New parents will try almost anything to get their baby or toddler to sleep. If baby misses their sleep quota, the flow-on effects have a lot of impact on wellbeing; both ours and theirs.
It can feel like you're spending your whole life settling them to sleep in that first year or two, so here's what may prove to be a helping hand for sleep-deprived parents: a song which reportedly relaxes people more than any other. And that claim is backed up by research.
Neuroscientists at Mindlab International say they have found the most relaxing song in existence. Weightless, created in 2011, in a collaboration between Marconi Union and the British Academy of Sound Therapy, was created for this exact purpose.
Researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson says that Weightless reduced anxiety in participants by 65 per cent. Also observed was a 35 per cent reduction in their resting heart rates.
The ambient music uses low pitch, sprinkled with manipulated sounds from instruments and nature. These deliberate arrangements of sound are said to induce a trance-like state.
I thought I would give it a go. My three year old asked me to turn it off the other evening at bed time, however I had it playing while writing this piece and I could observe some involuntary reactions. I yawned (it is 3pm, however), I stretched my neck, my eyes wanted to avert form my screen and at one point I caught myself looking out of the window without realising my attention had drifted mid-sentence. My eyelids also felt much heavier.
In fact, Dr. Lewis-Hodgson advises against driving while listening to the track and told Inc that women in particular become drowsy while listening to it.
Mindlab International created a playlist of the top 10 most relaxing tracks, and Melanie Curtain of Inc put them together in a public Spotify playlist. You might find this on high rotation in your nursery in the coming weeks.
There's nothing to lose in trying it on your baby, so try it and let us know what the results were. Did your baby relax listening to the most relaxing song in the world?