Music can make … sleep. It is not the verse of a song by Max Gazzè, but a method that could help those suffering from insomnia to relax and fall asleep. They are not just suggestions, science says: the frequency of the beats per minute in a piece of music affects our breathing and heartbeat, thus creating the conditions to fall asleep soundly.
The relationship between heart and music
One proved it Hong Kong University study, who for three months had some research participants listen to music before sleeping for about half an hour. The experimentation led to an interesting result: those who had listened to the music fell asleep more quickly and deeply, declaring that they felt better the next day than those who had not. The researchers’ secret? The selected songs were all between 60 and 80 beats per minute, practically the same heart rate.
After all, from the womb you hear the heartbeat of the mother, a real music for the ears of the unborn child. And even once born, babies feel calmed and fall asleep to the sweet rhythm of a lullaby. But what happens in the body of a human being who listens to music to the rhythm of his heart? The heart rate slows down and blood pressure is lowered, decreasing the state of stress and anxiety. All this also promotes sleep. Just create the right playlist.
The best songs for sleeping
And speaking of playlists, in 2015 Spotify drew up a ranking of the 20 songs that help you sleep better. The winner? Ed Sheeran, who outperformed the contestants with Thinking Out Loud, appearing in the charts with other songs. The leaderboard was created by browsing through the millions of sleep and relaxation playlists created by users.
Here are the other songs chosen.
2. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
3. Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
4. I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
5. I’m Not the Only One – Sam Smith
6. Rain for Sleep – Rain Sounds
7. All of Me – John Legend
8. Earned It – The Weeknd
9. Let Her Go – Passenger
10. Skinny Love – Birdy
11. Say Something – A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera
12. FourFiveSeconds – Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West
13. The A Team– Ed Sheeran
14. Tenerife Sea – Ed Sheeran
15. Give Me Love – Ed Sheeran
16. Lay Me Down – Sam Smith
17. Fix You – Coldplay
18. Photograph – Ed Sheeran
19. Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
20. Latch (Acoustic) – Sam Smith
Music created to relax
These are the songs considered most relaxing. But there is music to this? The English trio Marconi Union tried it in 2011 together with the British Academy, creating one 8-minute instrumental track from the title Weightless. And as proof of the relaxation effect, a subsequent British study had participants listen to the piece and ask them to solve complex puzzles. The effect was not to fall asleep, but to reduce stress by improving performance. It seems it worked here too!
Just instrumental music and that classical, in fact, they are considered a aid to concentration and relaxation. To find out, just search for “music to sleep” on the web and on Youtube. The most recurring songs? Moonlight by Claude Debussy, Song about the air by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nocturne in E flat major op. 9 n. 2 by Frederic Chopin etc.
But not only that, also i sounds of nature they are considered ideal for relaxing. So much so that in spas these are the best melodies to accompany a massage: flowing water, the chirping of birds, the rustle of leaves moved by the wind, rain.
So all that remains is to wear headphones, lie down and … good night!
Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you are:
6 zodiac couples who sleep peacefully together in bed