In a lovely twist of irony, I had this post on my list to write today, AAAND I didn’t sleep last night.
I blame it on the nearly full moon because 1) it’s bright as a mother in my room, and 2) the full moon makes me crazy.
The moon is even closer to full tonight, so wish me luck! *fingers crossed*
LUCKILY, I will be able to use what I learn in this research to my advantage by the time we are at full moon status, and music for sleep meditation can help carry me off into dreamland.
In the article below I will answer questions you have about music for sleep meditation and then give you a whollotta resources you can use for a more zen night’s sleep.
Is it good to sleep with music?
According to sleep.org, listening to music while trying to drift off can give you a better quality, and longer slumber.
Music can have real physical affects, too, by lowering your heart rate and slowing your breathing.Sleep.org
WebMD agrees, and explains that “a recent meta-analysis of music-sleep studies focusing on 10 high-quality studies found that music helps people with both short-term and chronic sleep problems.”
Well, ok, but how??
Just from one sentence of this glowing article on benefits of music on sleep, we get “music has powerful and diverse effects on both the body and mind, influencing breathing and heart rate, triggering the release of hormones, stimulating the immune system, and boosting the brain’s cognitive and emotional centers.”
Clearly, there is something to this.
SleepFoundation.org brings in one more piece of this puzzle:
“”Music…has a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body relax and prepare for sleep. Older adults who listen to 45 minutes of relaxing music before bed fall asleep faster, sleep longer, wake up less during the night, and rate their nights as more restful.”SleepFoundation.org
There it is, the parasympathetic nervous system, our body’s “relaxation center.”
So listening to music before bed stimulates the part of our nervous system that tells us to calm down and chillax.
Knowing what I already do about meditation, I think we will see some surprising similarities with the next section.
Can meditation before bed help you sleep better?
I already know the answer to this (I know, I’m being a smarty-pants) and I’m sure you have already used common sense to figure out that, in fact, meditation helps you sleep better.
Sleephelp.org confirms this in their article on the subject, adding:
“Meditation can improve sleep by promoting relaxation. The stress response leaves people feeling on edge…for this reason, research has found that relaxation techniques like meditation can be a useful behavioral approach for treating insomnia.”Sleephelp.org
Science DOES back this up.
The article “Mindfulness meditation helps fight insomnia, improves sleep” published in the Harvard Medical School blog describes a study of meditation and sleep for people in their late 40s.
It found that “those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end of the six sessions.”
So, HOW does meditation help you sleep better, you ask?
The study “Impact of Meditation on the Autonomic Nervous System-A Research Study” published in the Journal of Life Sciences concludes that “autonomic function tests amongst meditators and non-meditators of same age group suggested that the parasympathetic activity was more in meditators.”
There it is again.
Meditation stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, just like music does.
So, if music and meditation BOTH stimulate the area in our brain that tells us to chill out and relax, why not utilize BOTH of those tools at the SAME TIME???
*If you struggle to relax most of the time, visit this post for tons of free resources for beginning meditators and find your chill!
How can I listen to meditation music while I sleep?
Have you ever tried to wear headphones in bed??
I have a set of those big, over the ear headphones and every time I try to use them in bed they go from comfy to medieval torture in about 10 minutes.
Obviously, if you don’t share a bedroom, or if your significant other doesn’t mind hearing the music, you can just crank it out loud with no worries, but that isn’t the case for you, are earbuds the way to go?
Sleep site dawnstudy.com delivers some insightful information about that very question.
In their very thorough article, “Why Should You Avoid Sleeping With Headphones on,” author Don England mentions several possible pitfalls, a few being:
- It can pack earwax into your ear and you may eventually have to go have it dug out by a doctor. Yum.
- Prolonged use of headphones can cause inflammation of the ear canal called Otitis Externa, which can be painful.
- As a mom, this is the one I always think of, being unable to hear warnings of hazards, such as fire alarms, tornado warnings, a sick kid crying, insert your hazard of choice here.
Well, I guess I’m convinced!
But hold up, the article also mentions sleep headphones.
Whaaaat?!? I had no idea this was a thing, but yes. Yes it is.
This obviously doesn’t solve the problem of being unable to hear hazard warnings, but if you live with someone who will wake you up in case of emergency (stay on their good side), or just don’t worry about such things, well here you go!
