Monday, March 27, 2017

Best Types Of Music For Helping You Sleep | Music Think Tank

If you regularly follow Music Think Tank, you will find many great music mixes. So how does music affect your sleep? Check out this article.

Everyone has a unique way of drifting off to sleep. Some like to listen to their favourite album, while some prefer to listen to white noise and yet others prefer a random 12-hour audio clip ‘For Sleep’ on Soundcloud.

Another misinterpreted consensus akin to the above is that lullabies are only for babies. In reality, lullabies provide efficient sleep therapy for adults too! Moreover, having adequate sleep is necessary to keep your body and mind healthy not only for the day, but also for your entire lifespan! Boons and banes of sleeping are solely dependent on your choice of how deep you are ready to sleep, in the first place!

What is Music for Sleep?

How do you define sleep? Is it an active or inactive state? Unlike the popular view, sleep is not just a switched off state. In fact, sleep is a highly active state. Of all the daytime interactions of the millions of neurons and their zapping electricity rate with the brain, nighttime interactions are tenfold more active! These are called the brain wave interactions. Our brain waves change with respect to our emotions and activities we indulge in.

Music therapy involves using these soothing sound waves such as lullabies and nature sounds to create an optimum setup for the distressed or somnipathy minds to relax faster and drift off to sleep. There are many types of music therapies, which involve connecting a person, act or feeling with a soothing music to rehabilitate or calm the stressed mind.

When you listen to specifically designed music for sleep, your brain relaxes. It also alleviates addresses and resolves the psychological and physical stress that adds to your poor circadian rhythm and somnipathy. Just as we wake up from sleep when a noise is heard, sleep music creates rhythmic noises to drown the disturbances and keep us asleep.

How does Music for Sleep work?

Firstly, there are two stages of sleep – REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and Non-REM sleep. While the former comprises of the last stage of sleep where our dreams are lucid and retrievable after waking up, the latter is sans dreams and any depth of sleep. It is further divisible into five stages. They are:

Stage 1 (Non-REM 1): Light/ Drowsy sleep where eyes roll around and muscles are subject to motion. This lasts for ten minutes (5% of sleep) and is also dreamless, although hypnagogic (micro-awakening) jerks are largely observed too. The unsynchronised and faster waves called gamma and beta changes into synchronized, slow waves of alpha and theta during the same. This stage is also the transition from consciousness to the state of subconscious.

Stage II (Non-REM 2): The eyes stop rolling as the brain waves and muscles begin to slow down while consciousness of the outside world and its disturbances, fade off. While theta waves establish its specific brain and neuron interactions, sleep spindles (Short-30 seconds and sudden jerks or outbursts called sigma waves) and K-complexes (Short negative peak to slower positive peak to a negative peak, which lasts for 1-2 minutes). This comprises 40%-60% of all adult sleep durations.

Stage III (Non-REM 3) Stage IV (Non-REM 4): As both the phases, are almost indistinguishable in its aspects, it is considered as one sleep phase. Also known as Deep sleep or slow wave sleep, mainly because of the delta waves (slower waves) which impacts in a sleep stage from which it is difficult to get up;
Occurring during the initial 20% of the total sleep time, these stages are responsible for sleepwalking, sleeptalking or somniloquy and nightmares.

Stage V or REM sleep: breathing becomes shallow and muscles enter temporary paralysis, eyes start to rapidly move or jerk to both sides;

As this is the core phase of our sleep, the brain tries its best to prevent any disturbances to the same. Exemplifying, if a sleeper feels the urge to urinate during this phase, the brain incorporates this into his or her dream, and the person ends up bedwetting.

The brain waves transmitted during sleep by our neurons can be measured using EEG to measure total activity in the brain (electroencephalogram ); EOG to record muscle tone (electrooculogram) and EMG to observe Eye Movement (electromyogram). When we listen to music, it changes our feelings and perception and hence our brain waves too. While some music is designed for entertainment, there are also specific music to trigger deep sleep, theta sleep, dream sleep, meditation and concentration in a person as music therapy.


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