It’s World Sleep Day! And a global sleep survey by ResMed reveals that there’s a prevalence of poor sleep quality, with 44% of respondents (20,069 respondents across 12 countries including – Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Mexico, USA, UK, France and Germany) unaware that the symptoms they reported experiencing could be potential triggers of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and other sleep-related issues¹.
So what are some of the reasons why people remain challenged by sleep quality? Added stress and worry (52%), anxiety and depression (43%) and too much screen time or electronic devices (39%) were the top three most common factors contributing to declining sleep quality.
While we’ve given loads of tips in previous articles on how to get the best sleep, listening to some soothing music can both alleviate stress as well as lull you into a state where you’re ready to snooze. But it’s not just any sort of music you should listen to. For example, I highly doubt you’ll be able to sleep well after listening to a rock concert. What has been proven to help is using Binaural Beats, which is a form of sound wave therapy.
Did you know that Singapore-born arts company, TENG, has released an album entitled Music for Mindfulness which aims to promote wellness and lower stress and anxiety for listeners? Backed by research on the impact of Binaural Beats (BB)² as a form of sound wave therapy as well as the ancient Chinese philosophies³ of music therapy, the tracks are created with a dynamic progression of BB from theta to delta waves while embodying TENG’s signature East-West sound through an arrangement of the Dizi (flute), Guzheng, Pipa, Erhu, keyboard and acoustic guitar. This is the first time Chinese instrumental music has incorporated Binaural Beats to create a convenient, contemporary and easy listening experience.
“Our venture into music for wellness arose during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic where there were higher levels of anxiety experienced by people, as well as an increasing youth mental health crisis around the world. We are keen to bring research-proven anxiety-reducing musical experiences to one’s homes as part of our work in reimagining music and its possibilities to not only entertain, but to empower and benefit the community. This includes helping people unwind and find rest, anywhere and anytime they need it. Since then, we have tried and tested different arrangements to best fuse the technology of Binaural Beats with our signature Chinese instrumental sounds to create Music for Mindfulness,” said Dr Samuel Wong, Co-Founder and Creative Director of The TENG Company.
To facilitate an optimal listening experience, the album is sequence locked for the full album where listeners will listen to all ten tracks in its fixed order from theta to delta waves, lasting a total duration of over one hour. Listeners are encouraged to listen with earphones or headphones, and advised not to drive or operate machinery when listening to the album.
So we say, this World Sleep Day, just lay back, pop your headphones on and relax while listening to music that is designed to help you unwind. Nonetheless, do note that it is estimated that over 936 million people globally suffer from sleep apnea, including nearly 3.2 million4 people in Singapore alone. Certain risk factors such as excess weight, high blood pressure, smoking, older age and diabetes can also alert you for OSA. So while finding ways to improve your sleep health, do reach out to your medical provider and start conversations with them to seek guidance on the most appropriate treatments or solutions to address your sleep issues.
Music for Mindfulness is available exclusively on iTunes at S$14.80, with individual tracks available at S$1.48 each.
More information on Music for Mindfulness can be found here.
For those suffering from insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality, tools such as ResMed’s online sleep assessment can help you better understand your risk for sleep apnea as a first step in your journey to improving your sleep and health.
¹ 1 ResMed. (n.d.). Common symptoms of SDB. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from https://me.resmed.com/healthcare-professionals/diagnosis-and-treatment/sleep-disordered-breathing/common-symptoms-of-sdb/
² Binaural Beats are auditory illusions that a brain perceives when tones of slightly different frequencies are played to the left and right ear.
³ The five notes of the Chinese musical scale, Gong (宫), Shang (商), Jue (角), Zhi (徵), Yu (羽) have been used in the past to treat mind body illnesses.
4 Benjafield, A. V., Ayas, N. T., Eastwood, P. R., Heinzer, R., Ip, M. S. M., Morrell, M. J., Nunez, C. M., Patel, S. R., Penzel, T., Pépin, J.-L., Peppard, P. E., Sinha, S., Tufik, S., Valentine, K., & Malhotra, A. (2019, August). Estimation of the global prevalence and burden of obstructive sleep apnoea: A literature-based analysis. The Lancet. Respiratory medicine. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7007763/#:~:text=Using%20an%20AHI%20criterion%20of,399%E2%80%93450%3B%20figure%201
Images: Envato and The TENG Ensemble