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Sleep and the power of music

Can music help you to feel better?

The simple answer is yes.

Music can help us to feel better and sleep better by calming the nervous system, specifically the autonomic nervous system by distracting from anxious thoughts and reducing symptoms by lowering our blood pressure, calming your breathing and heart rate.

What music is best?

Research has shown classical, Piano, orchestral music and some Celtic melodies work best at promoting our ability to sleep and in lowering our blood pressure. Research has also shown that music can even improve SLEEP QUALITY in those with acute and chronic sleep disorders. (International Journal of nursing studies 2014)

Healing music:

Solfeggio frequencies are specific sound tones that are used to help heal different aspects of mental, physical, and emotional health. Although, you may not even hear them, the Solfeggio frequencies can help to reduce stress and slow down your heart rate.

Instrumental music:

Non-vocal music, with a slow pace and non energetic forms are thought to be best for aiding sleep and relaxation. Classical (such as Mozart) is thought to be one of the most suitable, again it has also shown to lower blood pressure.

Sleep music with nature sounds:

Do you find it easier to sleep when listening to the wind or rain on the windows? If so, listening to sleep music with nature sounds, may well help you on your way to a soothing, peaceful sleep. researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) found that participants who listened to natural sounds increased their rest-digest nervous system activity (associated with relaxation).

They also found that people who listened to natural sounds had more of an outward-directed focus of attention. However, artificial music resulted in a more inward-directed focus of attention (a similar state observed in people with anxiety and depression). It was found, those who showed the greatest stress before listening to nature sounds showed the greatest relaxation.

Visualising a nature scene at the same time, is also shown to help. So, if you’re feeling stressed when you should be sleeping, try this audio-visual combination.

Binaural Beats:

These are often used as background sounds in hypnotic audios and can help you achieve that wonderful deep restorative sleep state.

Binaural beats are two different frequencies that each play in one of your ears. When you listen to these two separate tones at the same time, your brain automatically creates a third “beat.” You can only listen to binaural beats using headphones (so you can listen to the two different frequencies at once), so if you only use speakers to listen to music while you go to sleep, your brain won’t be able to perceive the beats.

Different frequencies of binaural beats can help you with different effects. Sleep music works better using Theta waves (3-8 Hz) and Delta waves (0.5-3 Hz).

So, if you’re struggling to sleep or reach that deep restorative sleep try listening to the some of the music noted above.

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