Achieve Sound Sleep: How to Fall Asleep Faster with Music

Achieve Sound Sleep: How to Fall Asleep Faster with Music

If you find yourself being woken up at night by different noises and you’d like to sleep soundly instead, it might be a good idea to give your night a soundtrack.

Recent studies have shown than those who are often awakened by noise, like traffic or a flushing toilet, can actually sleep better with consistent music playing instead.

We’re going to discuss how music affects your sleep, when to use music while you’re in bed and what playlists are good to jam out to while you’re drifting off.

How Music Can Help You Sleep

Sleep is best suited in a dark, cool, quiet room. We’ve detailed how to set up your room before, but blocking out sound can be troublesome. Say, for example, that your bedroom window is facing a busy street.

Getting the noise level down to nothing will probably be impossible without investing in some serious soundproofing or by moving to the countryside. To combat this, research shows that having a consistent sound playing for a while is better than the mixture of inconsistent sounds like traffic or a leaky faucet.

Having music play while sleeping can get you to dreamland faster. A study published in the scientific journal, Sleep Medicine, found that in those suffering from mild sleep difficulties, music helped them fall asleep faster than those in the control group.

The familiar rhythm and calming melodies of music are perfect for letting your brain relax. This is key to getting you to sleep instead of staying up and thinking about the day or what you’re going to do tomorrow.

Playing music at night can also remind your brain to relax and start preparing for sleep. Planned relaxing before bed is crucial for getting the right amount of sleep so you focus on rest instead of other things in your life. Having a relaxation regiment is encouraged by psychologists to combat many issues including sleeping problems.

This isn’t just reading a book or watching TV. When trying to relax you are actively lowering your metabolic functions like your heart rate, brain activity and blood pressure. Using music to actively relax is a great way to calm down from your day and make sure that you’re body is in the optimum shape to sleep.

The trick with this approach to sleep is playing the music in the background. You don’t want to have whatever you’re listening to be loud enough that it is just as disturbing as the noise you’re trying to mask. The music should be calm and rhythmic.

Our bodies react to the stimuli around us. This effect is called entrainment and can be utilized to calm down with the proper stimuli. Music that is repetitive and soothing is a great choice for your nighttime playlist.

Adding Music To Your Sleep Routine

Having a ritual before bed is extremely beneficial because it lets your mind know that you’re about to go to sleep. This routine should start about a half hour before your bedtime to give your mind some time to relax.

Use this time to read and don’t look at electronics. Start by using the same style of music, every night to help trigger the beginning of your bedtime routine.

The most important thing to decided is what music you’ll be listening to. You’ll also want to figure out how you’ll be listening to music at night and how long it should play for.

The choice of music that you listen to can greatly change how you sleep. You can create your own playlist however you see fit. Stick to having the same speed and volume for each song so you don’t wake yourself up with big changes from one song to another.

dog listening to music
Photo courtesy of Bigstockphoto

This playlist is meant to be soothing, so choose music that you find calming. Being actively engaged in the music will keep you awake and defeat the purpose of using sound to fall asleep.

Right before bed is not the best time to check out a new song or album that you’ve been dying to listen to. Play songs that you’re familiar enough with to help ensure that they fade into the background.

How you’ll be listening to music is also important. The source of your music shouldn’t be right next to your bed even though it is convenient. Putting your speakers or computer close to where you’re sleeping might be disruptive as you sleep.

Managing the volume of your nighttime playlist is crucial so that you aren’t woken up by sudden changes in the music’s volume or tone. Try to keep the music farther away than your nightstand.

Possibly keep the sound source on a dresser or other piece of furniture. If you’re using your phone to play music, having it away from your nightstand will discourage you from using your phone at night and it will help when getting up in the morning since the snooze button isn’t right next to you as well.

When getting ready for bed, cut yourself off from technology before lights out. This allows your body to process how tired it really is. Start your playlist at this time. Get ready for bed as usually do, but don’t lie down completely so that you don’t tell your brain that lying down is okay before you’re completely ready for bed.

Also, using a sleep timer with your music will minimize the possibility of waking up late in the night because your music has changed volume or tone from what you originally started it at. If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, any music app that you use with it has a sleep timer built into the phone. On Android phones, results may vary with what app you’re using to listen to music.

Set your sleep timer for no more than thirty minutes. If you hear the music stop and you’re still awake at that time, you should get out of bed and try another relaxation method to get to sleep.

Music Suggestions For Falling Asleep

If you want to listen to something that has been prepared for you, we’ve looked around the web to find the best playlists to listen to while sleeping. We looked across various services and platforms so no matter how you enjoy your music, you can find a playlist here for you.

Calm Spotify Playlists:

Spotify is a great resource for quality, hand crafted playlists. They have an entire section dedicated to playlists for sleep.

Here’s one that features acoustic music:

Another popular playlist is simply titled Sleep:

YouTube Videos for Sleeping:

If you don’t want to hassle with a playlist, and instead want one long stream of music, YouTube has plenty of videos that are great for playing as you fall asleep. Most of these videos include meditative sounds and are designed to be repetitive and calming.

Sleep & Meditation CD’s:

Another great option for music that doesn’t require Wi-Fi is listening to a CD dedicated to sleep or meditation. These can be found anywhere that sells CD’s, likely for very cheap. Make sure to purchase one that doesn’t have guided meditation on it because having someone speaking to you could potentially disrupt your sleep.

White Noise Apps:

If you find yourself being woken up by music or you find it too distracting, another option instead would be to use a white noise generator. White noise is simply repetitive sounds like birds chirping or rain meant to play in the background to help tune everything out.

There are many apps like this out there, but we recommend trying Noisli, Sleep Pillow Sounds or White Noise Lite since they are affordable, easy to use and well designed. Use one of these apps to bring white noise into the bedroom as an effective alternative to falling asleep with music.

Sleeping with Music Isn’t For Everyone

If you aren’t plagued by sleepless nights on the count of noise disruptions, music might be a disturbance instead of a sleeping aid. A quiet environment is a preference for many when trying to fall asleep. Random spurts of loudness can disturb how you’re sleeping usually without you remembering the next morning.

If possible, write down how you slept during the night before listening to music and then take notes of your sleeping habits paired with music. This simple experiment allows you to compare your experiences to better understand if music helps positively impact the way you sleep or not.

Really, it is up to you. Experiment with how you’re sleeping in different scenarios. Testing both sleep styles back to back while taking note of what happened is key to finding out if listening to music while you sleep makes sense for you.

Do you listen to music while you sleep? What music do you prefer to listen to at night? Do you have any other nighttime necessities?

Amerisleep: Enjoy the morning you've dreamed of.

Ryan Morton

Ryan is a writer at Amerisleep and loves immersing himself in how sleep works and the benefits of a green lifestyle. As a chronic night owl, he is always looking for the best way to get the most out of his time asleep. When not writing or sleeping, Ryan is usually watching TV or doing something nerdy on his computer.