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The Surprising Ways Sound Therapy Can Make You Mentally Stronger

The Surprising Ways Sound Therapy Can Make You Mentally Stronger

Sound therapy has been in existence from the era of ancient civilization to indigenous cultures that believe that sound is the key to heightened consciousness. From our natural spaces of the electric sounds of lightning strikes to flowing waves and rustling of leaves we venture on this soul journey of sound healing.

What is sound therapy?

Sound therapy or sound healing is a treatment that promotes human body wellness. Practitioners of sound healing believe that sound balances a body out of tune. Everything is made from matter that has a vibration frequency. Sound waves interact with vibration reaching every segment of the body from our head to our feet.

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Sound therapy practitioners believe in energy centers, seven chakras in different body parts. Sound therapy promotes wellness by balancing these energy centers.

When energy centers are in perfect balance, energy flows, allowing a natural well-being state. Energies match and balance out like acupuncture removing blockages with sound instead of needles. The main tool in a sound therapy session is the human voice. Human voice vibrations that are applied consciously as a form of therapeutic instrument have resonating power that stimulates, releases and balances the healing energies that serve to create harmony and wholeness to our body, mind, and soul. The method is either a single tone vowel sound or over toning where multiple tones are used and voice harmonics are splitJames D’Angelo, a renowned sound therapist, believes that a higher consciousness is reached with the sound of ‘mmm’. Toning is used to scan the body and source out imbalances. Chanting and sounds from metal or crystal Himalayan bowls will also create vibrations. Therapeutic treatment is sourced from percussion instruments (gongs, rain sticks, tuning forks and shakers and chimes) for relaxation.

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Sound burst effects

Noises overload the brain and chemicals are released. From the booming sounds in the space of a teenager’s room to roaring engines and television chatter. There is a need to balance the effect with chemicals that tranquilize these cloudbursts of sounds to ease sound-populated brain cells.

Sounds convert to an electronic wave as it enters the ear. The signal journeys to the auditory nerve to the segment of the brain (auditory cortex) that begins to process sound. The sound journeys all over the brain triggering stress release, evoking our emotions and affecting the neural pathways. Fluctuating vibrations become weak and we literally get out of tune, and this kind of disharmony has even been linked to disease.

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With resonant use of sound and voice, we can alter the vibration and lift our consciousness, which can make us well-tuned and possibly even improve health. The process of chanting and toning involves simple movements that are similar to tai chi as well as chi kung. We reach a state of meditation, which can lead to deep healing as the sound enters our brain and the consciousness expands into deep peace.

Emotional rhythms

The medial prefrontal cortex is the control center of the brain linking emotion, sound and memories according to the National Institute of Health. Music is soul soothing and tunes emotions. A pediatrics journal study found out premature babies increased in weight gain when Mozart musical tunes were played. The soothing tunes of Mozart reduced resting energy resulting in weight gain [1]. An advanced nursing journal indicated that those who took time to listen to music experienced lower levels of pain and depression. Music can lift the mood and alleviate the perception of pain [2].

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Noise-invoked stress

Loud noise invokes an instinctive reaction in the brain to fight or move away. The Franklin Institute links the ‘fight or flight’ reaction to chemical releases that stimulate urgent action. It is a crucial tool in the wilderness and is just as important in the modern concrete jungle. For example, if you hear a sound of a hooting car you immediately steer out of the way. Once the danger is over, the brain releases tranquilizing chemicals counteracting the reactive chemicals.

We delve into the potency of vibrations that ritualize sound and group energy. Channels are opened. The quality of your voice is not the issue, the intention behind it is. Research has indicated sound therapy is a tool for:[3]

  • increased concentration
  • relief from stress and anxiety
  • enhancing creativity
  • relief from headaches
  • relief from stress-related illnesses
  • helping behavioural problems
  • helping tinnitus

Set aside time to tune in and heal with the rhythm of sound in your space.

Reference

[1]http://www.child-psych.org/2010/01/mozart-effect-the-effect-of-music-on-premature-babies.html
[2]http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/11/music.aspx
[3]http://www.jbbardot.com/studies-confirm-sound-therapy-heals-arthritis-cancer-tinnitus-autoimmune-disease-and-more-using-vibrational-frequencies/

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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