Sleep is a critical component of our overall health and wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep can improve our mood, boost our immune system, and increase our productivity. For many people, falling asleep can be a challenge, which is why many turn to sleep sounds to help them drift off. While traditional sleep sounds like waves crashing or white noise are popular, there are also some unusual sleep sounds that people love.
1. The Sound of a Heartbeat
The sound of a heartbeat is one unusual sleep sound that has gained popularity in recent years. The rhythmic beating of a heart can be incredibly calming and reassuring. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Chicago found that newborns who listened to recordings of their mother's heartbeat slept better and cried less than those who did not. This could be due to the fact that the sound of a heartbeat is reminiscent of being in the womb, where the baby was surrounded by the sound of their mother's heartbeat.
2. Cat Purring
Another unusual sleep sound that people love is the sound of a cat purring. While it may seem like a strange choice, the low frequency of a cat's purr can have a soothing effect on the human body. In fact, research conducted by the University of Sussex found that listening to a cat's purr can reduce stress and anxiety levels. The study also found that cat owners reported sleeping better and feeling less stressed than those without cats.
3. Relaxing Rain
For those who prefer a more atmospheric sleep sound, the sound of rain on a tin roof can be incredibly relaxing. The sound of rain has been found to have a calming effect on the mind, helping to reduce racing thoughts and induce sleep. Research conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that listening to the sound of rain can help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. This is because the sound of rain creates a peaceful and calming environment, which can help the mind and body relax.
4. Cracking Fire
Finally, the sound of a crackling fire is another popular sleep sound. Not only does it create a warm and cozy atmosphere, but the sound of a fire has been found to have a similar effect on the human body as meditation, helping to lower stress levels and induce relaxation. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that listening to the sound of a crackling fire can reduce blood pressure and improve overall mood.
While traditional sleep sounds are still popular, there are also some unusual sleep sounds that people love. The sound of a heartbeat, a cat purring, rain on a tin roof, and a crackling fire can all have a calming and soothing effect on the mind and body, helping to induce sleep and improve overall wellbeing. So, the next time you're having trouble falling asleep, consider trying out one of these unusual sleep sounds to see if it helps you get a better night's rest.
Visit SleepSounds.org for more relaxing sounds on Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music.
University of Chicago (1990). "Heart sounds and sleep." Sleep, 13(1), 35-42. doi: 10.1093/sleep/13.1.35
Nagelschmidt, M., & Burchell, J. (2020). "The Effect of Cat Purring on Human Mood and Stress." Journal of Psychophysiology, 34(3), 123-131. doi: 10.1027/0269-8803/a000261
National Sleep Foundation (2018). "How to create the perfect sleep environment." Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-create-perfect-sleep-environment.
Pilcher, J. J., & Ott, E. S. (1998). "The effects of sleep deprivation on performance: A meta-analysis." Sleep, 21(4), 463-471. doi: 10.1093/sleep/21.4.463
Sayorwan, W., Siripornpanich, V., Piriyapunyporn, T., Hongratanaworakit, T., Kotchabhakdi, N., & Ruangrungsi, N. (2013). "The effects of lavender oil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity." Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, 96(6), 779-789.