Falling asleep is like baking a cake. You take a bunch of very specific ingredients, measure them out carefully, and mix them all together. And if one ingredient is a slightly off, it throws the whole thing out of whack.
Stay with me here… Much like baking a cake, drifting off to dreamland can be a finicky endeavour. People need certain conditions, or ingredients, to make falling asleep a beautiful and delicious thing.
Ingredients range from person to person. Some people need absolute darkness, a certain temperature, a particular thread count for their linens, a plush (or not so plush) pillow… and on and on. And if one of these things is too much or too little, the whole cake, or the good night’s sleep, is ruined.
One variable that people tinker with is the type of noise around them. There are those that need absolute silence and can’t live without their earplugs. Others can only drift off only if there is some type of noise.
And with technology today, it’s easy than ever to cater specific sounds to certain sleep needs. Here’s a list of some helpful sleep sounds — all available with a simple online search.
Great for those who find the sounds of nature soothing. Ocean sounds have hypnotic waves lapping the shore; a forest or jungle selection will introduce birds chirping and wind in the trees; a river setting will have trickling water. There are plenty of options to choose from.
Similar to the above option, some people find the steady sound of rain to be just the lullaby to soothe them to sleep. It might be a soft rain on a tin roof or a rolling storm. There’s something primal and perfect about the sound of rain that can help us fall asleep.
Similar to static TV or landing between radio stations, white noise is fairly non-descript but just enough noise to keep the mind from racing. Another option is to have a fan on in the bedroom. Many people (and new parents with young babies) swear that white noise is the way to go for easy sleep.
Guided meditations are increasing in popularity as a sleep aid. We suggest sampling a few before bedtime until you land on one that resonates with you. Some voices or guided journeys might make a person frustrated or annoyed, which will only hinder sleep further. But meditation can be a great way to relax the mind and the body to help settle into a sleep state.
Some people find music to be the missing ingredient when baking the sleep cake. Again, this should be investigated before you crawl into bed. We suggest nothing too fast or that has a lot of lyrics. Sometimes even complex classical music has the opposite effect and keeps people awake instead of putting them to sleep. Seek out some hazy electronica or some chill downtempo without lyrics and experiment until you find what works for you.
You know that relaxed feeling you get when you walk into a spa? Part of it is the candles and the lighting, but it’s also due to the relaxing music they play. Often a combination of plucky harpsichord, trickling water over serene stones, and perhaps a flute or two, this kind of music is designed to put a person at ease.
If you have trouble falling asleep, especially because that’s the time your brain decides to remind you of all the things you could be worrying about, then having some background sound on might be suitable for you.
Experiment with some sleep sounds. It might just be the missing ingredient for the perfect sleep recipe.