Trouble Sleeping? Try this “Adult Lullaby” Formula

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of American adults suffer from sleep disorders, like insomnia or sleep apnea. They’re so pervasive that the CDC has declared them a public health epidemic.

And it makes sense. Sleep issues should not to be taken lightly…

Poor sleep can cause major problems in your day-to-day life—like inhibiting your ability to concentrate, lowering your work performance, and even impairing your driving.

Aside from your daily quality of life, a lack of restorative sleep can have some serious consequences on your long-term health as well.

For instance, studies have shown insomnia increases your risk for:

  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Low libido
  • Obesity
  • Serious falls/accidents

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re consistently waking up feeling exhausted, or crave a nap most days, you’re not getting enough sleep.

Personally, I used to struggle to fall asleep nearly every night. I know first-hand how frustrating it can be.

But instead of turning to sleeping pills or other types of depressants, know that there are safe, substance-free ways to get the deep, restorative rest your body so desperately needs.

Lullabies are for adults, too

According to the latest research, music can serve as a powerful tool in helping you drift off to dreamland.

But the type of music matters.

In a 2014 study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, researchers examined the effects of music listening on a group of 60 adults over the age of 55.

The group was divided in half. One group listened to music before bed and the other did not.

Each night before bed for six weeks, the music group played 40 minutes of soft, slow instrumental music with a tempo of 60 to 80 beats per minute.

At the end of the study, the music group experienced significant improvements in their overall sleep quality, while the other group experienced no changes. These results are especially important, since older adults often encounter increased difficulty sleeping as they age.

Music helps hundreds of restless insomnia sufferers

In 2017, the International Journal of Nursing published a meta-analysis of 20 studies on the effects of music on people suffering from insomnia.

Nearly 1,140 insomniacs were split into two groups. Group one listened to relaxing music before bed, while group two received standard treatment without music listening.

Researchers found that nighttime music listening significantly improved the overall sleep quality and sleep onset latency (how long it takes to transition from wakefulness to sleep) in the insomnia patients.

Adding music to your bedtime routine

If you’ve been struggling with sleep, you most likely know the bedtime basics by now:

  • Avoid late-night snacks
  • Get enough exercise
  • Limit screen time at least two hours before bed
  • Make your room as dark as possible
  • Stick to a consistent wake/sleep schedule

I encourage you to adhere to these recommendations, if you aren’t already.

But I also urge you to try adding music to your nightly routine to take your strategy for deep sleep one step further.

Remember: Soft, slow instrumental music with a tempo around 60 to 80 beats per minute is best. This tempo works to slow down your brainwaves, preparing your body for deep sleep.

To recreate the results of the study I mentioned earlier, try giving my instrumental album a listen. I created Pulse specifically to promote deep relaxation. Each track clocks in at 58 beats per minute. (You can listen to it for free on Spotify or on YouTube.)

For even more ideas to bolster your bedtime routine, here’s another article I wrote on sleep: https://donovanhealth.com/article/how-to-shut-off-your-brain-for-deep-restorative-sleep/

I challenge you to take a hard look at your habits and environment. Are there potential roadblocks there that could hindering your ability to sleep?If so, make changes like your health depends on it (because it does!) You’ll be glad you did.

Who knows… better sleep could be just a few simple songs away.

Sweet Dreams!

P.S. For even deeper sleep, try my Sleep Now Audio Sedation Toolkit.

The tracks are specifically designed to activate your parasympathetic nervous system—the part of the body that brings you into a calm and collected state. Simply click here to learn more about it or get your very own copy today.

SOURCES:

Rodriguez, J. (n.d.). CDC Declare Sleep Disorders a Public Health Epidemic. Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc. Retrieved from: sleepdr.com/the-sleep-blog/cdc-declares-sleep-disorders-a-public-health-epidemic/

Feng, F. et al. (2018). Can music improve sleep quality in adults with primary insomnia? A systematic review and network meta-analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 77: pp. 189 – 196. Retrieved from: sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0020748917302432

Shum, A., Taylor, B., Thayala, J., and Chan, M. (2013). The Effects of Sedative Music on Sleep Quality of Older Community-Dwelling Adults in Singapore. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 22(1): pp. 49 – 56. Retrieved from: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24559816/

Mayo Clinic. (2016) Insomnia. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from: mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355173

Watson, S., and Cherney, K. (2019). The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body. Healthline. Retrieved from: healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body#1

 

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About the author

Jim Donovan M.Ed., is a professional musician and educator. He's an Assistant Professor at Saint Francis University where he teaches music and how the power of sound can help you experience a healthier life.