Deep sleep is essential for healthy living. Sleeping well has a close connection with your body weight, hormonal balance as well as mental health. Insomnia is becoming a common sleep related disorder. The other problems include apnea, restless legs, snoring, etc. Read on to know if deep sleep music can help with solve your problems with falling asleep or remaining asleep (also known as insomnia).
Insomnia is referred to as a medical condition related to difficulties faced in falling or staying asleep. This condition may either be primary or secondary. Primary form of insomnia is not related to other medical issues or conditions in your body. On the other hand, secondary form of insomnia occurs due to other medical problems that you may already have; these other conditions include abuse of substance (addicted to drugs or alcohol), autoimmune disorders such as cancer or arthritis, mental health conditions (like bipolar disorders or mood swings), respiratory disorders (including COPD and asthma), etc.
Apart from the above categories, your condition may either be chronic situation or an acute spell of insomnia. Chronic condition may be a long-term problem while an acute form of insomnia is a short spell wherein you face problems falling asleep. In terms of timeline, chronic spell of insomnia may occur over 4 nights each week and such spells are found to occur at a stretch spanning more than 10 weeks. Your condition may be labelled as acute insomnia when you have sleeping troubles over consecutive nights for a few days.
Medical studies indicate that as high as 32% of adults may experience insomnia (in its chronic form) in some point in their lives. Monetary value of loss of efficiency at work by sleep-deprived people stands at more than $145 billion every year. National Sleep Foundation (NSF) estimates the odds of people suffering from insomnia as a cause for an accident to be at least 3 times that of regular sleepers. In the US, an estimate of nearly 70,000 accidents is associated to insomnia. In the UK, economic costs of insomnia are equally steep. Nearly 15 million sleep aid prescriptions are filled in the UK alone.
What causes insomnia?
Based on the category of insomnia, its causes may be different. For primary form of insomnia, leading causes include disturbances in your ambience (for example- excessive sounds, lights and highly cold or hot temperatures in your room), anxieties (such as loss of your job, likelihood of a divorce, and loss of a family member or going away from a long familiar setting), etc. Other causes such as unaccustomed working hours (asked to work over night shifts, for instance), jetlag or other travel related discomforts.
Causes for secondary form of insomnia include excessive production of thyroid hormone (known as hyperthyroid syndrome), apnea, mental problems and stress or anxieties. Other causes include fever or cold, abuse of drugs and alcohol.
What are the signs of insomnia?
The distinctive signs of this medical condition are tiredness, excessive weariness during work, inability to concentrate or memorize things. These signs can be triggered by mental ailments (mainly depression or mood swings), altering your working hours (shifting-over to day and night shifts often) as well as any chronic illnesses such as arthritis, asthma or other autoimmune conditions like cancer, etc.
How to treat insomnia?
There is no known cure for an acute spell of insomnia. Your physician may – at best – prescribe a few doses of sleeping pills. It is generally advised not to consume medicines sold over-the-counter.
However, for chronic spells of insomnia- your doctor may first find the cause for your sleepless spells. The likely factors that influence such spells are examined and needful changes are made to your lifestyle or habits. If untreated, insomnia can promote adverse effects such as obesity, memory lapses, added stress and mild impairment of motor functions (for example, slow mental agility and muscular function), etc.
Understanding sleep better
Sleeping activity is divided into Non-REM phases (over three phases in all) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement).
When you have gotten onto your bed, your eyes turn weary and heavy. As your ability to focus drifts away, you enter the phase 1 of NREM. This is a pre-sleep phase where you are at a relaxed mood. Almost all your muscles are at ease and your brain function starts to settle down leading to a calming effect. Your sleep is most vulnerable at this point. For instance, even a mild sound can disturb your sleep.
Here, you cannot be woken up with mild sounds. The rolling of your eye balls will stop here. Rapid activity bursts called as sleep spindles slow down your brain. These spindles protect your brain from being woken up. As a significant development, your heart rate starts slowing down as well as your body temperature gets reduced.
This is the deepest stage of NREM. It becomes difficult for a person to be woken up from this stage through distractions. Night terrors, talking amid your sleep or sleep-walking can show up here.
This is where movements of your eyes are rapid; it is easy to wake you up now.
Can deep sleep music make you sleep well?
A clinical assessment done on sleeping cycles indicates that exposure to music for at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime has resulted in better sleeping experiences. Based on this assessment and other similar studies, experts prescribe listening to soft music is a sure way to keep insomnia out. Sample studies show Bach as one leading proponent of deep sleep music. Other composers who find a place in this list include Mozart, Ed Sheeran and a few others.
Research done on deep sleep music has identified more than 500 composers and artists cutting across more than 12 genres of music. There are computer applications now available to focus on the essential characteristics of their music which boost deep sleeping experiences.
How does deep sleep music promote sleepiness?
