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5 Reasons Why People Who Listen To Classical Music Have Better Sleep

5 Reasons Why People Who Listen To Classical Music Have Better Sleep

Most people know that listening to classical music reduces stress, boosts the immune system, improves focus in learning, and can even help to lower blood pressure. But what about those who are suffering from insomnia? Can this wonderful music really help you to have a long and restful sleep? Here are 5 reasons why these classical music fans get better sleep and how they exploit it to sleep right through the night – every insomniac’s dream!

1. They know which pieces and composers to choose

People in the know have realized that not all classical music is suitable for better sleep. They would run a mile from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, for example, as the booming cannons would wake them up. They tend to favor Mozart, Brahms, Handel, and Bach because they can help the mind relax with their rhythms which will help to slow the brainwaves.

Experts say that music with a regular rhythm and with about 60 -80 BPM (beats per minute), low pitches, and relaxing soothing tunes work best.

Classical sleep inducing pieces are Bach’s Air on the G string, Debussy’s Clair de Lune, and the Adagietto in Mahler’s 5th Symphony. Listen to Valentina Lisitsa playing Chopin’s Berceuse in D flat opus 57 here on the video but promise me you will not fall asleep before finishing reading this post!

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2. They know the music will help their bodies to relax

A racing mind full of stress and anxiety will lead to increased heartbeats which will make sleep impossible. They have read the research about listening to slower music which can subconsciously slow down breathing and the heart becomes calmer too. They are now in a sort of semi-meditative state and the whole body begins to relax. That is all they need to get off to sleep and they never have to count thousands of sheep. If you are an insomniac, follow their example.

A study by Taiwan researchers has found that with older adults, listening to music significantly improved their sleep quality and there was less need to rely on sleep aids and other hacks to help them get a good night’s rest.

3. They know all about where to get their music

They know all the radio and TV channels which are broadcasting classical music, day and night, such as AccuRadio. Check out the free app on Classical KUSC – they have been broadcasting since 1947. This app has a sleep timer and you can adjust that to whatever you want. If you put it at 20 minutes, it will turn itself off when you are, hopefully, sound asleep.

You can also download and save classical music files from various sources on the Internet. See what is available. I found the Schoenbrunn Palace Concerts site in Vienna which has a good selection of daily concerts for downloading and saving on your portable MP3 or iPod.

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4. They know the healing power of music

They know that illness and feeling unwell will probably disturb their sleep more than usual. The healing power of music is well documented in scientific circles.

Arthritis can keep many a person awake at night. In one study reported in The Journal of Advanced Nursing, researchers found that music helped reduce arthritic pain by 21% and depression by 25%.

Similarly, stroke patients in Finland made significant advances in memory and attention span when they listened to music (classical or jazz). They were doing much better than the other group who were not listening to any music.

Watch and listen to the wonderful music of Beethoven’s String Quartet, Op.18, 1st Movement which is a favorite piece of Cinda Yager who listened to it often when recovering from surgery. She describes the effects the music had on her recovery:

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“Chamber music can be anything but quiet and soothing, of course, but what I love is the transparency of the lines. I imagine them representing different systems in my body and how they work together cooperatively to create something beautiful.”- Cinda Yager

5. They know that music can help block out background noise

They know those yappy dogs and traffic noise, not to mention burglar alarms and noisy neighbors. They can, of course, get used to them and tune them out. However, this may mean sleepless nights while they do so. Similarly, if they are not accustomed to a very quiet rural environment, that may also disturb their sleep as it is too quiet!
The best way to cover up all this noise is to listen to classical music, especially if you know it well. In other words, we tend to sleep best when we’re surrounded by familiar sounds. All the better if it is comforting and beautiful sounds which will never bother or irritate you.

If you suffer from sleep disorders or insomnia, you are certainly not a minority. It is estimated that 40 million Americans have sleep problems and this is a global problem as well.

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Maybe it is time you started to try listening to classical music more often and make it part of your bedtime routine. Sweet dreams!

“I swear they are all beautiful- Every one that sleeps is beautiful.” – Walt Whitman

Featured photo credit: Classical Music Wallpaper/ Free Wallpaper Full HD via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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