The Overlooked Medicinal Impact of Music and Diet

November 06, 2019 - 1369 views

By: Richard K. Yu

Music, diet, sleep, and stress all have a messy, but interconnected tangle of relationships with each other. Let’s demystify some of these connections.

It’s two in the morning and you wake up groggily to the sounds of your stomach and the low hum of your refrigerator as you look for something to sate your appetite. Have you ever wondered in moments like these if they’re something wrong with this picture, even though it almost symbolizes the mundane aspects of life? The little things in life like music and a regular diet may play a bigger role in your overall health and wellness than you think.

The Relationship Between Music and Stress Reduction

Research published by the NIH shows that music can aid in reducing acute stress. That should probably come to most of us as no surprise because of the sheer amount of music we listen to and are exposed to on a daily basis. Just think about living in a world where music doesn’t exist and its importance becomes immediately obvious.

Music undoubtedly possesses an informal and a formal recognition for its ability to calm and reduce stress or just to influence our moods in general. Acknowledging this fact and idea is important to understanding how different aspects of our lives that we take for granted often influence us more than we think. Harnessing the full power of music’s therapeutic benefits will allow you to live and enjoy yourself more fully.

As an example, consider the medicinal impact and role of music when it comes to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. There are a number of studies aggregated under a literature report on the subject which claims that: “This comprehensive summary of SRs (Systematic Reviews) demonstrated that MT (Music Therapy) treatment improved the following: global and social functioning in schizophrenia and/or serious mental disorders, gait and related activities in Parkinson’s disease, depressive symptoms, and sleep quality.”

Simply put, there’s an empirical basis for the belief that music can uplift and cure. Making time to listen to songs that you enjoy or to explore new genres of music can help you enact a positive change in your life if you’re stressed out over many different things at once. Get a nice pair of headphones and devote an hour to just relaxing and listening to some music or maybe dedicate yourself to learning how to play a musical instrument.

Give Keen Attention To Your Diet and Lifestyle

When we think about the stereotypical set of things that people do to get their lives together, we can usually come up with a list. Things like organization, sleeping and working out on a regular basis, keeping a budget, grooming, dressing properly, and more all probably come to mind when you put some thought into it. But what about what you eat?

Often, we just go for what’s convenient whenever we’re hungry. We don’t stop to check and question what’s in the food or what’s written on the packaging before we dig in. Even if we’re compelled to look up diet reviews and ponder about the issue, verifying the validity and the effectiveness of those diets is hard.

Perhaps the most difficult thing to do is to stick to things on a consistent basis. How many New Year’s resolutions have you broken over the past five, maybe ten years? It happens more often than you think, and the temptations to skip that workout or day preparing meals is all too real when your friends peer pressure you into spending a night out.

Sleep deprivation and lack of physical fitness will be the next big thing after cigarettes leading to harmful health outcomes for people in the current age, and the CDC estimates that 1 in 3 people don’t get enough sleep. The problem is that most people don’t find the time in their day to think about optimizing how they sleep by thinking about how types of bedding, pillows, or position in which they sleep affects the quality of that sleep. Not all hours of sleep are equal.

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Why Sleep Matters When It Comes To Diet

You might find the mention of sleep in an article on the overlooked medicinal impact of diet to be strange, but your sleep schedule is strongly associated with when you feel hungry. Your body adapts to what you’re doing and the situations that you face whether you are conscious of it or not. Needless to say, it will settle into a pattern based if you’re an early riser, a night owl, or inconsistent.

One of the worst things you can do for your body is be inconsistent when it comes to sleep because then your body will have trouble adjusting to when to stimulate hunger. If you have swings where you go to sleep at 11 PM one night and 2 AM the next, your body will have trouble reconciling whether to be hungry for breakfast at 8 AM or 11 AM, for example.

A lot of us live in the moment and a lot of us want to believe that living in the moment is favorable to spending your life in the backseat worrying about what’s best to do in the moment. But just like how you just have to get up and do things in some situations, other situations will call for you to stand back and reevaluate yourself. Having a comprehensive perspective when it comes to living your life and hitting even the small things like music or diet that don’t receive the most attention will give you the greatest returns on happiness.



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