A Good Night
We all agree that sleep is one of the most important things we do. Open up any guide and they can tell you the benefits of adequate sleep. Our breathing slows and becomes steady, and so does our heart rate. This would lower blood pressure, giving the perfect condition & opportunity for the body to keep stress hormones, produced during the day, in check. Not getting enough snooze can be detrimental to our physical, mental & emotional well-being. We become cranky, struggle to concentrate on tasks and find difficultly in remembering things. Long term it can even lead to insomnia. So of course we all try our best to clock the hours we need on the pillow each night. Yet what we usually miss out is that the quality of the sleep is far more important than the quantity.
8 hours of rest and 8 hours of sleep. There is a difference. The 1st one will make you get up all cranky & angst and the 2nd one refreshed and ready to take on the world.
We all know what this post is trying to say. Stay away from the computer during bedtime. Or somebody’s gonna be up all night. (via tumblr)
Your Lullaby Playlist
To prepare the body for sleep, we usually unwind. It can be hard to doze off if a million thoughts are still in our heads, so we turn off the TV & the phone. A warm bath, then a good book. And of course, some of us like to listen to relaxing music. What we like to call a “lullaby playlist”. And, according to a BBC report, just 45 minutes of it can be instrumental in leading the way to a good night’s rest.
Now let’s try to break down the why.
It’s easy to see why the playlist with a lot of jazz & symphony can lull someone to sleep. The soft tempo & soothing melody gives our brain the impression of a calm, serene atmosphere. Similar to that chilling on a beach. Our brain has the habit of syncing itself, and our thoughts, to the mood of the exact music now playing. And what our brain does, our body usually follows. Our muscles stop tensing up. So naturally we calm down, and detach ourselves from stress.
But in a silent background without music/noise, our body likes to react to sudden noises while in limbo(not awake yet not asleep yet) by snapping our senses wide awake & tensing our muscles. Even from, say, a drop of water or a beep from the fridge downstairs. This process is natural: The brain wakes up in response to the stimuli, thinking we might be in danger then in a spilt-second registers that the sound it just heard was really just a drop of water and not a burglar, and then goes back to lulling us to sleep. While this “primal response to danger” is all good, it can be annoying, especially to the light sleepers. Unless it really was a burglar.
Hence music provides a kind of “stimulating” atmosphere, but not an “engaging” one. The brain likes to put things in order. So when it detects a change in pattern, it tends to light up. Music, especially pieces we have heard before, puts us at ease because it’s predictable. At 2:08 the cello will hit the vibrato, at 3:00 she sings without the instruments, at 4:05 the piano slows down its keystrokes. All in a sequence that we subconsciously know. And the music is enough to block out outside noise. Like the dreaded drop of water. So the brain relaxes, and so does the body.
The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more. ~Wilson Mizener