I go to my kitchen to prepare lunch, thought races with everything waiting for me, back to my office. Thoughts of unread emails and unfinished tasks weigh heavily when I pull out my phone and turn on a simple, sweet melody. Within a few minutes, my heart rate slows down, my rhythm relaxes, and I cut tomatoes to the slow, steady rhythm of the song. What was I still worried about?
Music clearly has a significant Effect on the Brain. It can provoke memory, shift attention and – as my experience of midday cooking shows – change mood and emotional states in a very short time. It is one of the most powerful wellness tools available to us, and perhaps one of the least used.
Daniel Bowling, Ph. D., a neuroscientist who studies acoustics at Stanford, believes that most of us can manage the music we listen to and when, a little more deliberately. “If you are someone who loves music, take your therapeutic potential seriously, as you would for meditation or reading a book,” he suggests.
A number of new companies – including Spiritune, a phone app that reproduces sounds tailored to mental health for which Bowling is the neuroscience advisor—are now trying to help people take care of their emotions with sound science. Of all the ways we can use music to influence our mood, Jamie Pabst, founder of Spiritune, notes that many users of the application take it out to relax before going to bed.
Are you looking for the perfect song to put you to bed quietly, relaxed and ready for a deep sleep? Here is your scientifically based checklist:
1. Take into account your personal preferences.
Musical preferences are largely personal, and a song that is aimed at one person can be completely off-putting for the next person. This is partly due to the memories that music can evoke, says Greg McAllister, Senior Sound Experience Manager at Sonos, who helps create the company’s sleep stations for Sonos Radio.
“Everyone has their own personal experience with sound and music. These things are quite nostalgic and unconscious,” McAllister says. “When you hear a particular piece of music or sound, it can remind you of a specific moment. As we have had different experiences, we will find different things enjoyable.”
He adds that we might also crave different melodies from one night to the next, depending on the day we had. This means that there is not one song or a series of songs that will appeal to everyone, all the time, and we should first consider the type of music we enjoy when we create our personal soundtracks at bedtime.
2. Look for smooth and even tones.
That being said, Bowling notes that There are rhythms and musical characteristics that hold universal appeal. He cites Mozart and Beethoven as examples – something in their music has resonated around the world for centuries. Thanks to his research that unravels the evolutionary underpinnings of our musical and sound preferences, Bowling thinks it’s mainly because of the way certain musical sounds mimic human singing.
Since our ancestors have long been adapted to the sound of others, music that corresponds to our human intonations is unconsciously attractive. “When we talk, all the vowels we make have this quality of being tonal,” Bowling says. “These sounds are essentially what music is.”
He says we can use these parallels to our advantage by searching for music that sounds like the emotional experience we want to make. For example, if you want to relax for the bed, Remember how the voice of a tired person would sound: soft, regular and straight. McAllister adds that soft music with notes that gradually increase and then fall back can also register as soothing and soothing.
3. Lose the Texts.
Here, too, the Personal musical Selection. However, both Bowling and McAllister point out that songs with lyrics are probably too distracting for most people’s bedtime. “It takes a lot of resources to process speech,” Bowling says, adding that texts illuminate different parts of the brain than sounds alone. Research has shown that catchy Choruses that get stuck in our heads can particularly disrupt sleep. You’d probably be better off hearing something instrumental instead, especially just before bedtime.