I honestly might try these for sleep and everyday life because I have never found a comfortable pair of headphones (probably because I’m cheap), and I have tried to listen to sleep meditations a million times with no success, only because of the headphones problem.
And I’m a side sleeper, so well-played, headphone marketers, you get me, AND they are in my price range, which is under $30.
If interested in the sleep headphones, check them out here.
The pillow speaker above is the normal looking sleep pillow (not travel-sized) that has the best reviews.
There are wireless, bluetooth options, but interestingly they seemed to have terrible ratings.
Most Gen Xers I know are fiercely protective of their pillows, however.
It has taken me decades to find a pillow that I can sleep on and not wake up feeling like my neck has been snapped in two.
They would have to pry that pillow out of my cold, dead hands. (Wow, EVEN I didn’t realize the emotions that would come from talking about my pillow, sorry!)
That is where pillow speakers come in!
I like how this design arranges the speakers in this foam pouch as many other styles were just naked speakers that I think might float around in your pillowcase and become an annoyance.
It also had good reviews with one woman stating that she can listen without disturbing her husband, which answers another question I had.
Now that we have found a plethora of ways to listen to music for sleep meditation, let’s get to it, already!
Below are many different types of meditation music resources you can use to help get you to sleep faster!
Calming music for sleep…
For all of the resources I list, my criteria was that they had to be of high quality and they had to be long.
There is nothing more irritating than trying to listen to something to help you sleep, it ends, and you are still wide awake. (Ask me how I know).
The following video from Body Mind Zone is actually constantly streaming, it plays continuously so you never have to worry about it calling it a night before you do!
It features ambient music and, when I listened, there was some nice, gentle piano music layered over the top.
This video from Meditation Relax Music is 3 hours of soothing music and tones with light nature sounds mixed in here and there.
Nature and waterfall sounds combined with flute music make this 3.5 hour track from Hawaii ASMR Nature Relaxation easy to meditate to, and more importantly, easy to fall asleep to.
This one is smooooth.
A second lovely video from Soothing Relaxation layers soothing piano music over the sounds of crashing ocean waves.
Traditional music to drift you off…
The next track from Nu Meditation Music is both gorgeous and inspiring with 9 hours of flute music from Native American artists.
This 3-hour track from Nu Meditation Music features traditional music from India including a variety of instruments, and gorgeous, soulful singing.
Best Relaxing Music offers 2.5 hours of sitar meditation music to reach a heightened state of relaxation (and then sleep!).
If you have read this post, you know how I feel about the didgeridoo (and what I think of every time I see one, tee hee! Get your head out of the gutter, it’s NOT that, and there’s a story behind this!). Healing Resonance gives us 3 hours of didgeridoo music for meditation and sleep. Once I get those sleep headphones, this will be on my sleep music meditation menu du jour!
There is no rhyme or reason to the order I am putting these videos in, and even though this is the last on the list, it is DEFINITELY worth listening to. Nu Meditation Music takes us to Mongolia where a Shaman performs a 2-hour music-filled ritual for our enlightenment and listening pleasure. I can’t imagine the amazing dreams dreamed while listening to this one.
Guided into dreamland…
If you are someone who just wants to lay down and have someone give you directions on how to get to sleep, already, guided meditation sleep music if for you!
This first meditation aptly named the “Sleep Talk Down” from Jason Stephenson features 3 hours of soothing music layered over a meditation guiding you to sleep.
Lauren Ostrowski Fenton brings us over an hour of guided meditation with a light music backdrop aimed to lull you into sleep fast!
This meditation is breaking my self-imposed rule in this post of offering recordings over an hour long, BUT the title intrigued me so I wanted to share it with you anyway (rules are meant to be broken, right??).
One of my favorite YouTube channels, The Honest Guys, has a guided sleep meditation they claim will plop you in dreamland in 12 minutes, flat. I’m not sure what anyone has to lose by trying this one!
Another recording that caught my eye (and ear) is this 3 hour one from Lights of Venus that aims to guide you to sleep AND lucid dreams! Honestly, I just need some shut eye, but I guess if I can have some trippy dreams in the process, bring it!
Delilah Helton offers us our last track on the list with this 1.5 hour guided visual imagery meditation with relaxing background music that takes you on a journey to the Garden of Dreams (hopefully both figuratively AND literally).
Chakra music for sleep…
Whether or not chakras are your thing or something you put any stock in, the following recordings are uber relaxing and can help take you where you want to go the most in the middle of the night.
