Posted on November 12 2018
Music to help you sleep: sweet dreams are made of this.
One of the 20th Century’s most iconic rock songs came to Keith Richards in a dream. The Rolling Stones guitarist woke up to find he had recorded the opening riff of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – albeit in embryonic form - on a cassette player by his bed.
Richards kept the tape deck next to him at night to capture ideas that came to him as he slumbered.
“I go to bed as usual with my guitar, and I wake up the next morning, and I see that the tape is run to the very end,” he told NPR Music.
“And I think, 'Well, I didn't do anything. Maybe I hit a button when I was asleep.' So I put it back to the beginning and pushed play and there, in some sort of ghostly version, is [the opening line to 'Satisfaction'].”
That wasn’t all he recorded.
“After that, there's 40 minutes of me snoring. But there's the song in its embryo, and I actually dreamt the damned thing.”
Sleep can spark creativity.
It's no secret that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep - the phase in which our dreams are the most vivid, complex and bizarre – can spark creativity. And no wonder, perhaps, that such creativity can involve music, with its power to tap and express our innermost states and feelings.
Music’s ability to stimulate different parts of the brain makes it a powerful tool in helping mind and body to wind down and prepare for sleep. Just as it can animate and thrill, it can also calm and comfort. In fact, the right kind of music can help lower your heart rate, slow your breathing, quieten your nervous system and trigger the release of sleep-friendly hormones.
Listening to music should be part of your bedtime ritual.
In its Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep the National Institutes of Health recommends that “a relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music, should be part of your bedtime ritual.” And a study by scientists in Hong Kong found that participants who listened to music for 30 to 45 minutes before bed fell asleep faster, slept more deeply, and felt better when they woke up.
Our connection to music transcends culture, geography and age. It has been used in healing and meditative practices for thousands of years. But of course everyone has their own tastes.
Best Songs To Help You Sleep
We compiled our favorite 10 tracks
to wind you down before sleep.
Follow beddable playlist on Spotify.
Top 10 Songs To Help You Fall Asleep
So what’s best to help you wind down? Our friends at Spotify have a number of curated collections. Here are some of our favourite tracks, which you can find on our own Spotify playlist: beddable.
Weightless: Marconi Union
Debut: Melanie Laurent
Demi Sec: Sub-City Keys
Peace Piece: Bill Evans
Gymnopedie No. 1: Erik Satie
Solitude: Daigo Hanada
An Ending (Ascent): Brain Eno
Erin’s Waltz: Per Magnusson