Consider, you had a hectic and stressful day at work. When you go home, the first thing you want to do is get a good sleep. After the sleep when you wake up feeling energetic and all hyped up, that feeling is truly blissful, isn’t it? Sleep is among those things that we don’t pay much attention to but these are the reason behind our wellbeing. Having a proper amount of sleep is just as important as having a balanced diet, doing exercise, brushing your teeth, and taking a bath.
Without a good amount of sleep, we won’t be able to perform our day to day activities as planned. But in today’s hectic world, we deprive our body of good sleep. We prioritize work and money over the cozy warmth of our bed. This might sound responsible and mature but you are actually killing yourself. Some people are blessed with instant sleep ability while some can’t even get sleep after huge medications. That’s why people, doctors, and psychologists have relied on music to treat the sleeping problem.
In this article we will be looking at sleep health in brief and also know about using music to get better sleep. I hope after reading this you will be able to get a good night’s sleep.
How Much Sleep Do I need?
A sound sleep acts as a magic potion when you have it in a proper amount. But it becomes harmful if you go too low or too high than what is recommended for you. The sleep duration varies among people with different age groups. The table below clearly shows different age groups with the proper amount of sleep needed.
|Age Group||Proper Sleep Time (In Hours) each day|
|4 months- 1 year||12-15|
The sleep time may also vary on other factors. For the working-age group, if you had a long working shift and have engaged in more physical activity then you need more sleep. On the other hand, if you had a lazy day and did not do anything but watch movies lying on your bed, then you can reduce the sleeping length by 1-2 hours.
Benefits Of Sound Sleep
Having a deep NREM sleep is extremely important not only for human beings but for all creatures. When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, good sleep is just as important as physical exercise and a balanced diet. Without a night of good sleep, it is impossible to be in a physically and mentally healthy state. Sound sleep has numerous benefits and some of them are discussed below.
Reduces The Change Of Weight Gain
Sleep affects weight gain by bringing a change to hormone levels like leptin and ghrelin. The leptin hormone encourages the body to suppress the appetite and use up more energy. When you are getting a lot less sleep than requires, then, your body suppresses the production of leptin. This leads to less metabolism and more food consumption which leads to weight gain. So, even after doing all those sit-ups if your belly doesn’t tuck in then you should probably increase your sleep time.
Another hormone called ghrelin goes up when you lack sleep. Now unlike leptin, ghrelin increases the feeling of hunger. So, one way or the other, sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain.
Good Sleep Increases Productivity And Concentration
When you have a good night’s sleep, you wake up the next day with great energy and enthusiasm. This encourages you do get more productive. If you sleep early and wake up early then, the next day you have enough time for everything you want to do. You can learn a new skill, do your laundry, get plenty of exercises, and maybe even spare time for recreation. Overall, your day becomes productive and fruitful.
If you sleep well, then you won’t be yawning and thinking about your bed for the next day. This directly increases your concentration in work or studies.
Good Sleep Enhances Athletic Performance
Athletes need more sleep than regular people because they indulge in more physical activity. Sleep is equally important to athletes as exercise and nutrition. A well-slept athlete performs effectively the next day than the one with less sleep. So, athletes with sleep deprivation experience fatigue and low stamina.
Good Sleep Boosts The Immunity System
When you are sleeping, your immune system produces a hormone called cytokines. These hormones are responsible for the healing of infection and inflammation. Sometimes these hormones are also important in stress reduction. Hence if you are deprived of good sleep then the hormone becomes significantly low. This leads to less immune function and you become more likely to catch a disease.
Good Sleeps Makes You Emotionally And Socially Intelligent
A person with sleep imbalance or a low amount of sleep becomes incapable of identifying social and emotional expressions. He/she becomes unable to recognize other people’s emotions and expressions. This gives them a hard time adjusting among people and socializing with them. A sleep-deprived person hence doesn’t have any companion and has social anxiety.
Why Am I Having Hard Time Sleeping?
There can be various reasons behind your sleep deprivation. Some can be temporary while some are permanent and long term. Sometimes sleep deprivation can be caused by jet lags, caffeine-overtake, medications, etc. These causes are temporary and can be fixed easily. Likewise, things like a mattress in the bed and room temperature also matter while sleeping. You can also change these by getting a suitable mattress and using A/C to optimize your room temperature.
However, there may be some serious causes behind insomnia like stress, overthinking, health conditions, etc. These conditions are responsible for the excessive production of hormones like cortisol and suppress melatonin. The suppression of melatonin makes you deprived of the sound sleep that your body needs. The lack of melatonin also disrupts the circadian rhythm. This means that our mind won’t intercept day-night as wake-sleep anymore.
What Can Sleep Deprivation Lead To?
