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Calming Sleep Music and Mindfulness for a Better Nights Rest

by BetterSleep
Sep 4 2020 • 4 min read
Last Updated on Dec 5 2022

Past studies have shown that relaxing music is effective at helping people fall asleep and stay asleep for longer. It can also soothe racing thoughts, reduce anxiety, and contribute to pain relief.

Calming music triggers your body to drift into a sleep state by lowering your heart rate and slowing breathing. By listening to relaxing music right before bed, you are essentially preparing your body physically and emotionally for sleep.

If your struggling to catch the elusive Zzzs, relaxing music may be just what you need. Soothing music backed up with meditation is an even more powerful sleeping pill.

Mindfulness meditation while listening to music is a simple way to get started. Some people find complete silence hard to deal with and struggle with racing thoughts taking over.

Let’s take a look at what mindfulness is, how to combine it with relaxing music, and what music is best to trigger a night of deep sleep.

What is Mindfulness?

Even though mindfulness is practiced by meditating, they don’t mean the same thing. Mindfulness means to be in the present moment, fully immersed in the current activity, and it’s something we can do at any moment.

Rest assured, mindfulness does not mean having a clear mind, free of all thinking. Nor is it a miracle cure that eliminates anger, stress, or unpleasant feelings.

Being mindful means being aware of all these distractions, thoughts, and emotions without placing any importance on them. That way, you can respond to them with more awareness.

Like any other skill, mindfulness requires practice through meditation techniques––mantra meditation, focusing on the breath, or guided meditation, to name a few. Once focus is developed, it can be applied to everyday life and any activity––work, play, or rest.

When challenges arise, and sleep becomes more elusive, mindfulness is a powerful tool to have in your back pocket.

Mindful Meditation to Help You Be in the Present Moment

There are several methods of mindfulness that can help you bring the focus within.

One method is to repeat a simple mantra like “So Hum” silently. When the mind becomes distracted, the attention is brought back to the mantra.

Another method of being mindful is by focusing on the breath by silently saying “inhale” as you breathe in and “exhale” as you breathe out. You may also combine a mantra with the breath. For example, you might focus on the word “peace” as you breathe in and “love” as you breathe out.

While these methods of mindfulness may help focus the mind, do they improve sleep? According to research, they do.

A study on mindfulness-based stress reduction methods found that mindfulness lowered anxiety and stress levels and improved sleep. Furthermore, the techniques helped participants eliminate further stress by improving their emotional and cognitive brain activity.

In other words, mindfulness can help you moderate the thoughts and emotions that keep you awake at night.

While this sounds great, sometimes you might be too exhausted to meditate and want to sleep immediately. Can listening to meditative or relaxing music help you fall asleep and sleep better?

Mindfulness and Relaxing Music for Better Sleep

Just like mindfulness guides you away from distractions and into the present moment, relaxing music appears to offer the same benefits.

Scientific research confirms that calming music is a helpful way to relax for better sleep. Not only does it help with falling asleep, but relaxing music also improves sleep quality.

While it isn’t exactly clear why music is so conducive to sleep, the function of blocking out external noise and mental disturbances is similar to mindfulness meditation. Music that is calming and rhythmic, like the soft keys of a piano or gentle chimes, can also help you stay present.

Soothing music combined with a mantra like “OM” can make your music listening even more meditative. Fortunately, you can combine any music on BetterSleep with meditation to enhance your mindfulness practice.

There’s no doubt that mindfulness meditation is a helpful tool, but not everyone can dedicate themselves to a regular meditation practice to sleep better. Listening to relaxing and meditative music is a wonderful way to experience the benefits of mindfulness and deepen your sleep.

The Best Relaxing Music for Stress Relief and Deep Sleep

According to research, sounds that have 60 beats per minute help the mind sync with the beat. When this happens, alpha brain waves are increased, which induces a state of calm.

When you’re relaxed, this puts you in the right state to drift off into a deep sleep. Here are some of the best sleep music genres to listen to before bed:

Nature Sounds

Nature sounds, such as rain pouring down and the wind blowing, are effective at making us sleepy because they produce white noise. This helps to block out other environmental noises that can be jarring, allowing us to relax and sleep deeply.

Classical Music

Classical music such as that from Strauss or Mozart helps to lower blood pressure and soothe nerves so you can fall into a state of calm. Opt for slow and flowy classical music that isn’t too energetic, and you’ll reap the benefits when trying to sleep.

Chill Out and Ambient

Chill-out music can incorporate a range of genres, such as pop, classical, deep house, jazz, and blues. It typically has slow tempos, soothing beats, and a mix of acoustic instruments.

Listening can transport you into a trance-like state, where you forget the worries of the day. All you have to do is close your eyes and get ready for a night of deep sleep.

Solfeggio Frequencies

Solfeggio frequencies are specific tones of sound that can heal physical, mental, and emotional health. They have even been found in research to heal physical DNA and emotional trauma.

Solfeggio frequencies are also helpful when trying to get to sleep. For example, the 528 hz frequency aids in reducing stress, and the 432-hertz will help to slow your heart rate.

Binaural Beats and Isochronic Tones

Binaural beats are made up of two different frequencies that play in each ear. When your brain listens to these beats at the same time, it automatically creates a third beat.

Different binaural beats have different effects. To fall asleep faster, listen to Theta waves and Delta waves.

While binaural beats are continuous, isochronic tones are turned on and off. They are tones that come at evenly spaced intervals.

It’s thought that listening to isochronic tones has benefits, including alleviating stress and anxiety, increasing attention, enhancing mood, and promoting healthy sleep.

Benefits of Combining Relaxing Music and Mindful Meditation

Music is adept at alleviating stress by calming the body and mind without any conscious effort. Meditation is another powerful tool for stress relief, increasing self-awareness, and reducing negative emotions.

Combining the two can enhance the benefits of both, such as:

Stress Relief

A huge benefit of combining relaxing music with meditation is increased stress reduction. Life is busy and it can be hard to sit down and relax often enough. Taking the time to meditate while listening to calming music is hugely beneficial.

Deeper Meditation

If you already meditate, listening to relaxing sounds can help you go into a deeper meditative state. Music increases your ability to concentrate and helps you feel more centered and able to find that inner peace within yourself.

Get Better Sleep

Listening to relaxing music for sleep is one of the most effective ways to sleep faster and deeper. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you to relax and prepare to sleep. By getting enough sleep, you can stay healthy and function at optimum capacity.


If you’re new to mindful meditation, start with just a few minutes a day and build up when it feels right. Even if you don’t meditate, you can listen to relaxing music when you want to calm down, like when at work or before bed.

Find relaxing music, soothing sleep sounds, and guided meditations on the BetterSleep app.

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