Using sleep audio
How to effectively use sleep audio
Making sure you use sleep audio in the right way is crucial for ensuring the audio is as effective as it can be. Using sleep headphones or sleep earbuds consistently can help build a strong foundation when it comes to falling asleep each night. Using sleep audio apps like MyKokoon from Kokoon, with your headphones, can help optimise your sleep audio experience and encourage better sleep.
Use the app to listen to your favourite audio from Spotify or from MyKokoon’s CBT-inspired playlists. The app will fade your audio and play white noise to mask disturbances as you fall asleep.
Why use audio
"But, can audio actually help me sleep?"
Audio can be a great tool to help you sleep. In fact, data from Kokoon users after 1 month of usage shows that 90% of wearers fall asleep easier, 89% improve their sleep quality and 84% have less disturbed sleep.
There’s a variety of audio to choose from, including relaxing music, hypnosis, meditation and visualisations, plus many more. In fact, listening to sleep audio has been backed by scientific research over and over again.
The science behind audio for sleep
Kokoon’s mission is to create a better sleep environment to help you fall and stay asleep. Our science-backed sleep sensors ensure that your sleep is undisturbed by using noise-masking technology combined with audio for sleep, including white noise. We’ve worked alongside sleep scientists to create an optimum sleep solution.
Many scientific studies have shown that audio for sleep can help you relax and drift off. One such study describes how binaural beats can help alleviate feelings of anxiety and can also help to encourage relaxation.
Slow, relaxing music has been shown to help people with both short-term and long-term sleep issues. However, it’s important to note that not all music sends you to the land of nod. A recent meta-analysis of a collection of sleep studies found that the music should have a tempo of around 60 beats per minute for it to have a positive impact on your sleep and relaxation. There’s also a complex combination of tones, tempos and rhythms that if mastered, can help to reduce your heart rate and decrease the stress-related chemical, cortisol that can keep you up at night.
Meditation for sleep can be a great way to wind down after a hectic day and help you to relax into a deep sleep. In fact, mindfulness meditation, which has been proven to help people with chronic insomnia.
Hypnosis, although not for everyone, can be a life-changing practice. A recent study in Finland found that the way our brain processes information is essentially altered during hypnosis.
Types of sleep audio
Find out about the best sleep audio options for you to pick from.
Guided meditation can be the perfect tool to help you drift off quickly and easily. It’s pretty effortless too, making it a win-win when it comes to sleep audio.
Guided meditation is all in the name. It helps guide you through meditation so you know what to do and how to do it. Guided meditation helps distract your mind from any racing thoughts that may be causing you stress. It also helps to physically as well as mentally relax your body and mind.
During meditation you may be asked to breathe in deeply, relax your shoulders, clench and relax your toes and so on.
Studies have found that mediation programs can help to reduce ‘negative dimensions of psychological stress’ and it can also help to show some reduction in stress, anxiety and depression for some people.
Listening to hypnosis audio for sleep can be a good option if you want to feel less anxious, more relaxed and work on your ability to drift off to sleep. Hypnosis has been used for many years in different areas of health and wellbeing, for example, there’s hypnosis for sleep, meditation, confidence, worry and much, much more.
Hypnosis uses spoken words to encourage you into a trance-like state, whereby you can be influenced by the words being spoken.
Studies suggest that hypnosis encourages relaxation, increases someone’s suggestibility, focuses their attention and can access “preconscious cognitions and emotions, and cognitive restructuring”. Therefore, those who struggle with sleep and have some form of insomnia or anxiety disorder can experience a positive response to hypnosis.
Visualisation sleep audio is a strong option if you need to distract your mind from busy, repetitive and distracting thoughts at night. We can often waste hours of sleep each night experiencing worrying thoughts; visualisation can help stop them.
Visualisation audio can often be quite simple in that you imagine somewhere that makes you feel safe, happy and calm - this could be a made-up place or somewhere you may have been or go which makes you feel super zen. Another form of visualisation audio can include listening to a storybook (which we discuss in more detail in the next section).
By stopping racing thoughts in their tracks, visualisation can ease your stress and create the perfect pre-sleep environment, both physically and mentally.
Bedtime stories for sleep aren’t just for kids. More and more adults are listening to bedtime stories to help them wind down and relax whilst in bed.
