This Is The Most Relaxing Song In The World Today!

Have you ever wondered what the best songs to load onto your iPod to ensure total relaxation and your best shot at a decent nights sleep are? Well, we have found the scientifically-studied top ten.


How Sound Relaxes the Brain

Sound is a big part of human life and it affects the brain and the body in various ways. Music for instance has tremendous influence on emotions, whether perceived or felt. There are a lot of pop psychology theories about the kind of sound that people should be exposed to in various situations. Some will argue that sounds distract people from their tasks while others are convinced that there are specific tunes that will enhance productivity. In the recent years, the use of sound machines to improve sleep patterns has become quite widespread. This has led to research by scientists to look deeper into the connection between the brain and the sounds it is exposed to.


The Impact of Sound

Before understanding the specifics of relaxation inspired by sound machines, it is important to have basic knowledge on exactly how sound generally affects the brain. When sound reaches the ears, it is transmitted via the ossicles straight to the inner ear. The cells present in this part then transmit the waves to the hearing nerves and then to the brain. The focus of interest is exactly how the brain interprets the messages it receives. The brain is highly complex but scientists have been able to identify the regions that are affected by variety of sounds.


The Broca’s area is responsible for empathy and social awareness and the amygdala regulates emotional reactions and helps the individuals to process memories. There are other affected regions but when dealing with relaxation, thalamus which regulates sleep and the insular cortex which regulates the heart rate are of primary interest. The reactions that can be drawn by the correct application of sound are endless. A hiss even in a safe environment will inspire fear and music, even when there are no words will cause emotional reactions. This is attributed to the physiological actions that the brain inspires within the body when stimulated with certain sounds.


Sound and Relaxation

Research shows that some sounds are very effective in helping us relax and sleep. In fact, the capacity of sounds or music to do this can be quantified by analyzing the sound waves. The music track ‘Weightless’ performed by the Marconi Band has been discovered to have the most relaxing effects of any music according to sound therapists who were looking for the most relaxing songs around. ‘Weightless’, came out on top thanks to its continuous rhythm of 60 BPM, an ideal tempo for synchronization with the heart and brainwaves, making it the perfect audio accompaniment for a good night’s rest.



The complete list of the most relaxing tunes are:


1. Marconi Union – Weightless

2. Airstream – Electra

3. DJ Shah – Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)

4. Enya – Watermark

5. Coldplay – Strawberry Swing

6. Barcelona – Please Don’t Go

7. All Saints – Pure Shores

8. Adele- Someone Like You

9. Mozart – Canzonetta Sull’aria

10. Cafe Del Mar – We Can Fly


Different people will have varied sensitivity to sound especially when sleeping and what works for some people will not work for others. Therapists who use sound in helping their patients regulate their sleep patterns have found how sound machines can be useful.



The brain waves are regulated and equalized through listening to certain sounds. Hormones secreted produce positive emotional and physiological response but the degree will vary according to individuals. Respiration, heart rate and even the blood pressure is regulated by relaxing sounds and consequently, tension is lowered. The invention of sound machines was to create a universal way for different people to achieve this. This is not to say that music or late night reruns of TV shows will not have the same effects. They may work for some people but it is essential to note their lack of efficiency. Any changes that may occur to the sound frequencies will jar the brain awake. Sound machines on the other hand have consistency that keeps the brain peaceful and calm.


Sound Machines

There are different colors of sounds produced by various noise machines to help people sleep. With technology advance, it is also possible to get an app. However, these are not recommended because they lack proper regulation and could potential cause harm. Most quality sound machines are advertised as white noise but they usually have pink noise which is more relaxing due to the lower frequency.


The sound produced is like that of waterfalls or wind, which are universally calming sounds. They are as sleep aids for people in a variety of situations. They can mask sounds such as a partner who snore. They are highly recommended for those who suffer from tinnitus to mask the common symptoms. Acquiring and setting up a sound machine is easy and it could be the solution for those who have trouble sleeping or extreme sensitivity to external sounds.


The science of sound and its connection to the brain is still being discovered. Meanwhile, when you want to relax after a stressful day, nothing beats listening to sounds engineered for complete relaxation on a sound machine.


Find Sound Machines at Amazon in the UK, and here if in USA

science dream prediction

Scientists Can Predict Your Dreams! Is This True?


scientists predict dreams


Famous neurologist and psychotherapist Sigmund Freud wrote about dreams extensively in early 20th century and ever since then, dreams have been a popular topic of scientific studies and are, since early days of psychoanalysis, considered a manifestation of one’s deepest desires, anxieties, fears and obsessions.


