Can a certain type of music help you sleep better?
Before we proceed, let’s establish that there are different categories of brainwaves: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. For the sake of this blog post not to be too lengthy, we will focus on delta waves.
Delta waves are associated with the deepest levels of sleep, relaxation, and peace of mind. Delta waves operate at a frequency range of .5-4Hz (the slowest and lowest of all the brainwaves). They are what cause sleep to be restorative (assuming that person gets enough sleep in deep stages), which allow the person to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
There are researches that state listening to delta wave music before you go to sleep or as you are falling asleep helps you sleep well (or better). I’ve tried it myself for several weeks and had great results. Keep in mind there are different types of delta wave music. Some may work better for you, as it did with me.
I also personally power down my TV and phone. The phone was always a big distraction for me, especially since I have friends from around the globe. The time difference can be 12-15 hours so the temptation to check your phone for messages can be hard to resist.
I ensure my surrounding is dark. As I’m falling asleep listening to delta wave music, I focus my attention on my breathing. I deeply inhale for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, and exhale for 3 seconds. I do this until I drift out of consciousness.
There are 5 stages of sleep: 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM (rapid eye movement). The cycle starts with stage 1 and progresses onto stages 2, 3, 4, and REM. A complete sleep cycle can take anywhere from 90-110 minutes. The first several cycles have shorter REM stage and long periods of deep sleep. However, as the night continues, the REM stage widens as deep sleep decreases. Delta brain waves are active mainly in stages 3 and 4 of sleep.
Stage 1 sleep is also known as the transitional stage. This is a very light sleep that allows you can be awakened easily. In this stage, your eyes move slowly and the muscle activity slows down. It is common to experience drifting in and out of consciousness.
Stage 2 sleep is also one of the lighter stages of sleep. The heart rate begins to slow down and your body temperature begins to drop. Your eye movement stops and brain waves become slower with the occasional burst of waves called sleep spindles.
Stages 3 and 4 are the deep stages of sleep. During these stages, it is usually hardest to be woken up from. And if a person does wake up, they usually will be disoriented or groggy for a few moments. At the beginning of stage 3, delta waves are combined with smaller, faster waves. As the body moves onto stage 4, delta waves increase while smaller, faster waves decrease.
Blood pressure also drops; breathing becomes deeper, slower and more rhythmic. These stages of deep sleep are extremely beneficial to the body. The hormones are released that help in growth and appetite control. The growth hormones help replenish muscles and tissues that were used throughout the day. The appetite controlling hormones help limit the feeling of excessive hunger the following day. Essentially, these hormones help the development of a strong body and control over-eating. Another pro is the blood flow to the muscles increases, providing oxygen and nutrients.
Stage 5, also known as REM, involves the brain being engaged. This is unlike any other stages. It’s estimated that most adults spend nearly 20% of sleep in REM, while infants spend almost 50%. As we discussed previously, the body heals itself during the deep sleep stages. However, in REM sleep, the mind rejuvenates itself while the body is immobilized.
REM sleep is named appropriately so because the eyes move in various directions while the muscles and limbs are paralyzed momentarily. Breathing becomes shallow and irregular. Heart rate and blood pressure rise from levels they were in.
Most dreaming takes place in REM as a result of desynchronized brain waves. REM helps refreshes the brain, supporting sharp and alert daytime function.
OK. You just read some basic information about the stages of sleep and why sleep is important for our well-being. Where can you find delta wave music? There are places that you can purchase them online, but you can also stream them from websites such as www.soundcloud.com and www.youtube.com
If you do try out listening to delta wave music to help you fall asleep or get better sleep, please let me know your experience with it! Here’s to a better sleep for you all!