World Sleep Day 2021

March 19, 2021

World Sleep Day is an annual call to action about the importance of healthy sleep. An internationally recognized awareness event, it focuses on the impact of sound sleep habits on overall well-being. This year’s activity is especially significant given reports of a surge in insomnia during the worldwide pandemic – a phenomenon being called “coronasomnia” (BBC News). World Sleep Society estimates that two billion people are living with insomnia. Yet research has shown that listening to music at bedtime can help people fall asleep quicker and improve sleep quality. A study published in Musicae Scientia in December 2020 cited pieces by Yiruma and Einaudi as among those which were successful in aiding sleep. Both artists have created new music for World Sleep Day.

As someone who struggles with insomnia, Sophie Hutchings is pleased to be involved in the project. She says, “It’s great to see music integrated with World Sleep Day as I think it can play an imperative role in nurturing sleep issues as it decreases levels of cortisol and it also triggers the release of dopamine, so even if you can’t sleep it will at least create a relaxing environment making for a more supportable night.”

To mark World Sleep Day, 20 leading international musicians from 8 different labels within Universal Music Group have come together to create 18 brand new tracks to help provide a soothing soundtrack to aid a healthy night’s rest. This major global initiative, supported by World Sleep Society, features a host of new compositions, arrangements, collaborations and remixes. They will be released as digital singles on Friday 19 March and also made available via a specially-curated playlist: here


Mercury KX Artists

1 Luke Howard: Passion / Sleep – Listen
2 Sophie Hutchings: Love & Keep – Listen
3 Federico Albanese: Early Dance (Redux Version) – Listen
4 Isobel Waller-Bridge: Illuminations – Listen

 


Luke Howard

“SLEEP IS IMPORTANT TO MY ARTISTIC PROCESS, BOTH IN TERMS OF BEING WELL RESTED AND ALSO FOR RUMINATING ON MUSICAL IDEAS. IN THE NASCENT PHASE OF A MUSICAL PROJECT, I TAKE MANY AN AFTERNOON NAP. DURING LOCKDOWN I TRY TO ACCEPT THAT IT’S NOT POSSIBLE AS PRODUCTIVE, AND GO FOR AS MANY WALKS AS I CAN WITHIN OUR TWO HOURS OF ALLOTTED EXERCISE.”

Isobel Waller Bridge

“For Illuminations, I knew I wanted to explore music that takes you to the deepest, most quiet place in your mind and body.  I began with the Tibetan singing bowl, and through the layers of natural harmonics that this beautiful, ancient instrument produced, I delved further into a world of disappearing, intangible sounds that brought me an immense feeling of peace.  I reached for the feeling of sinking into a deep cave, and emerging into the space of your subconscious.”

Sophie Hutchings

“It’s staggering to learn how many people suffer with insomnia out there. People are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well.  It’s great to see music integrated with world Sleep Day as I think it can play an imperative role in nurturing sleep issues as it  decreases levels of cortisol and it also triggers the release of dopamine, so even if you can’t  sleep it will at least create a relaxing environment making for a more supportable night.. 

Federico Albanese

“WHEN I’M ABOUT TO SLEEP, OR WHEN I’M TRYING TO SLEEP, I TRY TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING THAT I WANT TO REMEMBER. IT COULD BE SOMETHING OF MY RECENT PAST OR AN EPISODE OF MY CHILDHOOD AND I TRY TO CONCENTRATE ON ALL THE DETAILS OF THAT MEMORY AND THAT MEMORY SOMETIMES EVEN TURNS INTO A DREAM AND THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THAT STORY EVEN BECOMES A SONG.”