Research has understood why people choose music as a medium to boost sleepiness. Respondents have confirmed deep sleep music’s ability to disallow internal disturbances as well as external distractions. The most common external distractions include ambient sounds, noises generated from the street, etc. Deep sleep music is also found to fill the void and silence. In simple terms, a feeling of security as well as a sense of being in a right company of friends is created while people listen to music of their choice.
However, it cannot be assumed that all people suffering from insomnia can fall asleep by listening to all types of music. This is because there are genres of music played to keep people awake and livelier.
What type of music can put you to sleep?
There are pre-ordered sleep inducing music lists. These lists take an averaged-out way to put people to sleep. But, it may not work for all. Instead, experts tell you to select your own list of music preferences. How? Each of us knows what kind of music will put us to sleep. It is fairly easy to know it. You are the best person to know what will put your mind to ease. So, choose a music genre or playlists with such types of notes and characteristics to aid sleepiness.
The choices of music notes or playlists can vary across age and gender. The key thing turns out to be the beats or tempo. It has been found that music with very soft tempo or for instance, classical music can relax your body and mind. In short, such soft beats are known to tune-in your muscles and heart rate in sync with your sleep mode. A study reveals that music with at least 45 to 55 beats per minute can help expedite your sleeping cycle.
Experts claim that music played with minimal words – or no words – can work wonders with your sleeping cycles. Also, it is better to stay away from notes and sounds that may trigger powerful emotional outbursts –negative or positive – inside you. For instance, never choose to play a song that can remind you of an old friend.
How to listen to deep sleep music?
Sleep therapists tell not to use headphones while you are ready to sleep. These gadgets can be extremely uncomfortable to wear and they may also restrict your ability to roll to a side to sleep. There are stray cases wherein people have hurt the interiors of their ears by listening to their playlists over headphones during their sleep time. Other risks you may encounter while your sleep with your headphones or earbuds on are (1) formation of wax (earbuds may block wax from getting out of your ears and such wax can get blocked inside), (2) necrosis (this is a form of death of a tissue; especially when the buds have a poor fit with your ears’ contours) and (3) inability to respond to alarms (for example, a smoke alarm may not wake you up while you sleep with your earphones on). As a very rare occurrence, there is a risk of getting strangulated by the wires of your earphones; there is a chance of death due to loss of needful air to respire.
So, the best way to listen to your bedtime tracks is the radio. But ensure that you are the only one who is sleeping inside the bedroom. This is because playing the radio may disturb the fellow-inmates of your room. Try using pillows embedded with speakers; these are simply called pillow-speakers. Then, there are also bed-phones. These are available at different costs and sizes. Choose such speakers that suit your budgets as well as your size expectations. These can make listening to your bedtime playlists with greater comforts. These are also designed for people who sleep by rolling onto their left or right side. Such types of sleep-friendly gadgets can also help avoid risks of being asphyxiated by wires hanging out of conventional earphones.
How else to keep insomnia at bay?
You can develop healthy habits that lead you to peaceful sleep every night. Some of the good practices you can follow are (1) Never work on electronic devices or equipment with backlit displays during your bedtime, (2) Keep away from nicotine, caffeine or alcohol after noon time, (3) Make time to work out; while hitting your gym, ensure to step out at least three hours prior to your bedtime, (4) Never indulge in a heavy meal; instead eat light to boost sleep and (4) Ensure to go to bed for sleeping at the same time every night. There are a few arrangements you can make in your bedroom to sleep easily. These include keeping your bedroom dark and comfortable and relaxing your mind by listening to music or reading. If you are unable to put yourself to sleep, try creating a list of tasks to be done in the next few days or read a book to induce sleepiness.
Other techniques that are popular are- wearing a mask to cover your eyes, muzzle the sounds that might disturb your sleep and above all, use your bed only to have sex and to sleep.
In essence, insomnia is a medical condition that relates to difficulties you may face in falling asleep. This medical condition may be primary or secondary; primary form is not related to other medical problems. Secondary form occurs due to other medical issues such as autoimmune disorders, mental health conditions, respiratory disorders etc. Studies show more than 30% of adults experience insomnia in one form or other at some point in time. Loss of work and productivity due to insomnia is estimated at over $145 billion every year.
Leading causes of insomnia include disturbances in your ambience, stress, weird working hours, jetlag or other discomforts. The symptoms include excessive weariness and inability to focus on things. A clinical study on sleeping cycles shows exposure to soft music for at least 30 minutes before bedtime leads to better sleep. Research on sleep music has identified nearly 500 composers across some 12 genre. Computer applications can help draw out traits of such music that aid deep sleep episodes.
Your playlists may differ based on your gender and age. In general, music played in a soft tempo can relax both your body and mind. Softer beats are known to tune your brain to resonate well with your sleep cycles. Experts say music played with no words can help a lot. Also, ensure not to play sounds that may awaken strong emotions and can disturb your sleep.
Now you know how to use music to put you to sleep. Hence, get ready to bid goodbye with added confidence to sleepless nights or other forms of insomnia.