TOM MIDDLETON
THE JOURNEY TO BETTER SLEEP

Dan Prince July 2018 MUSIC Read in PDF format N18/2018
TOM MIDDLETON Sleep deprivation is a modern day epidemic affecting millions of people every day, none more so than DJs who spend their lives traveling, before working through the night entertaining us all. Rather than ignoring this problem, Tom Middleton has trained to become a Sleep Science Coach and has released a new ‘Sleep Better’ album and app

What prompted you to start researching the whole sleep issue?

Firstly, I had my own battles with disrupted sleep and chronic insomnia from over a decade and a half of relent- less touring, jet lag, studio sessions and becoming a parent! Coupled with a sound design brief for YOTEL in 2015 which prompted me to research music/soundscapes for sleep induction to evaluate any real science behind the music that claimed to help you sleep. How we perceive and inter- pret sounds and their psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and physiological effects. It combines psychol- ogy, neuroscience, biomusicology and acoustics amongst other things.

What sounds affect a person’s sleep patterns?

Natural sounds, as in the sounds of nature, are what we’re programmed to feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with as a low level background layer of ‘good noise’. When the birds stop singing it’s our cue for bed time! But unnatural industrial sounds and urban ‘bad noise’ pollution can seriously disrupt our natural sleep patterns.

How does the new album and app work?

It’s fundamentally still using the sonic principles of Brian Eno’s 40-year-old ambient music genre, blended with my Global Communi- cation 90’s Electronica production principles upgraded with leading edge psychoacoustic science and sound design. It’s intended to get you to rethink your bedtime routine and start winding down an hour earlier to get the majority of us back into the 7.5 hours a night sleep pattern - the safe zone. I intentionally grab your attention with Sunset, then slowly and intentionally use neuromodulation and rhythmic entrainment to slow down your brainwaves, heart rate, respiration and lower blood pressure. This triggers the parasympathetic nervous system ‘relaxation’ mechanism. Add some ‘happy place’ sound memory cues and you should start feeling calm and relaxed and primed for a better night’s sleep. And I’ve included sleep hygiene tips to help you maximize the chances of sleeping better. The app integrates a virtual orange/red sunset with no blue light frequency that fades down after 20 minutes. It is still pleasant ambient acoustic-electronic music and can be actively listened to or as passive pre-bed- time background soundtrack.

Tom Middleton’s ‘Sleep Better’ is out now. www.sleepbettersounds.com

 

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