It’s no secret that music has a huge impact on physical, psychological and emotional states. That’s why an upbeat pop track makes you want to get up and dance, a song with lyrics about heartbreak invokes feelings of sadness, and music with shredding violins, featured in horror movies gets you on the edge of your seat. Just as music can elicit all of these feelings, certain music can bring upon feelings of productivity. This is where chill music comes in, which is great for background noise while hitting the books or working as it doesn’t distract.
Now this brings upon the question: can music help you fall asleep faster? Absolutely! No, we don’t mean blasting rock music or having the latest rap song on repeat. The music we’re talking about is on the complete opposite end of the music spectrum, relaxing music without words. By relaxing music we mean tunes that have a rhythm of 60-80 beats or less per minute. Why is this? Well, our resting heart beats around 60-80 times per minute and as you’re falling asleep your heart rate begins to slow down until it falls into this range. By listening to music that has a similar beating range as your heart in a resting state, the tune can physiologically slow your heartbeat into mimicking a sleep state. Yes, your heart rate will slowly sync to match the beat of the song. In addition to a slower heart rate, listening to songs with a rhythm of about 60-80 beats per minute, will relax your muscles, lower your blood pressure, ease muscle tension, slow down breathing, ease feelings of stress and anxiety, and trigger the release of hormones that help you sleep, such as serotonin.
Music has been such an effective tool for improving sleep, sleep therapists and musical artists have joined forces to create songs specifically for the purpose of helping people fall asleep. In 2011, both the British Academy of Sound Therapy and the English band Marconi Union worked together to produce a song called “Weightless.” It was created to replicate the tempo of a heartbeat, it begins at 60 beats per minute and slowly winds down to 50 beats per minute towards the end. “Weightless” is referred to as the “most relaxing song in the world.”
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try playing “Weightless” or any of these other relaxing songs before heading to bed! Also, please don’t fret if listening to relaxing songs doesn’t make an immediate difference the first couple of nights. Just like with everything else, this is one of those things you must stick to before noticing a change. This isn’t a quick fix and in order to start benefiting from the therapeutic effects that come along with this music, you must incorporate it into your schedule. The more consistent you are, the stronger the soothing effects will become. Check out the tracks below!
“Weightless” by Marconi Union
“Relaxing Sleep Music” by Soothing Relaxation (our personal favorite)
“We Can Fly” by Rue du Soleil
“Electra” by Airstream
“Watermark” by Enya
“Claire de Lune” by Claude Debussy