Take and Sleep in Crisis: Weekend Checklist

3 min

We talk about audio technologies that can improve sleep – from white noise to NASA developments.

Photo Dane deaner / Unsplash

Something is not sleeping

With the onset of the coronavirus crisis, late nights watching YouTube and reading news reports have become the norm for many. To some extent, this behavior is justified. If you have a business, you are building a career, or you just don’t want to let your loved ones down, you want to be as informed and prepared as possible. On the other hand, everything has a limit, including our body.

Chinese scientists surveyed more than a thousand residents of the country and found that 30% of them began to experience problems with sleep during isolation – this study published in the journal Nature. At the American Sleep Association reportthat between 50 and 70 million US citizens suffer from various kinds of sleep disorders, and American pharmacists saythat over the past months, the number of visitors with prescription drugs to combat sleep disorders has increased by 15%.

The problem is faced not only by the older population engaged in ensuring the well-being of families, but also by adolescents. A few years ago, The Guardian wrotethat the proportion of young people suffering from insomnia is rapidly increasing in the UK. One of the reasons experts called excessive use of gadgets and social networks before bed.

Photo Sean benesh / Unsplash

It should be noted that after the quarantine was lifted, many really managed to recover, but the situation with insomnia remains serious. Experts say a lack of sleep in the long run enhances risk of dementia and diabetes. To combat the problem, government organizations of individual countries develop special recommendations.

Today we decided to discuss how technology and science can help here.

A bit of technology and music

In some cases, it can be difficult to fall asleep due to an unusual or even extreme environment. For example, many astronauts experience insomnia upon arrival at the ISS. Sleep is hampered by a busy schedule, noise on board the station and dawns every 45 minutes. Back in the early 2000s, NASA got busy developing technologies that will help astronauts fall asleep faster. Then they figured out that the solution could be low frequency acoustic waves

They act in a special way on the vestibular apparatus, and as a result, a person begins to feel sleepy – as if he is being rocked in a car. Since then, the technology has been modified, and on its basis they have developed mobile app… It reproduces special sounds and melodies co-written with neuropsychologists and sleep theorists.

Photo Higor Hanschen / Unsplash

Insomnia can also be cured vote… Neuropsychologists are actively studying a phenomenon called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), or something like a tingling sensation in the back of the head, which occurs in response to a number of audiovisual triggers. These can be whispers and slow soft speech. According to some listeners, ASMR helps them fight insomnia and anxiety.

Not only special audio recordings help to relax, but also a simple White noise… It masks acoustic stimuli that interfere with sleep (sounds of 30–40 dB – a whisper level – interfere with sleep in sensitive people, and 40–55 dB – the hum of the refrigerator – make sleep restless).

There are applications for generating white noise – some services even form it based on data on wind speed and temperature outside. In addition to white noise, a similar effect can have music and sounds of nature… Falling asleep under them will definitely be more pleasant.

Weekend checklist

  • Low-frequency waves affect the vestibular and can rock you before bed. You can try such applications and services, but you should do it carefully.
  • ASMR content is capable of slow down your heartbeat. After listening to these audio recordings, many feel more relaxed and fall asleep faster.
  • White noise can also help you fall asleep. It masks irritants and promotes healthy sleep in adults and children
  • Relaxing music can also mask sounds from the street, improving the quality of sleep. If you don’t want to turn on music all night long, you can use special sleep monitoring applications. They record sounds that lead to sleep disturbances and help you determine what is interfering with sleep: too loud refrigerator or voices of neighbors.


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