We seldom pay attention to all the noises we hear at one point in time, but we often go through our days hearing noise pollution – sounds which take a toll on us mentally and emotionally. This sound pollution affects us by:
- adding to stress levels
- changing our moods
- giving some of us headaches
- slowing our performance
Ongoing research shows, among other things, that music can help relieve pain. Music can speed us toward relaxation and it can transport us to wonderful places. It hushes those chattering voices in our heads, so we can relax and go to sleep. Our minds can’t follow two things at once. So, practice following your music, and hush the inner dialogue.
There has been a growing interest in the use of music over that past few decades. Many studies bring conflicting evidence. The U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine listed a study in August, 2013 titled, **The Effect of Music on the Human Stress Response.** Patients lined up for surgery are naturally in a hightened state of stress. In this study patients were allowed to listen to the music of their choice. This was unusual because most studies play the music of it’s choice. Patients were not allowed headphones. Therefore the sounds of surgery were being heard as well. Still music was effective in decreasing perceived stress levels!
Music today features CDs or downloads with nature sounds. I’ve bought several but found it hard to match my feelings. I’m really tuned into nature, and playing a ‘spring rain’ was confusing. This is funny! Try listening to a trickling brook and see if you can sleep. It made me want to get up and go to the bathroom. 🙂
I’d like to share this experience with you. My husband plays the keyboard. In the evening he always plays for a while. His style is so relaxing, so I choose this time for evening stretches. Music is important for those of us with chronic pain. I never used music as a tool, and never thought of it until I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. That’s when music became my favorite avenue to peace and less stress! When pain or stress gets the best of me, I put my headphones on and put in a CD with soothing sounds and leave it all behind. I recommend head phones that cover your ear, blocking out other noise. This has 2 benefits: you will notice all the instruments and it seems much more personal. I get away like that for 10 -30 minutes at a time.
Always choose music with a slow beat. Music recorded at 60 beats per minute, matches the beat of a heart at rest. This is your goal, relax muscles, slow your thoughts and turn into the music. Good sleeping music may feature a repetitive sound that repeats, setting the slow rhythm. Listen and notice if it’s waves come softly to rock you in the way water washes over warm sand.