Hearing a favourite song and instinctively tapping our feet is something we have all experienced. Music has a wide range of impacts on the body and mind, including altering breathing and heart rate, activating hormone release, stimulating the immune system, and enhancing the brain’s cognitive and emotional centres.
Music is an effective instrument for emotional well-being, daily performance, and sleep. For most of human history, music has been employed as a curative therapy. Musicians and physicians collaborated in ancient Arabic societies. Music was employed by the Greeks to heal mental disorders. Musicians were sent to US hospitals after World War II to help soldiers rehabilitate from their physical and emotional stress.
There are innumerable reactions to music. There is no single form of musical reaction. That’s one of the things that makes music such a special and powerful tool. Varied melodies, tempos, and rhythms, as well as music with or without lyrics, can elicit widely different reactions. There are our own emotional responses to music, as well as the memories we all associate with familiar music. Music stimulates numerous regions of the brain, including the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory processing. This explains why certain songs evoke such deep memories in us.
How can we make music a part of our sleep hygiene?
Music can be a significant element of good sleep hygiene. Here are some suggestions for adding music into a sleep-inducing night-time routine.
Make it a habit: Sleep is benefited by routine. Create night-time rituals that allow the body to relax and wind down, integrating music in a relaxing and regular manner.
Find enjoyable songs: Make a mix of music you appreciate if a pre-made playlist doesn’t work. While slower-paced songs may help some people relax, cheerful music may help others relax. Try this out to see what works best for you.
Avoid music that evoke strong emotional responses: We all have songs that elicit powerful emotional responses in us. It’s not a good idea to listen to those when attempting to sleep, so try music that’s neutral or positive instead.
Be careful with earphones: Headphones and earbuds might harm the ear canal if the volume is too loud while sleeping. Earbuds in the ears while sleeping might cause earwax build-up and raise the risk of ear infections. Instead, consider placing a small stereo or speaker close to the bed. Choose speakers that do not emit bright light, which might disrupt sleep, and a volume that is both calming and not distracting.
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