Could added audio benefit your bedtime routine? Try our sound suggestions and sleep on it.
Noise and sleep may not seem like natural bedfellows, but the right sounds can aid a good night’s slumber. From white noise to calming music we look at some of the best sounds to fall asleep to.
1. White noise
Traffic, an inexplicably loud-ticking clock, inconsiderate neighbours, all the above could stand in the way between you and a good night’s sleep. White noise drowns out the awkward and audible, to allow your brain to switch off more successfully. It’s a combination of all the sound frequencies that a human can hear across random patterns of sound. Recently the case for pink noise – a more natural sounding mix of high and low frequencies - has gained popularity for helping trigger deeper sleep.
2. Calming music
While music is a matter of taste, it helps to be scientific when choosing a playlist to nod off to. Think slow tempo instrumentals around 60 to 80 beats per minute. Jazz, classical and folk are ideal genres to make your slumber selection from. Soothing sounds can alleviate stress, help lower your heart rate and spark the release of sleep-friendly hormones. Keep up the late-night listening and you’ll find that your brain flicks the sleep switch easier over time.
We all know that a gentle voice can inspire a state of calm, but could it help you drift off? The sound of a soothing human voice can reduce stress levels and tell our brain that it’s time to shut down. Falling asleep with the sound of chatter in the background could help. However, if your favourite podcast is a true crime thriller or a comedy series, it’s probably best to go for something a little less mentally stimulating.
4. Sounds of nature
The sound of a babbling brook, wind-swept trees and a singing bird evoke calm in listeners, a state that lends itself to deep relaxing sleep. It’s no surprise then, that research recommends introducing the sounds of the wild into our bedrooms. Our brain deciphers sounds as threatening or non-threatening, so surrounding yourself with a reassuring soundtrack from mother nature could help your brain, slow down at night.
Many of us find it easiest to relax with noise at a minimum. If you don’t have a negative or stressful association with silence, your brain has no reason to stop releasing sleep-friendly hormones - think of them as chemical messages to your body to push on with the power down process. Ear plugs, thick carpets and noise cancelling curtains can all play their part in achieving tranquillity.