If you type into Google ‘bedtime stories for adults’, you’ll see a plethora of results from Audible to Amazon. And that’s just the start. With thousands of bedtime stories for adults, it’s no wonder they work wonders.
The nostalgic feeling of being read a story comes from childhood memories, which can often make us feel warm and cosy like a child snuggled up in bed. The story itself can also be nostalgic. However, it’s the simple act of listening to the words of the story that helps to distract your mind from busy and unnecessary thoughts, which often keep us awake. And in turn, they help you to drift off to sleep faster and with ease.
Listening to soothing sounds before bed can help calm and relax you, enabling you to fall asleep faster and more easily. Soothing sounds include coloured noise and the sounds of nature.
Studies have found that coloured noise, when used in the right scenario, can be used as a method for masking disturbing noises at bedtime to help improve sleep and maintain sleep. The consistent hum of coloured noise, such as white noise, helps to mask disturbances and act as a distraction from racing thoughts.
Sounds of nature act in a similar way. Take for example the sound of consistent rainfall or a low rumbling thunderstorm, both examples help to mask external noises like traffic or noisy neighbours, especially when worn with earbuds or headphones.
Music for sleep can be the ideal non-pharmaceutical remedy for pre-bedtime anxiety. Many studies have shown how music can have a positive impact on sleep, in particular improving the entire sleep experience.
Music for sleep is accessible and often free (think YouTube) and there’s such a huge variety of tracks to choose from.
It’s important to pick a track that’s gently rhythmic with a low tempo of around 60 beats per minute. (Although we bet some people are accustomed to nodding off to Slipknot.) However, for a science-backed positive sleep experience, head for the low tempo, soothing tracks that are around 20 to 40 minutes long.
For the ultimate listening experience grab a pair of noise-masking Nightbuds to drown out environmental disturbances.
ASMR and whispering
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a bodily response to audio, such as whispering. It can create a tingling sensation that runs usually from the top of your head and down parts of the spine.
Sounds that are recorded can include whispering into microphones as well as unusual things like the sound of a makeup brush running over the microphone.
Whispering ASMR is really popular when it comes to people looking for the best type of sleep audio, with millions of listeners agreeing it helps them to fall asleep.
ASMR can help create a feeling of calm and relaxation (with some findings showing reduced heart rates) and therefore encourages you to fall asleep. Although some studies also show that ASMR can cause increased excitement, proving that someone’s response to ASMR can be symptomatic of its emotional complexity.
What is the best sleep audio?
With so many types of sleep audio, the best can be hard to identify. Many are now science-backed and lots of listeners will advocate their audio as the best sleep audio.
What’s important is finding the right sleep audio for you. The best way to do this is to try them out and see which makes the biggest difference to the quality of your sleep.
Take your pick from the list below:
It’s estimated that up to 500 million people worldwide meditate, so it’s VERY popular.
People love it because it can often be free and you can do it virtually anywhere.
Another popular choice. Some studies have shown that up to 60% of their participants when asked said they do listen or have listened to music to help them sleep.
The choice of sleep music is incredible, in fact, you can lose sleep finding the right one.
ASMR and whispering
Not for everyone as finding the right ASMR audio can be very personal to the individual.
Many listeners say it’s the only thing they use which makes them feel relaxed and calm.
This is definitely a try before you buy sleep audio.
Not everyone is susceptible to hypnosis. One study suggests only 10% are highly hypnotisable, but more could be if they let themselves.
Hypnosis is great if you’re looking for something a little more ‘easy’. All you need to do is lie back and open up to positive suggestions that come your way during the hypnosis.
Perfect for someone looking to calm a busy mind as a part of their wind-down routine.
If you’re looking for an easy and often free tool to fall asleep to, then this is it.
There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of visualisation audios to help get you started. You can also just use your own mind to imagine a calming place.
If you want a distraction before you nod off each night, then a bedtime story could work wonders for you.
This is a great choice when used with Kokoon Nightbuds, in case your partner doesn’t want to listen in, or/and if you want to be totally immersed in the story.
A timeless favourite to get you back to nature.
If you find the sounds of nature peaceful and calming, then make listening to soothing sounds part of your nighttime routine.
The Kokoon app and Nightbuds work together to play the soothing sound of white noise as you drift off to sleep, so you don’t get disturbed by the noises around you.
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