What’s The Best Relaxing Sleep Music?

Have you ever thought that there might be sound logic and reasoning behind lullabies? As it turns out, they might not just be for babies.

Can music make you fall asleep in seconds?

During a study conducted by neuroscientists in the U.K. found that the 8-minute song “Weightless” by Marconi Union led to a 65 percent reduction in overall anxiety among participants and a 35 percent drop in their physiological resting rates. In fact, the participants became so drowsy that they were advised to not listen to the song while driving.

Music can actually change your brain

MRI scan while listening to music

Photo: gosocioal.co

Great music can improve our mood  in multiple ways. Research shows us that melodies can cause dopamine, a happy chemical, to release in the brain. Additionally, positive, uplifting tunes can help lift your spirits, while nostalgic songs can take you back to joyful times from your adolescence.

They also found which music genres and instruments did the best job at reducing stress and fostering relaxation. They include Native American, Celtic, Indian-stringed instruments, drums, and flutes. They also learned that sounds of nature, thunder, and rain can be beneficial when paired with other genres such as jazz, classical, and easy listening.

Benefits of Listening to Melodies for Sleep

  • Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Tense thoughts can keep you up all hours of the night, and one of the ways music can help you sleep is by alleviating stress and allowing you to drift off to sleep.

A 2011 study found that listening to music reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol in patients undergoing surgery.

  • Pain Relief
Woman with back to camera with shoulder pain highlighted in red

Photo: Tumisu from Pixabay

Pain, especially in widespread conditions such as Fibromyalgia, is also capable of preventing you from getting much-needed rest. However, research suggests that music may also minimize pain, and by doing so, help you sleep better.

In a 2013 study, researchers used music therapy for people diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. They found that after four weeks of treatment, the participants reported a significant reduction in pain and depression.

 

Other Health Benefits of Music

The great news is that in addition to improved rest, music may provide other benefits as well.

  • Immune System

Music could minimize your risk of becoming sick. Research from 1998[4] looked at music’s impact on immune health. The researchers examined how melodies affected levels of the IgA antibody and discovered that IgA increased among participants who listened to environmental music.

  • Improved Memory
clostheline with 3 post its hanging from it

Photo; Melk Hagelslag from Pixabay

While certain songs can trigger happy memories, researchers wanted to see whether music could help those struggling with memory loss. In a study examining a group of dementia patients, singing and listening to music resulted in improved mood, orientation, and memory. They concluded that music could be beneficial for dementia care.  I’ve seen this in clients and acquaintances – they couldn’t remember if they ate or their grandchildren’s names – but when swing music or some other music from their youth was played – they brightened up, smiled and swayed to the music.

  • Better Exercise

Do you ever notice an extra pep in your step when you exercise while listening to music? According to research, those upbeat tunes can help you get a better workout. A 2009 study found that motivational music led to higher endurance levels among participants.

  • Improved infant’s sleep

As mentioned above, soothing sounds and melodies can help babies sleep by relaxing them. Lullabies, in particular, are the most popular for helping babies fall asleep since they are specially created for young children. In addition to incorporating lullabies, new parents may also want to consider using white noise.

Fetus in womb

Photo; Medical Graphics (CC BY-ND 4.0)

While in the womb, babies become used to white noise, and therefore, it’s something that’s familiar and calming for them.  When babies rest, they will cycle through stages of deep and light sleep, and they can easily awaken during these transitions. However, the use of a white noise machine could help keep them relaxed and mask any noisy distractions that may wake them, potentially helping them sleep longer.

Can music make you fall asleep in seconds?

During a study conducted by neuroscientists in the U.K. found that the 8-minute song “Weightless” by Marconi Union led to a 65 percent reduction in overall anxiety among participants and a 35 percent drop in their physiological resting rates. In fact, the participants became so drowsy that they were advised to not listen to the song while driving.

Can music change your brain?

Great music can improve our mood  in multiple ways. Research shows us that melodies can cause dopamine, a happy chemical, to release in the brain. Additionally, positive, uplifting tunes can help lift your spirits, while nostalgic songs can take you back to joyful times from your adolescence.

The Best Relaxing Music for Sleep

Researchers have found that melodies that have 60 beats per minute allow the mind to synchronize with the beat. This, in turn, causes alpha brain waves, which they say are present when we are in a station of conscious relaxation. They add that in order to facilitate sleep, a person will likely need to listen to the music for at least 45 minutes.

So – what is  “good music” to rest to?

  • Classical Music

When you hear the term “sleeping music,” chances are that classical music is likely the first thing that comes to mind. However, certain songs have a quick and rhythmic tempo, making it a challenge to feel relaxed. That’s why you should pick something slower. For instance, songs and symphonies in which the piano is the predominantly used musical instrument are preferred.

  • Contemporary Classical

The same thing goes for contemporary classical music, which is usually slow and flowy. There are no substantial ups and downs, and the sound doesn’t feel too energetic, making it an excellent option for your bedtime playlist.

  • Chill Out/Ambient

Chill-out music can be a mix of genres, including blues, jazz, and pop. The main idea behind these tunes is to generate an ambient environment in which you don’t overthink or dwell on the memories of the day.

Think of it this way: the only thing the sounds should make you do is stare aimlessly at the ceiling, contemplating an awesome night of deep sleep and relaxation.

  • World Music

As the name suggests, world music is known for encompassing a wide range of different styles. This broad category contains an eclectic mix of artists and song types. If you are looking for something to help you go to bed, try to find soothing and neutral songs with minimal vocals.

  • Meditation Music/Nature Sounds

This is a popular go-to “sleeping” genre. Meditation melodies are specifically created with this purpose in mind – to help you fall into a state of relaxation. Similar to meditation playlists, nature sounds are soothing and should help you relax quickly