Sleep is just the best.
Not getting enough of the good stuff can lead to untold miseries – from immediate effects such as headaches, stress and irritability to more serious long-term consequences such as heart disease, obesity and even depression.
But why is it so hard sometimes to drop off at night? Why can't it be like when we were children again? It was just lovely when we were little and our mother used to sing us to sleep with a lullaby.
Alas time moves on. But just because mom isn't there to sing us to sleep doesn't mean we can't have music in lives at night. Far from it!
The right music at the right time has immense power to alter our moods, a good beat can invigorate, the right chords can get us in the mood for love and the best chill-out music can even help overcome problems we have getting to sleep.
But what are some of the best chill-out tunes to help you nod off I hear you ask? Well, below we let you in on three of our favourites...
1. Weightless by Marconi Union
Let’s start off with a track scientifically proven to be good for your sleep.
A group of neuroscientists from the United Kingdom decided to end the internal pub debate over 'which is the best song to sleep to?' once and for all. They got their big clever heads together and conducted a study into which was the most relaxing song of all time.
The answer, at least according to them, is a beautiful track called Weightless by a UK ambient music group Marconi Union.
Lyz Cooper, founder of the the British Academy of Sound Therapy, believes the main reason the track has such a somnambulant appeal is because it has 'a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50.”
This rhythm induces a physical process in the listener known as 'entrainment', whereby the heartbeat of the individual slows to match the beat of the track. With a reduced heartbeat comes a drop in blood pressure and with it a increased desire to sleep.
2. Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. – by Moby
Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep. – more frequently referred to as LA1, is not a single track but rather four hours of ambient brilliance from Moby, the master of chilled out electronica.
The same man who gave us one of the all time ambient classics in "Porcelain."
Love him or hate him, what you can't deny is that Moby knows a thing or two about relaxation. He thinks about it a lot. The famously anxiety riddled star is well-known for embracing a holistic approach to life in order to combat his own struggles with neurosis and addiction.
A committed vegan, yogi and master mediator, Moby demonstrated his commitment to spreading a message of peace to the world by releasing LA1 free through his website for all to take advantage off. Stating:
“Over the last couple of years I’ve been making really really really quiet music to listen to when I do yoga or sleep or meditate or panic. I ended up with 4 hours of music and have decided to give it away.
It’s really quiet: no drums, no vocals, just very slow calm pretty chords and sounds and things for sleeping and yoga and etc. And feel free to share it or give it away or whatever, it’s not protected or anything, or at least it shouldn’t be.”
And if listening to four continuous hours of Moby at his minimalist finest can't help you sleep, it may be time to get a new mattresses, you might check out the Sleep Advisor for some top tips on what to look for.
3. Discreet Music by Brian Eno
Where would the chill-out scene be without composer Brian Eno's ambient explorations in music – frankly we don't even what to contemplate that!
Father of the ethereal and experimental, Eno released Discreet Music ‘quietly’ in 1975.
At 30 minutes in length, and consisting of just four notes, some have described the track as maybe a little boring. However we tend to agree with one reviewer who prefers to hear the track as a glorious and 'gentle immersion into the slow, warm sound waves of an EMS synthesizer.'
The length and simplicity of the track make it a perfect tune to unwind to just before bed – it could certainly never be accused of over stimulating the brain.
The inspiration for the track apparently came to Eno when he was in hospital following a car accident.
Lying stricken in his bed the musician could faintly hear a barely audible album of 18th century harp music playing in an adjacent room – bedridden he was unable to turn the music up so just had to lie there and let it gentle lap at his senses.
There you have it, that’s all from me – three tracks to lull you to sleep the way mama used to do. Nighty night sleep fans!