Freud even developed a psychological technique to interpret and understand symbols, motifs and images that appear in our minds. In the past few years, some would say decades, science has taken it even further and now it’s safe to say that scientists can predict your dreams. Is this really true? If it is, how is it even possible? Are all these claims actually backed up by scientific research? What does the future hold? Read on to find out more about this topic.


Scientists Can Predict Your Dreams – With a Little Help From Technology


A new study, conducted at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in the city of Kyoto in Japan, by Yukiyasu Kamitani and his colleagues, indicates that a computer (so called “brain scanner”) can predict what you’re dreaming about by measuring brain activity. Basically, by using magnetic resonance imaging or MRI,  Kamitani’s team of scientists was able to accurately and in real time detect, define and display a wide variety of images that were appearing in a persons dream.


Images, but also different objects and patterns, such as: “tree”, “ice pick”, “key”, “bed”. Thanks to magnetic resonance imaging scientists were able to examine the flow of blood to the brain and therefore they were able to see the images volunteers were seeing, on their computer screens.


The co-author of this somewhat controversial study , famous scientist at Brown University Masako Tamaki, has stated: “We know almost nothing about the function of dreaming and by using this scientific method, we may actually be able to know more about this topic.” Researchers also said that this study can be of great help to scientists, when it comes to understanding what happens in the human brain when a person has bad dreams or nightmares. Other scientists have described this study as successful and stunning in its detail.


Needles to say, volunteers that participated in this study were shocked to see photos corresponding to their dreams after they woke up. Scientists were able to successfully predict what kind of images were volunteers dreaming about, with about 60% accuracy and it can be said that this is actually the first time in the history of science that objective data has been collected from dreams.


It’s still not known why people dream. There are two schools of thought. Some believe dreams are irrelevant and simply a product of the sleep cycle, while others (such as previously mentioned famous Sigmund Freud) believe dreams have a much deeper meaning. Previous research has actually shown that it may be possible to, to an extent, “decode” brain activity in order to find out what people are thinking about.


What Does The Future Hold?

What does the future hold when it comes to Oneirology (scientific study of dreams)? How far will scientists go with their research and will they be able to see images that we dream in the future on their computer screens, just as we are able to watch a YouTube video? What implications does this have for sleep research and psychological therapy? All of that remains to be seen, but in the end, it’s safe to say that all of that that has once been a subject of philosophy and science fiction movies and comic books is slowly, but surely, becoming reality. Will we soon be able to go into people’s dreams like in the famous movie “Inception”? Not likely in the near future, but who knows what may happen in a few decades time.





Sleep Walking

Sleep Walking


Sleep walking is something most people have encountered at some point in their lives. Even very small children can fall victim to the odd habit of rising from bed and wandering about after dark. It is most common in children aged between 6 and 12 years old but it can and does continue into adulthood, and for some it remains a regular activity.

To those people it can become a real problem with their day-to-day lives being affected negatively and their family members being disturbed and worried over the nocturnal wanderings. Contrary to popular belief it is not dangerous to wake a sleepwalking person, unless of course they are in a dangerous position like the fifteen year old girl who was found precariously snoozing on top of a 130ft crane at 2am, (teenager sleep-climbs up crane) but it will leave them startled and disorientated.


There are many tales about the amazing things which some people get up to during sleep walking episodes, from cooking full meals to dressing, leaving the house and going to school or work…in fact anything you can do while you are awake you can do whilst all the time completely asleep.


There have been many crimes commited, and some cases acquitted as a result of a sleep walking verdict. One of the most famous being the Kenneth Parks case. Kenneth’s story was captured in the film The Sleep Walker Killing. Kenneth Parks stabbed his mother-in-law to death and assaulted and seriously injured his father-in-law after driving 14 miles to their house whilst apparently asleep. He arrived at the police station after the event traumatised and repeating “I think I’ve kiiled some people”.

His claims to have been asleep during the whole ordeal were of course met with scepticism, however the specialists could find no other explanation. Parks’ EEG readings were highly irregular even for a parasomniac. This combined with the facts that there was no motive, that he was amazingly consistent in his stories for more than seven interviews despite repeated attempts of trying to lead him astray, that the timing of the events fit perfectly with the proposed explanation, and that there is no way to fake EEG results, led to a jury acquitting Parks.

There are approximately 70 recorded cases of people commiting murder while seemingly asleep to date.

On a lighter more positive note Welsh- Australian Lee Hadwin, who has no desire or ability to paint during his waking life, has frequently woke to find he has created spectacular paintings during the night. He can never recall producing them but has frequent vivid dreams about painting. He is now fondly known as Kipasso. See a short interview with ‘Kipasso’ here.

A study by scientists at the UCLA and the University of Wisconsin have jointly found that different parts of the brain ‘go to sleep’ at different times meaning communication between different regions can be lost throughout the sleep stages. This could partly explain disorders such as sleep walking. This makes us more like Dolphins who are known for their ability to sleep with one part of their brain, while the other controls their need to surface for air while they sleep. Source:  Study Finds Brain Regions Go Offline at Different Intervals.

