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Listen to electronica to get to sleep you say? Interesting, got any death metal recommendations too? Lay that scepticism aside for just a moment because there’s a virtual streaming boom right now for ambient electronica with the sole intent of putting people to sleep. A new(ish) wave of ingenious modern composers are finally making sleep tracks worth listening to. No more whales, frogs, waterfalls or rain sounds for sleeping, contemporary, classically trained, composers like Jon Hopkins and Max Richter are creating psychologically altering sleep music.
Whether it's down to stress, anxiety, or other modern-life-induced difficulties, many of us struggle to get a good night's sleep. With just a few nights of poor sleep, we can start getting into a self-fulfilling cycle; the problem gets worse, becomes a habit and before you know it, your mind is whirring every time your head hits the pillow. By using sound to create relaxation, we can improve emotional wellbeing and remove the anxiety from trying to sleep, thus making it easier to do so. Ambient noise is able to do this too; the continuous static nothingness of these varying frequency sleep sounds helps to quieten the brain’s chatter, but the addition of looping instrumental sounds goes one step further to bring the body into a dreamlike state.
It’s impossible to talk about ambient music without Brian Eno who, it’s no overstatement to say, invented ambient electronica as we recognise it today. “Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular,” he says, “It must be as ignorable as it is interesting.” Ambient music is nothing new (it's been on the fringes of electronic music since at least the mid 1970’s), but it's lightfooting its way into the mainstream as new audiences have realised its potential as a reliable sleep tool.
Max Richter is another globally recognised name who has clocked up more than three billion streams on Spotify. His 2015 Sleep album is 200 tracks long and lasts eight and a half hours (a whole night equivalent) and ranks as the most streamed classical album of all time. “It’s really about trying to stop the machine for a moment,” he explained in a recent interview. “To provide an alternative psychological space. We’re humans, so if we have opportunities to constantly be doing things, we will go there because we’re sort of made to do that — but it’s not necessarily good for us.”
This goes beyond evoking feelings of relaxation though, studies show music directly alters the behaviour of the brain. Music has been proven to stimulate specific cerebral circuits to act therapeutically, dissipate feelings of anxiety, trigger dopamine release to combat depression and even unearth lost thoughts of Alzeimer’s patients. But how does music help you sleep? In a study of adults who listened to 45 minutes of calming sleep music before bed, participants reported having better sleep quality from the very first night. What’s more, in a sleep study of women with insomnia, participants who added music to their night time routine took half the time to get to sleep as they had before the study.
Relaxing sleep music has also been proven to encourage and elongate lucid dreaming. And why do dreams matter? “The best way I can describe dreams is that dreams are you witnessing your brain speak to itself in its native language,” explains Professor Michael Grandner, Director of Sleep at the University of Arizona. “We take in experiences during the day and only by processing them through dreaming, can they help us survive, rewire and learn new actions that you would have never normally figured out. Dreams give us a unique depth of understanding. Those who dream a lot are spending more time in the REM stage which is the most restorative stage of the sleep cycle.”
The first symptom many LYMA Supplement customers report is that they dream more; both increasing in number of dreams and remembering those dreams. This is due to LYMA’s KSM-66® Ashwagandha; the highest concentrated, bioavailable and only proven form of ashwagandha when dosed at the correct 600 mg daily dose and thus, the world’s most potent natural sleep aid.
From what is undeniably a very male dominated industry, there are a number of strong female composers evening the score, (pun fully intended). Originally a classical pianist, Polish Hania Rani just released an album titled On Giacometti and her Dreamy track has layers of rain-like sounds and blissful tumbling piano chords. Julianna Barwick’s soft choral vocals on electronic loops make for an effective grown-up lullaby and Emily A. Sprague produces synth-heavy soundscapes you might have detected floating through the wall speakers at The Well.
Whether you’ve established a soundtrack to your sleep or not, support that regenerative state with a whole-system supplement. Thousands of people come to LYMA for its peer-reviewed results in changing long-term sleep patterns and supporting truly restful, restorative sleep. But in fact, LYMA touches every aspect of health and wellbeing, leaving you feeling the best possible version of yourself. Containing an unrivalled formula of ten powerful, scientifically proven ingredients to optimise the communication capacity of your brain, strengthen bones, increase immunity, rebalance hormones, and enliven skin and hair.