Did you ever stop to realize that sleep can be a little bit like a bad friend?
Sometimes you are left waiting for it. Sometimes it arrives on time, only to leave a few hours later without so much as a goodbye. Either way, you are likely left blurry-eyed and tired in the morning.
I want you to know that you are not alone.
Nearly 40% of adults have sleep issues. It’s so extreme the CDC says insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.
That’s lead to a 40 billion dollar sleep industry according to a 2017 McKinsey & Company report. It’s probably even bigger now post pandemic. Kinda makes you wish you had invested in it I know. But I don’t want to get off track.
What I do want you to do is save your money. A new study out of UC Davis found that music may be just as effective as a sleeping pill for a good night’s sleep.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND SLEEP AND MUSIC
The study introduces the concept of entrainment where slower-tempo music synchronizes the body with its environment. Kind of like how you align your pace with your friend while walking. Slow-tempo music at around 60 beats per minute induces this entrainment leading to a slower heart rate and heightened sense of relaxation. The study also says it can reduce blood pressure and anxiety. All of which can help you drift off into a good night’s sleep.
MUSICAL CHOICES FOR SLEEP
You pick. Classical, pop, rock, jazz. As long as the songs have the slow 60 beats per minute (bpm). The study participants preferred songs without words, but the choice is yours.
Here are some examples:
Kenny Rogers – “The Gambler”
Johnny Cash – “Hurt”
Chris Stapleton – “Tennessee Whiskey”
Simon & Garfunkel – “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here”
Radiohead – “No Surprises”
Leonard Cohen – “Hallelujah”
Gary Moore – “Still Got the Blues”
G-Eazy ft. Bebe Rexha – “Me, Myself & I”
Post Malone – “Circles”
Sarah McLachlan – “Angel”
Norah Jones – “Don’t Know Why”
Adele – “Someone Like You”
Billie Eilish – “When The Party’s Over”
HOW TO USE MUSIC FOR SLEEP
It’s pretty easy. You can use headphones or speakers. Listen for 30 minutes or more or even all night. The key is the music must be something you like, and adaptable to the 60 beats per minute requirement.
Here’s how you calculate it:
Starting from the first beat, count the number of beats for 30 seconds. Write down the number. Multiply the number x2 to get the BPM of the song.
The study does have it’s limitations. Most of the participants only had mild sleep issues and the number was relatively small. More research needs to be done to understand the impact of music on sleep. You can read the complete study in the Carlat Report starting on page 6.
If you choose to give it a try let me know how it worked for you in the comments below.