Got the Insomniac Blues? 8 Playlists That Will Knock You Out
How many stories or headlines have you read this month about the millions of Americans suffering from chronic sleep disorders? Every week, it's the same old story: we're all sleep deprived -- 40 million of us, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Hell, we even posted a sleep story a few weeks ago (but we had the smarts to serve it up as The Best Anti-Aging Remedy Ever -- because lack of sleep doesn't just make you cranky ... it hits your face with the old and ugly stick.)

We've heard all of the bad-sleep news before. But this one was news to us: If you want to snooze better (and faster), tune in to music that has a steady rhythm, low frequency, and falls in the range of 60-80 beats per minute, according to a study published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies where researchers analyzed more than 500 sleep studies.

You could go all New Age with those CDs looping the rhythmic sounds of ocean waves breaking or the classic rainstorm in a forest, but if your musical tastes are more sophisticated, these sounds are more likely to irritate and keep you awake. And here's the catch: if you have major sleep issues, music will only work if you listen to it every night. According to the researchers, anything less than three weeks solid of nightly tunes and you'll net zero impact on your sleep pattern.

The thought of drifting off to sleep every night to the sounds of crickets or tidal waves didn't sit well with our chronically sleep-deprived co-workers, so we compiled a few playlists in several genres to help them in their quest for sleep bliss.

If you want to come up with your own list, there are a couple of ways to figure out the bpm of your favorite songs. You can do it the old fashioned way and count how many beats you hear in a song for 15 seconds, then multiply that number by four. But if you're rhythmically (and mathematically) challenged, download Mixmeister's BPM analyzer (free) or Cadence ($4.99).


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