Struggling with Insomnia? Here’s What You Should Listen to Before Bed
We all know that staring at a screen isn’t the best thing to do before bed – especially if you struggle with insomnia. But what if you can’t bear to part with your smartphone? Luckily, there are ways you can use it to help get a better night’s sleep.
Listening to audio that’s designed to help you sleep is a great way to relax before bed, and it gives your mind a small amount of stimulation without forcing you to stare at a bright screen.
If you can’t see yourself switching off your phone before bed, at least try lowering the brightness and checking out the options below.
1. Relaxing Ambient Sounds
Ever wish you could fall asleep to the soothing sound of ocean waves, or the gentle patter of rain on a window? With a little help from technology, you can. There are tons of ambient audio tracks available to download online, and lots of YouTube videos with relaxing soundscapes. There are even apps which let you create your own soundscapes by combining different audio tracks, including nature sounds, panpipes, chanting, and even the soft hum of traffic.
Listening to ambient sounds through headphones is a great solution if you’re bothered by noisy roommates or other irritating sounds. Some soft white noise will drown out background noise and help you get the rest you need. Many apps also offer timers, so you can ensure that the sounds cut off after an hour or two and don’t wake you.
2. Binaural Beats
Binaural beats are a special kind of soundwave designed to alter the frequency of your brainwaves, helping you to relax and fall asleep. Listening to binaural beats has been shown increase levels of melatonin, a hormone which contributes to restful sleep, and decrease levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress.
You’ll need to listen to binaural beats using headphones as they’re based on providing slightly different frequency tones to the left and right ears. If you find it uncomfortable to wear headphones in bed, consider investing in a pair of sleep headphones. These special headphones are stored inside a soft band for comfortable wear while lying down.
3. ASMR Videos
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and refers to a relaxing ‘tingling’ sensation that occurs when listening to certain sounds or viewing specific visual stimuli. Most ASMR videos feature people speaking softly or whispering, and carrying out tasks in a mindful and relaxing way. Common ASMR ‘trigger’ sounds include brushing, tapping, scratching, and page turning.
If you’ve never heard of ASMR, it’s worth checking out a few videos to see if they help you relax before bed. Many people successfully use ASMR as a sleep aid, and lots of videos are specifically designed to be watched as you fall asleep.
4. Sleep Meditations
Meditation is a great tool for sleep and relaxation, and you don’t need any experience to get started. A simple search for ‘sleep meditation’ on YouTube will bring up hundreds of results, all designed to help you relax and unwind before bed.
Some meditations might encourage you to focus on your breath, which helps you calm down and let go of any thoughts that might be keeping you awake. Body scan meditations encourage you to take notice of all the separate parts of your body, one by one, helping you to release tension. Other meditations use techniques like counting down from ten to one to help you slowly relax into sleep.
Even if you’re skeptical and have never considered meditation before, it’s worth giving these tracks a listen.
Struggling with insomnia but don’t want to give up your smartphone? You don’t have to. Instead, use it wisely by listening to relaxing sounds, binaural beats, ASMR videos, and meditations.