How many nights have been spent pacing the floor, singing 'Rock-a-Bye Baby' in an effort to lull babies and children off to sleep? While your child's favourite sleep tunes, may not be registering on your play list, if you are having trouble drifting off to sleep each night listening to your own choice of music may be very beneficial.
Music is fun and relaxing, and unlike some sleep medication it has no harmful side effects. While there is limited science to support the theory, anecdotal evidence strongly indicates that listening to music before bed can help you prepare for a great night's sleep. Both adults and older children report a decrease in the time taken to fall asleep and an improvement in their sleep quality after spending up to 45 minutes in bed, quietly enjoying music before sleep.
It is believed that listening to music affects the parasympathetic nervous system, which plays an essential role in good health, helping the body to calm down from stress reactions. Music leads the body to respond with a sense of calm: the heart rate drops, the breath slows and muscles begin to relax, mirroring the same responses that occur as we fall asleep.
When it comes to personalising your sleep tunes, choose music that you enjoy and relaxes you. While no particular genre is better, classical, jazz and folk music offer mellow, flowy sounds with minimal fluctuations in volume. These slow, rhythmical vibes (about 60 beats per minute) can trigger a synchronised beat with your resting heart rate leading to rapid relaxation.
Add some soothing sounds to your bedtime routine and enjoy the deep, restorative sleep that it brings. If you're not sure where to start, try 'Weightless'
by Marconi Union, written in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy and designed to be the most relaxing song ever.