How Music Could Become a Crucial Part of Your Sleep Hygiene

And since the impacts of the coronavirus have upped the anxiety of daily life, artists’ streams and wellness app downloads have soared, forming bedtime habits that could prove lasting. At the same time, scientists are diving deeper: in September 2019, the National Institute of Health awarded $20 million to research projects around music therapy and neuroscience. As the field expands, experts imagine a world in which scientifically-designed albums could be just as effective and commonly used as sleeping pills. …

Relying on similar research and working with neuroscientists at sleep labs, Middleton began devising music in which each element—harmony, rhythm, frequency, environmental noise—was chosen based on scientific underpinnings. “I like to see robust, rigorous evidence to support why I’m making a production decision,” he says. In 2018, he released Sleep Better, an eight-part suite that unfolds with lapping waves, chirping birds and sustained synthesizer chords designed to line up with your circadian rhythms and encourage deep REM sleep, which is thought to help facilitate memory consolidation. Nothing much happens over its 80-minute runtime—but then again, if you’re consciously listening the whole way through, you’re engaging with it wrong. “My album intentionally makes you ‘unlisten’ at a certain point,” Middleton says

By Andrew Chow, Time Magazine

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