Discover Your Ideal ‘Insomnia Playlist’ for Better Sleep

insomnia playlist

photo: iStockphoto

Grappling with the effects of acute or chronic insomnia? Learn how to find your own 'insomnia playlist' and get some relief! More here.

An insomnia playlist might be just want is needed to avoid sleepless nights.  As outlined by the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia is “difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work or at school.”

If you struggle with insomnia, you are certainly not alone. The National Institutes of Health estimates that approximately 30 percent of the general population of the United States complains of sleep disruption, and an estimated 10 percent have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with insomnia.

Insomnia can be classified in two different groups based on its duration: acute insomnia and chronic insomnia. Acute insomnia is often temporary and is the result of a specific situation (for example, experiencing stress over a work deadline). Chronic insomnia is characterized by disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts a minimum of three months. Bad sleep habits, shift work, other medical issues, changes in environment, and certain medications could be at the root of the problem. Individuals with chronic insomnia may benefit from some form of treatment. According to NPR, chronic insomnia affects about 10 to 15 percent of adults in the U.S. alone.

Fostering good sleep habits is one key way to go about beating insomnia. Avoiding napping during the day, setting a sleep routine, and cutting out stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine late in the day are just a few ways to clean up your sleep hygiene.

Embracing an insomnia playlist with soothing sounds, white noise, and music can also have a positive impact on adults dealing with sleep disorders. Danny Eckert of Neuroscience Research Australia believes adding in music before bedtime can have positive benefits for those having trouble falling asleep.

“Listening to music as part of the pre-sleep routine, particularly music with an underlying rhythm of about 60 beats per minute (bpm), similar to human heart rate, can improve sleep quality and quantity in some people with sleep problems such as insomnia,” Professor Eckert stated.

Unlike television, ebooks, video games, and many smartphone apps, listening to music doesn’t require the user to interact with the device and is a passive activity. Not only do these devices keep your mind ‘on,’ can impact your circadian rhythms as found in the latest research. This disrupts a person’s natural sense of sleeping and waking.

“Researchers from the National Sleep Foundation have found that increased exposure to blue light from people using electronic devices before bed causes a decrease in levels of melatonin [the hormonal sleep regulator] in their bodies, making it harder to fall asleep and making them less alert in the morning,” explains Nada Milosavljevic, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

While most smartphone apps shouldn’t be utilized when you’re trying to drift off, one app in particular bucks that trend and can provide you with a much-needed ‘insomnia playlist.’

Endel, a mobile app created by a Berlin-based team of artists, developers, and scientists, generates real-time personalized sound environments to enhance sleep, focus, and relaxation. This recently released tool is now available for iOS users worldwide and empowers its user to ease the mind, minimize distractions, and help capture some valuable shuteye in a more relaxed environment. The app’s sound engine incorporates specially tuned noises to make distracting sounds and harsh interruptions less audible.

Users are given the option to select from four different sound modes based on their personal needs— Sleep, Relax, Focus, and On-the-Go. The app then automatically generates a distinct natural soundscape, which also adapts real-time to a number of personal inputs like location, time zone, weather, and heart rate. Endel’s core algorithm is based on circadian rhythms, pentatonic scale, and sound masking.

While living with the impact of insomnia is zero fun, Endel is an effective sleep-promoting app that can help you lessen the grip or vanquish insomnia for good. Download Endel at the App Store here or via the button below.

If playlists are more in your comfort zone, Endel has recently released a series of five sleep-promoting playlists. These playlists feature scientifically proven and expertly crafted sleep sounds to help you enjoy the benefits of restorative slumber.

Click the “play” button below to preview the Rainy Night, Foggy Morning, and Cloudy Afternoon playlists! Choose “listen” in the top right corner if you wish to view the full album via Apple Music or Spotify.

Rainy Night Playlist Preview

Foggy Morning Playlist Preview

Cloudy Afternoon Playlist Preview

Experiment a bit, identify your ideal ‘insomnia playlist,’ and make better sleep a reality!