No, not Taco Bell, your unconscious. A.k.a. sleepville.
The first in this series is from Nu Meditation Music and is 3 hours of music and tones aimed at clearing 7 chakras while drifting you off to sleep.
Nu Meditation Music has actually done us a solid and offers sleep meditation music focused on each of the 7 chakras above.
Focus on a new one each night, or choose the one you feel you need to listen to the most tonight!
Each one is over 2 hours long, giving you ample time to unblock what it stuck and head to dreamland.
The root chakra from Nu Meditation Music…
The sacral chakra from Nu Meditation Music…
The solar plexus chakra from Nu Meditation Music…
The heart chakra from Nu Meditation Music…
The throat chakra from Nu Meditation Music…
The third eye chakra from Nu Meditation Music…
The crown chakra from Nu Meditation Music…
Frequencies for shut eye…
Many claim that allowing specific frequencies of waves into our minds and bodies can change us physiologically and energetically.
Regardless of what you believe, the tones are meditative and soothing.
Here is a sampling of videos that aim to use these frequncies to bring us faster and better sleep.
This 5 hour track is brought to us by SleepTube – Hypnotic Relaxation and describes their recording as being at 3.2Hz for deep sleep.
This is another continuously streamed video and is from Healing Sleep Tones.
At 528Hz, they claim this recording will renew and rejuvenate you while you sleep.
At 8 hours, this recording from Catalyst University describes their video as playing 1-4Hz tones to take you to blissful sleep.
Here is one that can hang with you until morning!
PowerThoughts Meditation Club offers this 10 hour 432Hz recording for an enlightened night’s sleep.
This 528Hz track is 9 hours that Meditative Mind claims will bring you sleep and positive energy vibes.
Sound Bath for sleep…
If you have read this post, you may already understand that I have a new obsession with online sound baths.
There is something about those dang crystal bowls that Chill. Me Out.
No clue why, but regardless, I am sharing some sleep-enhancing sound bath meditations with you.
First, I want to give you my FREE Online Sound Bath Finder Flowchart that is A) Fun, and B) Perfect for helping you find the PERFECT online sound bath experience for YOU at this EXACT MOMENT.
Get it, you don’t know you need it, but you DO! ↓
Calming me down when I need it is no easy feat, and I hope you have as much luck with sound baths as I have!
*Disclaimer, the following videos are probably going to be mostly from the Healing Vibrations channel, not because they are the only folks offering high-quality online sound baths, or because I’m affiliated with them whatsoever (I’m not), but because I am also slightly obsessed with them at the moment.
Not, like, restraining order obsessed (oh my goodness, I will be so embarrassed if they ever read this, I just appreciate your work, people! Peace!), but because they have put out a ton of videos that are consistently amazing and also beautiful to watch (although when you’re sleeping that won’t matter, soooo…
And they are good at coming up with titles, Exhibit A: Midnight Sound Bath Brain Massage.
This hour long sound bath was designed “with the beauty of the night on our mind.”
Also from Healing Vibrations, this 3.5 hour experience in relaxation was filmed on a beach adding the sounds of soothing ocean waves to the mix.
This recording from Healing Vibrations will sustain you through the night with 10 hours of sound bathing relaxation.
Need something a little more subtle?
The last video in this section actually isn’t from Healing Vibrations!
If you know me from my other posts, you know there HAD TO be a gong in here somewhere.
I present to you 7.5 hours of gong meditation goodness from
Sound-and-Silence Resonant Healing.
Listen with your method of choice and drift off to the powerful sounds of the gong!
In my research, I stumbled across this gem and knew I had to share it!
I could think of no category to put this in, so here it is standing on its own as a bonus.
Study-Sound-Girl brings us 4 hours of ambient sound far from the infiltration of human-made noise polution.
Just silence and stillness, except for the breeze blowing through the Alps.
This resource has offered many tools you can use beginning tonight. Sleep is imperative to both our mental and physical health. I hope one or more of these recordings can help you find faster and better quality sleep.
Thanks for reading, and take care!
GET MORE ON MEDITATION
Kiran, & Arora, Anterpreet & Kaur, Deepinder & Thaman, Richa. (2011). IMPACT OF MEDITATION ON AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM-A RESEARCH STUDY. Journal of Life Sciences. 1. 2277-2103144.