As humans, our brain's primary goal is to protect us, and to do so, certain parts of our brain are constantly monitoring our environment for any signs of danger. This mechanism is especially prevalent in people with persistent pain, as their nervous systems tend toward hypervigilance and increase sensitivity to stimuli.
At night, while we lie in bed, our brain's primary method of monitoring our environment becomes listening. Our brain becomes attuned to any obscure household sounds, such as dripping taps or street noise, and these sounds can quickly grab our attention, interfering with our normal sleep cycles. The interruption of our sleep cycle can lead to a reduction in deep sleep and an increase in light sleep stages, ultimately leading to poor sleep quality.
Fortunately, music or white noise can be beneficial for improving overall sleep quality. Studies have shown that using these sounds can alter brain states and induce deeper sleep stages, leading to better sleep quality.
In recent years, phone applications such as Pzizz and BrainFM have developed music 'soundscapes' designed specifically to alter brain states and induce deeper sleep stages. These soundscapes use a combination of music and white noise to create a calming and relaxing environment, reducing the impact of external sounds on sleep quality.