With the hectic pace of life these days, we can often feel that we're not as relaxed as we could be. We felt it this morning when the sun woke us up at 5 am but we weren't ready so then we got up 5 minutes before we were due to leave the house for work and...you can imagine the rest. Thankfully science has finally found the perfect way to kick back and put your feet up.
Apparently, the key to relaxing properly is all to do with blood pressure, and listening to the right type of music will help you to get in the zone. The research, performed by Professor Peter Sleight of Oxford University, showed that slow music with repetitive 10-second cycles perfectly matches the body's natural cycle of blood pressure controls.
Sleight explained that the brain gets blood pressure measurements after every heartbeat, and in response sends control messages back to the heart to regulate the pressure. These messages travel along two separate nerves which do not operate at the same speed, and so are out of sync with one another. Being a pretty complex piece of machinery, the body gets them back into sync every 10 seconds, and so the musical leitmotifs and riffs that match that process will help to make you more relaxed.
In particular, the music of composer Giuseppe Verdi does the job nicely, while i100 report that "the slow parts of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the arias in Puccini’s opera Turandot, are among the most calming pieces of music because they happen to be rich in 10-second cycles".
So, in case you feel like you need a break...
What's your favourite type of music to relax to? Might you be turning your dial to Lyric right now?