Sleep is something which is unique to a person; the bedtime routine, time you go to bed, average number of hours, ability to fall asleep… Some people fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow, others can lie awake for hours wandering why sleep is alluding them.
The general consensus is that getting a good, quality night’s sleep is important for our mental health, energy levels, ability to concentrate and work performance, and there has been many studies into what factors can assist in achieving this. The one we are focussing on is listening to music before bed – as well as other sound experiences including audiobooks & podcasts – and how it can have a positive impact on your ability to switch off and slip into the land of nod.
Music – how it affects our ability to sleep
Music has long been used as a tool to sooth and help us sleep. When we are babies, our parents will sing lullabies as part of the bedtime routine. Naturally, as you get older, the lullabies stop…but continuing to listen to music as an adult could form part of your recipe to a good night’s sleep, and there are a number of reasons why…
- Music can impact on hormones
When stressed, our body releases cortisol, which increases alertness and leads to poor sleep. If you have a stressful day at work, or like many, having been struggling with the stresses of COVID-19, you’ve probably found that your sleep has been impacted. Listening to music decreases levels of cortisol, and so consequently helps put your mind at ease and helps you get to sleep.
Music also impacts on the release of dopamine, which is a hormone associated with pleasurable activities such as exercise and sex. These good feelings can help mask pain – both physical and psychological – so can assist in getting a good night’s kip if you’re experiencing any pain which is affecting your ability to sleep.
- Music can help you fall asleep quicker
Studies have shown that listening to music can decrease the time it takes to fall asleep; women with symptoms of insomnia found that by listening to music as part of their sleep routine, they reduced the time to get to sleep to 6 to 13 minutes1. By making music part of your sleep routine, you can create a calming and consistent system which works for you and also improves your sleep efficiency – so the time you spend in bed, you are sleeping for longer.
- Masks other unwanted noises
If you live in a noisier environment, you may find the noises distracting and that they impact on your ability to sleep, or wake you up in the middle of the night. Listening to music can drown out the outside noises and improve sleep efficiency.
Alternatively, if you are looking to quieten and block out the outside noise, check out our sleep plug product SnugsZen.
What to listen to before bed
As mentioned earlier, sleep is unique to the person, so one prescribed playlist will not work for all. Music can trigger emotional responses in the brain, so you want to be picking songs which are associated with happy, calming memories, not the time you were raving at Glastonbury festival and your heart rate was pumping.
Music can also have a physiological impact, with your heart rate adjusting to the tempo of the song – so fast, upbeat music is best saved for working out during the day. To move your body into relaxation and sleep mode, it’s best to pick songs with a tempo of around 60 to 80 beats minute. A slower heart rate means a slower breathing rate, putting you closer to a sleep state.
Platforms such as Spotify have multiple playlists which help lull you into sleep which you can try out, or if you know what you like, then create your own. Apps such as Calm have seen their downloads double since March 2020 when the first COVID lockdown came into place, so there are plenty of options out there to find the one that works best for you.
SnugsZen+ – custom fit earphones designed for bedtime
SnugsZen+ is the perfect choice for those who prefer to wear earphones to listen to your music/audiobooks before bed. Designed to sit flush in the ear, you can rest your head comfortably on a pillow with no pressure on your ears. Made from a medical grade soft silicone, they can be worn for hours with no irritation or pain from the earbuds.
SnugsZen+ are supplied with a Bluetooth earphone, enabling you to connect to your smartphone and listen to your sleep playlist on Spotify, or your book on Audible – whichever works best for you.
To read more about SnugsZen+ click here
Other benefits of SnugsZen+
- Versatile – designed not just for night time use, they can be used when meditating, working from home and even exercise
- Hygienic – The Snugs can be removed and cleaned to keep them hygienic, reducing risk of ear infection. The material is durable and can last a lifetime if properly cared for
If you are just looking for sleep plugs to quieten outside noise – such as a noisy neighbour, barking dog or snoring partner – then our SnugsZen earbuds are the choice for you. Read more and order here.
- How Music Could Play a Crucial Role in Helping You Get a Good Night’s Sleep [online] – (time.com)