Neuroscience: Podcasts for Sleep without Pills or Medications?

Neuroscience: Podcasts for Sleep without Pills or Medications?

Neuroscience: Podcasts for Sleep without Pills or Medications?

There is a recent article, Improve Your Sleep with These Simple Steps, as part of the efforts for the National Sleep Month, this March, with recommendations from experts at UAB's Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, stating that, "Sleep does not reward effort. It is an involuntary behavior and cannot be forced. Sleep is like landing a plane. You have to gradually get to a place where you are relaxed enough to fall asleep.”

There is another recent article, Why Do I Feel More Anxious at Night?, stating that, "but at night, while we lie in bed, there are few distractions from the thoughts that make us anxious. This can lead to a frustrating conundrum: We can’t sleep because those anxious thoughts are making us think we are unsafe, which makes us more alert by raising our heart rates and tightening our muscles."

There are articles recommending podcasts for sleep, with sleep-inducing sounds, music or stories, which may directly apply, depending on the reasons for sleeplessness. For anxiety, 'diverting or reducing' it may work with podcasts of certain topics and the host's cadence. 

The science of sleep is complex but what is central to understanding about sleep is that it is a property of the mind, not the brain. Conceptually, the same way the mind processes memory, emotions and feelings is the same way it processes sleep. Sleep can be 'forgotten or remembered', it can be satisfactory or not, it can be relaxing or not, it could be disrupted by emotions--before, during or after and so forth.

A key purpose of sleep also has to do with the mind, theoretically. During the day, external senses or exteroception have quantities that get the highest priority across mind locations, with reach and intensity.

Aside from prioritization being the only way, in any moment, to process anything fully, it is also a drill for sequences and properties. For example, it is only possible to read one thing, or pay full attention to one thing in an instant. Other concurrent things may seem like attention is spread, no, there are interchanges with pre-prioritization. At every moment, just one thing is most prioritized in the mind.

For internal senses, or interoception, like the liver, kidney and so forth, their regulation or control is by the mind. They send in signals, while the mind with what it knows gives limits and extents of functions. It is this checking-in that makes the mind race fast, if signals are sent that show something is wrong.

During sleep, the quantities of various internal senses become prioritized, to get through locations and stay updated, different from how they were able to function at minimum during the day in pre-prioritization. This, theoretically, makes sleep enforced by the mind.

All living experiences are properties of the mind, including all memory, feelings, emotion, reactions, sense of self, sleep, calmness, noise, energy, lethargy, irritation, frustration, thirst, appetite, haste, hate, love, interest, satiation, cravings, reward, pleasure, moodiness, anger, loneliness, emptiness, depression, worries and so forth. Quantities obtain properties to determine what is experienced and to what degree.

Sleep is a property whose experience is a property obtained by quantity to a degree that determines how deep, as well as its accessories, like dreams. Dreams and their contents are a function of memory, or properties, obtained to be experienced. There are reasons some cannot sleep including worries, anxiety, sadness, incompleteness of sleepiness as a property in the mind or dissatisfaction at waiting but sleep not coming and so forth. Some get to sleep but it may not be deep, while others may wake up and be unable to return to sleep.

There are different types of sleep problems, some severe, others mild and some intermediate. Some require sleep aids, medications and other interventions, but there are also some that can use sounds, or say podcasts to induce and stay asleep.

It is known that some people fall asleep at odd times due to sound. They may be at a lecture, at work, in a gathering, meeting, someplace or with someone, listening then they fall asleep. This says that there is an effect of sound on sleep, regardless of volume. It could be loud enough to disrupt others but still induce sleep in some, showing a possible usefulness against sleeplessness.

However, why do sounds work for sleep, even with lights, or other anomalies?

Conceptually, in the mind, properties can be acquired along new or old sequences. Properties can also be obtained in reference to bounce points. For example, what is called associative memory, where one thing is connected to another, is a quantity bouncing off a point in a property, to the next. This is also possible for sounds, such that listening to anything could extend towards obtaining the property of calm, rest or sleep, which then precipitates it.

There are factors that may allow some sound induce sleep for some, including cadence, topic, interest, mood and so on.

To find a podcast that can help to sleep may involve the following, a topic of remote interest, not totally interested or totally uninterested. A regular voice, with some calming property, which could be one where there are no guests, or if there are, not to be far off from the host's, to avoid other properties. Then a bit of understanding of it, so that in the intervals of prioritized listening, it is possible to get the mind to get busy with it, removing from whatever maybe responsible for anxiety or worries is on the mind.

If alone, there may be no need to use earphones, if not, then just one earpiece can work, facing any other direction except laying it and the ear facing down. Once it is perceived that sleep is closing in, it can be removed, to avoid sleeping with the earphone on. If earphones are not used, the sound may continue, so that whenever awake, the sound is heard and falling back to sleep is easier.

Sound is interpreted and processed in the mind, so is sleep. Using sound, especially of a particular type could be helpful against some sleep issues, including staying awake, with sounds of interest. This does not mean the purpose of podcasts can be diverted, maybe just one that works for a listener for sleep, while others can be consumed for their purpose.

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Stephen David

Research in Theoretical Neuroscience
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