May 3, 2013 by Mike Lamitola
For a long time I struggled with poor sleeping habits and I could never understand why. I just dealt with it (with coffee for a while). Now I see the same patterns with new clients.
Do you ever stay up all night watching TV or doing other activities just because you can’t sleep? Or maybe get yourself to sleep only to find hours later you keep waking up thinking about things you can’t seem to control? You know you should be sleeping, you want to sleep, but your mind won’t let that happen. Then comes morning time and you feel like you were hit by a bus. With swollen, groggy eyes you make your way to the bathroom and soon after to the kitchen to put on the coffee. While you can most likely mange to make it through the day, the cumulative effects of poor sleep can be devastating. Imagine what your life would be like if you could consistently get a good nights rest??
Unfortunately too many of us struggle with sleep problems. According to the BMJ journal, Americans filled up 60 million sleeping pill prescriptions in 2011, up 13 million from 5 years prior. The inability to sleep is linked with anxiety, fatigue, weight gain and stress. Stress alone plays a big role in common illnesses and diseases like insomnia, depression, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, ulcers, stroke and Alzheimer’s.
One of the most healing ways to reduce stress and help improve sleep is music. The reason for this is that listening to music that is between 60-80 bpm (beats per minute) provides a musical healing zone that puts us right in sync with a normal resting heart rate. To put that into perspective; pop, rock and dance music normally range around 110 – 140 bpm.
Here are some musical selections and other really simple things you can try to get to that resting heart rate and help relax before hitting the sack.
I’ve recently been experimenting with a CD called “Bedtime Beats”. These are some of the songs with the ability to put you in a sleep induced musical healing zone. Put these on your iPod or just buy the Bedtime Beats CD and try it out (around $10 online).
- J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, “Aria”
- Tchaikovsky: Andante Cantabile
- Debussy: The Girl With The Flaxan Hair
- Mozart: Piano Cto. No. 21, “Andante”
- Chopin: Nocturne In E flat Major
- J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Cto. In F Minor, “Adagio”
- Mozart: Clarinet Quintet, “Larghetto”
If you don’t yet have access to some of these classical compositions, here are some other recommended rituals that may work and can even be done prior to putting on the music:
- Chill out with a dog or cat – Animals nighttime rhythms help bring us to a desirable relaxed state for sleep. Give your quadruped some attention for 15 minutes before you get into bed.
- A warm bath (try putting some lavender aromatherapy in the water)
- Yoga or light stretching
- Laughing! Find something that makes you laugh to release the stress of the day. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, I recommend reading “Seinlanguage” for 15 minutes before bed.
If you feel like there are areas in your life that are holding you back from getting sleep and having the energy you need then let’s talk. I would love to support you in finding the balance you need to stay healthy, happy and for 7-8 hours of a day, sleepy.
Sleep well friend,