Hands up if you remember the early 2000’s boom in chill-out music - Röyksopp, Air, Zero 7, Moby to name a few - all lulling us with their calm electronica style soundtracks. Now, due to the exponential rise in insomnia and sleep problems, sleep-inducing music has begun to take off again. 'Coronasomnia’ is now an actual term - defined as a serious loss of sleep and is extremely widespread, increasing across all age groups. Chronic stress is one huge factor - stress activates the autonomic nervous system - causing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to release - in turn, our heart rate and blood pressure increases which puts us in that challenging fight -or -flight mode, the enemy of our sleep cycles.
On top of this, there are so many other strains taking their toll on people: constant health worries, homeschooling challenges, work issues, general uncertainty, financial impact, a huge reliance on screen time for all areas of life, inconsistent schedules - it's no wonder a recent survey saw 75% of people admit to struggling with their sleep. <thesleepcharity.org.uk>
This is just so awful. Sleep underpins all areas of life - it is the foundation of our physical and emotional health. Lack of sleep can lead to vicious negative cycles elsewhere including fatigue, weight gain, depression and increased anxiety to name but a few. Sleep is the most essential tool for our wellbeing.
Enter Calm with their resurgence in soothing ambient music... the sleep and meditation app has recently stepped up its digital offering with a new series of DJ curated R&R sleep playlists, including the likes of Deadmau5, Diplo, and our favourite Kygo. As of this week, they have also just launched a Sleep Remix Series with artists such as Post Malone, Shawn Mendes and Katy Perry. This is a new wave of collaborations designed to improve our bedtime wind-downs, and help us drift off to sleep with their slowed down, acoustic style sounds.
There is a sense of purpose behind these new partnerships - Kygo talks here about the inspiration behind his playlist Golden Hour : Kygo x Calm and Grammy award-winning DJ and producer Diplo, who released his first-ever ambient album MMXX via Calm last August, donated proceeds to both Beam Collective and The Loveland Foundation to raise awareness for mental health.
His words to describe his collaboration “…It's about being here this year. For me, it's all I had inside me. I didn't want to have zoom sessions or write pop songs. I was just stuck in my house with keyboards and a guitar I barely ever used. I would walk outside Los Angeles and see empty streets and nervous people and this is what I heard. But to me, this year isn't dark. It's not about the negative. It's about hope. We are all going to remember we did it together and remember what we take from it. We can look back in a few years and say it was tough, but I'm tougher...”
You don’t need a Calm subscription to benefit from these slowed-down tracks. YouTube has plenty of playlists including the Kygo one Kygo x Calm Golden Hour | Deep Focus | Relaxing Music for Meditation
Spotify also offers a variety of different playlists, a few here: Duvet Day | Deep Sleep and has the helpful addition of a sleep timer which will shut the app off after a certain time in order to preserve your battery once you're asleep.
Another favourite of ours not just restricted to bedtime but actually to aid productivity throughout the day is Noisli which offers lots of background noise options to help you focus. www.noisli.com
Time to dig out your headphones!