But, does that actually work? And if it does work, how so? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind why listening to nature sounds can improve attention levels, sleep quality, and overall health and mental wellbeing.
In particular, we’ll focus on the benefits of listening to nature sounds before bed and explore how you can incorporate this practice into your nighttime routine.
Plenty of people have come to rely on background sounds or white noise as a means of falling asleep quicker. Aside from CBD tinctures, nature sounds are a popular choice for a sleep aid. But, why does the sound of birds chirping and wind rustling through the trees make our minds feel at ease?
According to a study performed in 2017, nature sounds are proven to lower the brain’s fight-or-flight response. Thus, reducing stress, facilitating better sleep patterns, and even increasing attention levels.
For your brain to properly concentrate on tasks, it must switch off your fight-or-flight reflex. Whether you’re preparing for sleep or doing remote work, you should create an environment for yourself that feels safe. It will also be helpful to avoid any stressful or restless sounds like traffic and city noises outside your window or even the footsteps of your neighbor moving around in the apartment above you.
Your brain processes these types of sounds as possibly threatening, ultimately triggering the fight-or-flight response and making it difficult to relax. On the other hand, nature sounds are processed as non-threatening by your brain, allowing your fight-or-flight reflex to switch off so that you can focus your attention on completing tasks rather than being on the alert.
Listening to nature sounds may be beneficial for increasing your attention span and even improve your mental health. Nature sounds can help the brain focus and reduce anxiety, helping to calm the fight-or-flight response that might keep you up at night or prevent you from getting stressful things done. By listening to nature sounds before bed, you can help yourself achieve an increased level of relaxation and enjoy other benefits like:
Getting better sleep is one of the best ways to reduce stress levels. Using nature sounds to improve the quality of your sleep can drastically improve your morale and help you take on the following day without feeling stressed about your tasks.
In fact, you may want to consider incorporating nature sounds into more than just your bedtime routine to reduce your stress during the day, too. Play them to help you focus and relax while you complete your morning routine, your daily meditation, amid stressful moments, or even as you do your daily goal setting.
As mentioned above, an environment full of stressful sounds will make it difficult for your brain to switch off and truly relax. Therefore, incorporating natural sounds into your nighttime routine can be a great way to help you fall asleep more quickly and improve the quality of your sleep.
Try choosing sounds you know you enjoy since your brain will be more likely to relax when surrounded by familiar sounds. For example, if you live somewhere with lots of thunderstorms, consider playing the sound of rain to help yourself fall asleep.
With many people shifting to remote work and going outside less, the stress of being indoors too much can start to harm mental health. Playing nature sounds before bed may not only improve your sleep quality but can also help counteract the adverse effects of being indoors by simulating a green space experience for your brain. As a result, boosting your mood and lowering the risk of depression.
A recent study showed that being in green spaces like natural parks and surrounding yourself with the sounds of nature causes a vast improvement in mental health, so this practice might help if you’ve been trying to find a way of improving remote work.
Listening to nature sounds before bed or throughout your day is an excellent health and wellness practice for anyone looking to stay focused and relaxed while improving mental health and productivity. Listening to nature sounds is an easy practice that requires no special equipment or extra effort on your part.
Whether it’s by opening your window, taking a walk through the park, or even just playing sounds from your phone, YouTube, or a white noise machine, deepening your connection with the outdoors will do wonders for your mind.
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