If you or a family member is suffering from regular sleep walking episodes then you will know what a worrying habit it is; the main thing to remember is that for many people, sleep walking is a periodic problem…something which crops up during times of stress or worry and it is not something which usually occurs regularly.


What causes sleep walking and is it possible to stop?

Most sleep walkers find that their wanderings become worse during times of worry, upheaval or stress. Teenagers who are sitting exams are commonly affected by sleep disturbances and may get up and look for their books if they have studied for too long during the day and people who are stressed about work may wander about looking for their phone or their diary. The best way to deal with sleep walking is to ensure that the hour before bed is a calm one. Avoid alcohol. Avoid tea or coffee after 6.00pm and don’t eat too close to bedtime either! A warm bath and a herbal tea before bed is a good way to allow the mind to unwind.


How to manage sleepwalking in children

Small children who sleep walk are thankfully quite rare however it can happen that an upheaval or big change in a child’s life can trigger an episode of restlessness and sleep walking. If you do encounter this problem with your child, the main thing is to know that in the majority of cases, the child will remember nothing about it in the morning…and won’t be upset or disturbed by the problem.


If you see or hear your child wandering after they have fallen asleep, deal with them in the same way as you would an adult sleep walker; gently guide them back to their bed and wait for a few minutes to see that they are going to remain there. It can happen that a child will repeatedly get out of bed and sometimes may appear to be awake with eyes open and even asking for things. Look closely though and a sleepwalking child will appear “blank” or not fully aware. Once the period of change is over, most children will cease to sleepwalk and will return to normal habits.


If your child, or anyone in your household is prone to sleep walking, always be sure to secure doors and windows and that cookers and other dangerous equipment are unplugged at night. Try to ensure the sleep walker sleeps on the ground floor if possible. Placing an alarm or bell on the bedroom door may awaken the sleep-walker or alert others in the house that someone is up and wandering.

There are medications available for serious cases but the preferred treatment options are learning relaxation techniques, using mental imagery, or implementing planned awakenings if the pattern is regular enough. Wake the person about 20 minutes before they usually start sleep walking and keep them awake for the amount of time the episode usually occurs.

As always, your first port of call should be your doctor’s surgery.

Comments are open. If anyone would like to share their experiences we would love to read them!


the glymphatic system. What is it

The Glymphatic System. What Is It and What Does It Do?

The Glymphatic System

the glymphatic system. What is it

A breakthrough discovery in how our brains get rid of waste has recently been announced by the University of Rochester. The brain, like any organ in the body has to have a means to rid itself of toxins and waste materials but until now, this system was only partly understood. The newly discovered system has been christened “The Glymphatic System” as a nod to the similarities which it shares with the Lymphatic System.


The brain of the human being is highly organised and scientists have for some time been looking into the ways in which is clears itself of waste; now, thanks to studies on the brains of mice who share many characteristics with humans in terms of their brains, have revealed the amazing methods in which the brain manages it’s waste.


For a long time, scientists have understood that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was responsible for carrying away waste matter as well as moving important nutrients to the tissues which need them; this is called diffusion. The new discoveries however indicate that the CSF is carried much further around the brain than previously thought and this is known as “bulk flow”.


What scientists now realise is that the previously understood method for carrying CSF around the brain is a very slow one, the newly discovered method is highly speedy and pressurized….almost forceful in its task of carrying CSF around. The Glymphatic System is rather like an extra pipe…or many pipes…which surround blood vessels and carry CSF around the brain.


This has never before been noted because the only time it may be well observed is in a living, fully functioning brain…which of course is not something scientists get to study at their leisure!


The ramifications of this discovery are huge. Scientists are already looking at how the Glymphatic System affects sufferers of Alzheimer’s Disease and have found that a protein called Ameloid Beta which is present is those who suffer from the disease, is usually partly removed by the Glymphatic System…so a link to one of the causes of Alzheimer’s has been established.


Scientists are now speculating that if a way to speed up the Glymphatic System can be found, then the brains of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s may be improved in their functionality by the assistance provided in ridding it of waste products which may impede it’s function.
It has also been noted that it is during sleep that these “cleaning” repairs are done and that the brain cells actually shrink to allow for more space between cells for the Glymphatic System to do its job thouroughly. The system may be thought of as a plumbing system for the brain and one which essentially washes away detritus and allows the brain to start afresh daily.


Research is ongoing and continues to move forward…what is clear is that this discovery is huge and could have far reaching consequences for many people all over the world as the effects of the Glymphatic System are researched further in relation to other brain disorders.

By Nicola Sutton