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March 28, 2018
After a long day’s work, you should be tired and ready to fall into bed for a well-earned rest. But what happens when your body is tired but your brain won’t play along? One of the best sleep remedies might involve your ears.
Common sense dictates that relaxing music can help you fall asleep more easily. After all, mothers have been singing bedtime songs to their babies for centuries, and they seem to work, right?
Scientists who have studied human sleep have also found empirical evidence that music can calm the mind and prepare your body for sleep. Listening to music has been proven to reduce your body’s stress responses and improve the overall quality of your sleep. Best of all, it’s practically free to try, as long as you own an MP3 player or a radio that you can use in your bedroom.
So does it matter what kind of music you listen to before bedtime? While there’s plenty of room for individual tastes to shine through, there are some general rules of thumb to follow to make sure your music is restful rather than rousing:
Once your basic equipment is in place, it’s time to chose the right playlist to help you sleep. Try these ideas for a restful soundscape:
Conventional wisdom has always recommended classical music for sleeping, particularly Baroque pieces that don’t have big fluctuations in dynamics — that is, it doesn’t move from loud to soft frequently. Bach and Mozart are usually good choices, but anything with a slower pace and no lyrics could work. You can also try instrumental versions of songs you like — a Muzak station on Pandora would be perfect.
You know those CDs of New Age music that seem like they go on forever? Repetitive music is perfect for sleeping. The idea is that you’ll get lost in the middle of the song and just drift away. Whether you choose music composed specifically as a sleep aid or try Celtic or Native American music, the slow pace and long songs make good choices.
It may take some experimenting to find the right combination of songs for your perfect playlist, but it’s worth the effort. Once you train your brain to feel sleepy when a certain song plays, a good night’s sleep could be just moments away.