Get the Most Out of Sleep Music
Listening to some tunes can be a really awesome way to improve your sleep hygiene. When incorporating sleep music into your routine, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Start listening before bed: It can take some time for sleep music to induce those alpha brain waves that’ll make you feel super sleepy. Even if you’re still finishing some errands or cleaning your face before bedtime, try to start listening to calming tracks about 45 minutes before you want to fall asleep.
- Be mindful: If you’re living with roommates or have sensitive neighbors, be careful not to blast your sleep music too loud. In fact, sleep music is most effective when you keep the volume fairly low, regardless.
- Do it often: The more you use sleep music, the better it might work. Try making it a habitual part of your nightly routine!
- Use a relaxing CBD oil blend: Before you let the tunes drift you into a restful slumber, try putting a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue. Smile’s calming CBD formula relaxes the mind and promotes peaceful sleep by incorporating natural CBD isolate with sleep-inducing melatonin. This paired with your sleep music can help you sleep like a baby.
- Speakers > Headphones: Earbuds can cause damage to your eardrums if you have them in for too long. It’s best to use a speaker system somewhere close to your bed so you can play the music loud enough to hear, but soft enough so that it isn’t intrusive. If you don’t have a speaker, you can just play it from your phone or laptop.
- Pick songs that you like: If a pre-made sleep playlist just isn’t doing it for you, feel free to try to make your own with a bunch of songs that you enjoy. Maybe smooth jazz lets you catch some zzz’s, or maybe you feel relaxed from some upbeat alt rock. All that matters is that it works for you.
Sleep is perhaps the most important part of the day, so it’s important you do it right. If you ever find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep, using music as a relaxation tool might be just the thing.
Sleep music has shown to be able to improve quality of sleep while also helping people fall asleep much faster. Songs that have a tempo of 60-80 bpm are most effective, as they line up with your own heart rate.
When it comes to incorporating music into your nightly routine, it’s important to start 45 minutes before bedtime and do it on a consistent basis. Also, it’s better to use speakers instead of headphones to help prevent damage to the eardrums.
It’s time to say goodbye to tossing and turning in bed (unless you’re dancing to some upbeat tunes). Sleep music is a scientifically proven method towards bringing you a perfect night’s rest that you deserve!
If you’re still having trouble falling asleep, why not try something different? Smile’s CBD oils and gummies are packed with naturally soothing CBD isolate, calming 5-HTP, and sleep-inducing melatonin to help you achieve some zzz’s with ease.