Have you ever thought about the sounds around you while you are sleeping? What is the sound of your breath? What other sounds accompany your dreams or nightmares? What is the soundscape around you like?
Many times we stay up late and then we realize how the soundscape changes, how the intensity of the sounds change at night. When we sleep we are passive subjects within the soundscape, modifying it and being part of it as usual, but partially unaware of what is happening around us.
Several times I made the experience of putting a recorder on all night long to record the sounds around me while I am sleeping. I have several hours of recording these soundscapes.
I must confess that I rarely listen to the entire recordings, not because of the time load that it entails but because of a certain anxiety to detect sounds that accompany me during the night and that I do not imagine are there.
On the one hand, the recording is populated with small sounds that I recognize and many others from which I have no idea where they come from. I’ve racked my brains looking for their source of origin but because they are such tiny sounds they go almost completely unnoticed during my daytime hours. However, thanks to the recordings I know they are there, that they exist.
Let’s start by analyzing the sounds that accompany our sleep ritual. What do those sounds look like?
I need certain noises when I sleep, not as much as the television but once I enter the darkness, the quietest of nights, the most silent, for me it is usually one of the loudest.
I like them and I sleep better on nights with a full moon when the quietness of the night in general is disturbed giving way to all the sounds as if it were daytime.
In my case those nights the roosters crow without a restricted schedule, the dogs get upset, other people stay up for a longer time, more cars are heard. Have you noticed how the world of sound changes with the moon?
What are the last sounds you hear before you go to bed? What are your favorites? Do these sounds influence your dreams?
Now let’s look at the sounds that surround us once we are asleep.
How does the soundscape around us influence our rest?
How many times has it happened to you that you find yourself in the middle of a dream with sounds of reality? It’s mostly the sounds of alarms.
How do these sounds get so far into our subconscious? How is it possible for our brain to assimilate them and tell us a dreamlike story through them?
Let’s also think about the sounds we make while we’re asleep. We are able to speak, our breathing usually changes, we emit small complaints, we murmur.
These sounds say a lot about the path we walk when we sleep, a path we know little about and of which we only have certain doubtful traces in the morning.
These sounds that we make while we sleep are the only proof that exists of our passage through the dream universe.
Why not record it and listen to it?
Exercise. Write down the following questions and their answers on a piece of paper before going to bed:
What are the last sounds you hear before you go to bed?
What are your favorites?
Remember and describe in detail how it feels to sleep with unusual sounds. For example, if you went camping, do you remember what that soundscape was like? Or if you slept in another house, or on a bus, or on a plane, etc. How did you feel? What sounds come to mind?
Put a tape recorder near the place where you sleep and record it all night long. In the morning, advance the recording to the middle of the tape and listen to the sounds that occur there. What do they look like? What is the sound of your breathing while you are sleeping? Do you snore? What is the sound of your snoring? Do you talk? If you sleep with another person, what sounds does that other person make? (if you can hear the recording with that other person)
Also be aware of the sounds around you. Listen to the beginning, middle and end of the recording and compare how the soundscape around you changes.
This post was originally published on April 26, 2016, updated on April 17, 2020.
Author: Sol Rezza
Editor : Franco Falistoco