Why Does Music Make Us Sleepy?

  • December 7, 2018

If you have ever listen to music before you go to sleep, you know that you can sometimes fall asleep much more quickly. In fact, depending upon the songs that you are playing, even if you are wide-awake, you may start to feel drowsy in the middle of the day. Music has a unique effect on the human mind. It has the unique ability to affect us mentally and emotionally. By doing so, depending upon the music that you are playing, you may suddenly find yourself dozing off, taking a nap, or sleeping soundly all throughout the night. Let’s discuss why music makes us sleepy and how it is able to do this.

The Parasympathetic Nervous System

The human body has a central nervous system which is how we are able to feel everything that we do. This extends throughout your body, and is why you can detect pain, or feel pleasure, common things that we do every day. However, there is another nervous system called the parasympathetic nervous system or PNS that is responsible for preparing us for sleep. When we play relaxing music, the vibrations and sound of that music stimulate this part of the nervous system, which leads to a cognitive shut down which enables us to become sleepy.

Does It Matter What Type Of Music That You Play?

People might assume that soft or soothing music would be the best choice for helping you fall asleep at night. However, this is not always the case. In fact, there are some people that would be wide-awake as a result of listening to soft are music because it is music that they do not like at all. On the other hand, they can listen to heavy metal, or even rap music, and this could cause them to fall asleep almost instantly. Therefore, it is not so much the sound of the music, but how the music makes you feel, that actually allows you to become sleepy.

How To Determine What Type Of Music Is Best For This Process

Since the main purpose of music is to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, you need to find something that makes you feel relaxed. For some people, it is the music that allows them to feel safe, or music that allows them to distract their conscious mind. If you have ever noticed professional athletes that are preparing for a game, they will almost always have some type of music playing in their earbuds. It allows them to get into a very specific state, and it is in this state of mind that is stimulated by the music that allows them to outperform all of the others. In the same way, you simply need to find music that allows you to get into a state where you are the most relaxed, completely distracted from the events of the day. If you can do that, you will find that you are able to fall asleep very quickly listening to music that specifically works with you.

Now that you know that music makes us sleepy by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, all you have to do is start trying out different types of music that eventually causes you to relax and fall asleep. For some people, this could be classical music, rock music, or listening to their favorite pop band at night. Once you have figured out what works, you may use the same song, or the same group, that plays this music for you. It’s all about the stimulation of this part of your nervous system and music can do this very easily.


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