Everyone loves music. Its calming qualities do so much good for the body. Nowadays, music can do the job using binary beats or certain frequencies aimed at a certain outcome. They’re using specific classical music pieces to calm the mind and nervous system.
How do these and other musical genres do the body good? Can you use country music, rock and roll, or jazz? What kind of good does music do? For example, can it help you sleep? You bet, and here’s how.
Why listen to songs to help you sleep?
Not everyone recognizes the clues regarding why they aren’t sleeping well or at all. The tight neck and shoulders, the headache, and the muscles tied in a knot are all signs that stress has its hooks in you. The mind goes around in circles accomplishing nothing.
It happens in the brain. Stress changes the way ordinarily happy neurons work together in the brain. When they’re unhappy, stress hormones called cortisol are released from the brain into the body. When the stress doesn’t stop, this situation becomes normal to the body.
When this is the situation, our digestive systems don’t work properly, the immune system is out of whack, and we can’t sleep, to name just a few consequences. The snag to that is that we treat the symptoms instead of the cause. This leaves us unable to sleep without knowing why.
Well, this is the why. Now, we’ll learn how music soothes us.
What Is It About Music That Soothes Us?
Since we process music in the brain, it makes sense that its benefits begin there. Listening to music releases endorphins or the feel-good hormones in the brain. The benefits of feel-good hormones go beyond the brain, though.
When the brain is operating normally and feeling good, so does the immune system, the digestive system, and the endocrine system (if you’re hot or cold, feel like stretching, or tapping your feet to the music.)
How Does Music Help Us To Sleep?
When was the last time you softly sang to a baby as you rocked him to sleep? Toddlers and kindergarteners, too, love to hear Mom and Dad sing them to sleep. The movie Four Men and a Baby comes to mind. It’s about the brain converting the music into sound waves that affect the mind’s hormones.
Dopamine is another feel-good hormone that we have the benefit of during sex, dancing, dining, exercise, and other fun activities. Listening to music also affects the nervous system by calming the body into a lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and more measured breathing. Now, the body is ready for sleep. So what kind of songs help us sleep?
Songs That Help Us To Sleep
You wouldn’t crank up Bon Jovi or some of Garth Brooks’ more raucous songs when you’re trying to sleep. What you want is soft melodies, gentle instruments, and quiet sounds to soothe that savage breast we discussed earlier. Try these:
Tip: Don’t use uncomfortable earbuds or headphones. If you’re using your phone, turn off the notifications. Begin listening to your music for about 45 to 75 minutes before you want to fall asleep. Make a playlist that lasts around 90 minutes.
Weightless By Marconi Union
Soft and gentle, quiet and soothing, this song is ten hours long. You’ll only need one-fifth of that, though, due to the composition’s steady music. There are no jarring instruments introduced, and what is introduced is soft and fits right in the composition.
It almost reminds you of binary beats with the exception of the instrumentation. It’s the same spectrum of sound, just with different instruments. You’ll hear a guitar being plucked as well as a keyboard’s soft sounds. Find it on YouTube.
Electra By Airstream
This is more today’s music than classical, for instance, but it, too, is soft and soothing. You’ll identify the soft touch on the piano, the gentle beat of the snare drums, the violin, and more. It’s so soothing, though, that modern doesn’t even make a ripple in your sleep pattern. Find it on YouTube.
Watermark By Enya
The soft piano work on Watermark is soothing along with the ethereal string section. It only lasts a couple of minutes, but if you pull it up on YouTube, you’ll get the whole album. The second selection incorporates Celtic voices that sound like an angel’s choir singing along with violins.
The whole album is a little less than 45 minutes long. All of it is soft and soothing, but Enya is known for that. Her Orinoco Flow is just as gentle and great for falling asleep. You’ll find both on YouTube.
Clair De Lune By Claude DeBussy
Lasting almost an hour, this piece is a gentle piano movement, soft and quiet. There are no moments of pounding keys, just steady, gentle music. You should fall asleep in no time. You’ll find it on YouTube.
No one doesn’t love to hear the rain falling against the roof or the windows. It’s nature’s way of knocking us out with soft, gentle, steady sounds. You will find from three up to ten hours of rain sounds on YouTube such as this one.
Native American Sleep Music
Some instruments are more conducive to relaxation and sleep than others. The Native American flute is one of them. Steady, soft, gentle music wafts you off to sleep in this nine-hour YouTube video.
The Music Of Nature
Are you calmed or soothed by the sound of leaves rustling in the trees? How does the sound of a chuckling brook make you feel? Does the sound of the breeze soughing through the trees or tall grasses calm you? Then listen as the sounds of Mother Nature guide you into sleepy land. You’ll find three hours of it here.
Some artists put together soothing music and call it a mix. This one is slow, soft, and gentle. It lasts 30 minutes, but by then you’ll be out of it. Find it here.
Binaural Beats For Sleep
These recordings are found in New Age shops, Amazon, and even department stores. They’re recorded in frequencies matching the goal of the exercise. For example, if you wanted to heal from an accident or injury, there are frequencies that help. Weight loss, mindfulness, meditation, anger management, and, yes, sleep are all frequencies. Match it up with the music, and you’re off to the races.
This one, for example, is called Midnight Aurora. It’s ten hours long, but you won’t hear the end of it. It’s that soft and soothing. Try it on YouTube here.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.