The lack of sleep might sound like a minor thing but can be poisonous. Sometimes this deprivation can lead to serious incurable diseases and disorders. Some of the scientifically proven effects of sleep deprivation are:
Type Two Diabetes
The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin that regulates blood sugar levels. When you are under stress or depression, your body releases cortisol which affects the proper functioning of insulin. This less insulin and more cortisol in the body ultimately leads to type-2 diabetes.
Low Sex Drive
Low libido can also be a major problem in people who don’t get enough sleep. The stress hormone cortisol which is produced for sleep deprivation suppresses testosterone in men. This can lead to erectile dysfunction and low sexual energy. In females, this can lead to a lack of estrogen and ultimately to permanent infertility.
Risk Of Heart Diseases And High Blood Pressure
People who don’t get enough sleep are always at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease regardless of age, smoking habits, and weight. Since sleep deprivation is directly associated with weight gain and high blood pressure, it isn’t hard to imagine being at risk of heart disease. Also, the stress hormone affects inflammation in the body which can ultimately lead to heart disease.
Poor Physical Balance
Lack of sleep can affect your balance and coordination making you more prone to falls and other physical accidents. So, you might fall while standing, walking, running, or involving in other physical activities.
Using Music To Sleep Better
People nowadays use medial sleep aids like pills to help them sleep. But these things have side effects and are not good for the long term. So, people have found a new way: music. Music not only has recreational ability but also can help you sleep better. Some forms of music are widely used by people to cure their stress, depression, and even insomnia.
How Can Music Help Me Sleep?
It is scientifically proven that when you listen to music your heartbeat and breathing decrease, your muscles tend to be relaxed and your blood pressure decreases. Music like classical, jazz and folk songs have the highest positive effect on the listener’s sleep.
Music not only makes you sleep but also increases sleep efficiency. This is the actual time you are in deep sleep. So, people who listen to music before or while sleeping are free from those restless REM sleep and don’t wake up at certain intervals. Sometimes music is directly related to sleep whereas, sometimes it makes us drowsy by reducing the stress inside of us.
Sometimes the reason behind your sleepless nights can be due to physical pain. Music helps to reduce both acute and chronic pain in the body by diverting the mind or distracting it. Sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen along with growth hormone help in wound healing. All of these hormones are boosted by music and especially binaural beats. Music also stimulates the production of “happy hormones” i.e. dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin.
How To Use Music For Better Sleep?
Now we know that music plays a great role in treating sleep deprivation naturally. But what is the proper way to use it? Since it is a medicine, it has limits and some minor consequences on your lifestyle too.
Choose The Right Kind Of Music
Choosing some random fast tempo music won’t be any good in case of sleeping. SO, we have created a perfect app for you that you can use to listen to the soothing sound “Good Vibes Official”. Good Vibes Official is available on both Android and IOS. The app provides a wide range of music, audio, and lessons for meditation, sleep, mindfulness, and gentle body stretching.
The application also contains guided meditation audio. There are free and paid courses available to this app to ensure your wellbeing and mental health. The app also provides soothing bedtime stories to help you fall into deep and natural sleep.
Prefer Slow Beats
Arguably the best soothing music ever made is Marconi Union, “Weightless”. What makes this song so soothing is the BPM (beats per minute). The song starts at 60BPM and eventually goes down to 50BPM. The band worked with sound therapists to create this masterpiece. Electra, Watermark, Strawberry Swing, Please Don’t Go, etc. are all some of the best soothing songs ever made because they have slow beats.
When you listen to lyrics, your brain suddenly wants to know their meaning and significance. This doesn’t help your brain relax at all. To help your body fall asleep, your mind must be free of doubts, questions, and queries.
Don’t Use Headphones Or Earbuds, Unless You Are Listening To Binaural Beats.
You can get a better taste of the music when you are listening through headphones. But sleeping with them on can be uncomfortable and can also damage the ear canal (especially earbuds). So, the right way to listen would be to get a speaker in your room and play the music all night long.
Don’t Ignore The Rest Of The Sleeping Environment
Even with the best music in the world, you may not be able to get the sleep that you always wanted. This can be due to room temperature, uncomfortable mattresses, etc. So, maintain these things is more important than listening to a piece of great music. You should also choose a comfortable sleeping position and make sure that there is no noise or disturbance around you while sleeping.
All in all, music doesn’t just comfort your ears. It has life-changing benefits if used correctly. Curing sleep deprivation is probably the most recognized benefit of music with slow beats. Besides, binaural beats are also one form of music and we have already discussed the benefits of them.
To sump up, sleep is one of the most crucial elements of healthy well-being. It is possible to cure sleep deprivation with pills and medication but it can be harmful. So, relying on music to fight against sleep deprivation is the best idea. No one should be deprived of a sound sleep and music is free for everyone. So, why not use it for the best? I think I have included every bit of information regarding sleep health and music for sleep deprivation.