How many times have you gotten into bed when you are really tired but you just couldn’t fall asleep? Have you ever been in a situation when you’ve woken up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep for hours?
This is not something that’s too bad when you are young and don’t need much sleep or when you are on vacation and know that you can take a nap during the next day. But what happens when you have to work or take care of your family the next day?
Some people can fall asleep as soon as their head touches the pillow, but others have trouble sleeping. You toss and you turn, you change pillows, but nothing helps!
And the worst thing is, it’s not just the falling asleep process! When you finally fall asleep, you have all types of bad dreams, night sweats and nightmares! It’s easier to stay awake than to “sleep”!
After too many restless nights, bad dreams and constant dark circles around the eyes, I found something that helped me sleep better! And it’s easier than you’d imagine!
I’m going to give you some tips that helped me sleep better and finally wake up well-rested. No need for warm milk or useless medication! You can fall asleep just by listening to music! Here is what helped me and I hope these things are going to work for you as well.
How Music Affects the Mind and Body?
Have you ever listened to a song that made you feel goosebumps going down your spine? Have you ever felt a rush of pleasure just by listening to your favorite song? Well, that’s because music affects the heart rate, breathing and it triggers the release of hormones. It also stimulates the immune system and boosts the brain’s emotional and cognitive centers.
There is no one single type of reaction to music. Different people react to the same song in different ways. And, different tempos, melodies and rhythms can trigger many different reactions.
There are some happy songs that make me cry like a baby and there are some sad or slow songs that make me smile from ear to ear. I’ve always wondered why that is happening and this is what I found out!
Music activates many parts of the brain, including the hippocampus. This is the part that processes memories. Because of it, some songs can make us go back in the past and trigger distant memories.
We all have a unique emotional response to music and the memories we have, we can associate with a song that’s familiar to us.
Music That Makes You Feel Relaxed
Relaxing music can trigger changes to the body that mimic a sleep state. If you want to improve your sleep, you need to listen to calm, relaxing songs. This is what they are going to do to your mind and body.
- Lower the heart rate
- Lower the blood pressure
- Slow the breathing down
- Ease muscle tension
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Quiet the nervous system
- Trigger the release of serotonin and oxytocin – sleep-friendly hormones
- Reduce the release of cortisol – sleep-stifling hormone
So, a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and slower breathing are changes that make the process of falling asleep easier. The soothing effects of music affect the brain and ease the stress and anxiety. If you listen to music that relaxes you before you go to bed, you are helping your body get to the sleeping state both psychologically and physically.
You can read more here how the right songs can help you cope with sleep deprivation and how they can help combat some illnesses.
Songs That Help You Fall Asleep
There is no magic playlist that can help you fall asleep in seconds, that all depends on the type of person you are. However, researches showed that falling asleep to music works!
You need to find the right playlist for you and when you make it, choose songs that are calm and relaxing. To find the right songs, look for ones that have beats around 60 bpm. Tunes like these will slow down your heart rate and breathing.
Chances are, you will need to try out a few songs before you make the perfect playlist for you. You should also know that choosing songs that you are unfamiliar with might make it harder for you to fall asleep. This is because you will spike your brain’s curiosity. It will pay more attention to the lyrics or it will try to recognize the song. Choose songs you know and that make you feel at ease.
Here are some songs that help me fall asleep, you can use them to start your own playlist.
- Fix You – Coldplay
- Moonlight Sonata (1st Movement) – Beethoven
- Let Her Go – Passenger (my personal favorite that always works!)
- Skating in Central Park – Bill Evans and Jim Hall
- Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Many classical songs follow the 60 bpm rhythm and when you listen to these types of songs, your heart will eventually match the beat and start beating at 60 bpm. According to scientists that is the ideal heart rate for sleeping.
To help your body and your mind there are other things you should pay attention to. Try not to eat anything at least 3 hours before going to bed. If you feel hungry, find a light snack that won’t make you feel too full.
Drinking a nice hot cup of tea or warm milk can help you with this as well. And, try not to use your phone or tablet before bed. We tend to spend too much time looking at our smart device and that does not do us any good.
Choosing the right mattress is important as well. The same goes for the right pillow. Try sleeping in a colder room and use warmer covers.
Find the right playlist for you, play the songs and keep the volume down. Try to relax and let your breathing follow the tune. Give the music enough time to work and if the first playlist does not work, don’t give up – try again! Sweet dreams!