Classical Music & Insomnia
“As the day turns into night, keep your worries out of sight.
Close your eyes and go to sleep. All your thoughts are yours to keep.”
Ideally, we sleep 1/3 of our lives on average. But how much do we know about sleep? What are the reasons for the lack thereof and what is the cure?
What part does music and particularly, classical music play in sleep inducement?
A record not to attempt
The world’s record for a period without sleep is:
18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes
However, if you aspire to break that record, be prepared for hallucinations, paranoia, and blurred vision and a host of other symptoms.
Causes Of Insomnia
Lack of exercise
Irregular bedtime schedules
Eating too much late in the evening
Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
- Women need an hour more sleep than men
- School-aged children 8 – 11 hours
- Teens need about 10-hours of sleep.
- About 10% of people suffer from sleep apnea – i.e. they stop breathing for a very short time (from a few seconds to minutes) while they sleep.
Simple Sleep Secrets
Ambiance – Keep bedroom comfortable
Distractions – remove tv from in the bedroom
Sleep ritual – go to bed approx. same time every night
–drink a glass of warm milk
-take a bath
–listen to calming music
Can Music Arrest Insomnia?
Regardless of the causes, quantitative evidence strongly suggests that music, in particular, classical music, can induce sleep.
A friend of mine tells me that watching tv late at night puts him to sleep.
For others, simply reading a good book does the job.
And yet, for others, listening to a relaxing tone pushes our snooze button and sends us off.
Whereas, some other methods might work, “music can help people fall asleep,” says *Dr. Michael Breus, Ph.D. It is important, however, to choose music with a slow beat – approximately 60 beats per minute range.
The classical masterpiece “Meditation” from the opera Thais, by the French composer, Jules Massenet is a good example.
If you choose music like “Guns & Roses” instead, your chances of falling to sleep are slim.
Supported by studies worldwide, this connection has no age or gender bias. Even schizophrenics and persons with chronic and short-term sleep problems have been helped.
The Tempo Makes A Difference
In typical studies, people listen to relaxing music (such as classical) about 45 minutes before retiring.
According to Dr. Edward R. Laworski from the Mayo Clinic, “A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 – 100 beats a minute.”
It is not surprising then that “Music with a rhythm of about 60-beats a minute helps people fall asleep, ” according to Dr. Breus.
The heart -rate begins to slow moving toward that 60-beat per minute range, as you are falling asleep. In other words, your heartbeat is “tuned” toward the sleep zone, to the slow music.
But what if classical music is not your cup of tea? No problem. There are other forms of relaxing music which clock in at 60-beats a minute. “The better choice,” says Dr. Breus” is always music without words.”
He warns, however, against listening to anything that evokes strong emotions, whether positive or negative, before bed.
Dr. Breus recommends listening to music in bed, but not with the use of earphones. Rather than earphones which may damage the ear canal, pillow sneakers with speakers are the ideal. Designed to allow you to comfortably listen to music in bed, the sneaker comes in a variety of prices and sizes.
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” – Irish Proverb
What do you think?
Any questions, comments or constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated.
*Expert & author of the Sleep Doctors Diet Plan
-Harward Health Publications 7/12