The Visualization Process and Relaxation
Nature sounds by themselves can be soothing to the ear and really can help you in relaxing and falling asleep. The problem I found with them (i.e. ocean waves, storm sounds) was the lack of context. That is, I wanted nature sounds to reflect the environment they were in or, better yet, the environment I wanted to be in.
By putting the content of naturally relaxing sounds into a specific context the listener can visualize a particularly relaxing scenario. This visualization process helps the transition into the Theta brainwave state. The Theta brainwave state is very deep relaxation much like one could achieve through meditation or hypnosis. The scientifically accepted transition into sleep is relaxation (Alpha waves) transitioning into a trance-like meditative Theta brainwave state (much like when you drive an automobile from here to there but don't remember how you got there). The mind then goes into a Delta brainwave state. At this point we are asleep. As the delta brainwave state initiates we have other transitory things happening like REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and dreaming.
It is interesting to note that both dreaming and the visualization process appear active in the secondary visual cortex; a section of our big brains whose main function is to process images filtered thru the primary visual cortex (i.e. things we see with our eyes open). When our eyes are closed and we think visually the secondary visual cortex behaves in much the same manner as it would if you were actually dreaming. This simple and natural phenomena also works in meditation. One of Virtual Dreaming's secrets is that if one visualizes to our recordings one can achieve many of the benefits of meditation.
One other note: The more times you listen to our Virtual Dreams, the more potent they become. This is simply because, as the listener becomes aware of the sequence of events, visualizations can be anticipated.
Lastly, patrons of our recordings do not have to visualize to achieve a deep sense of relaxation. They can just enjoy the ocean waves, thunder, wind chimes or other sounds just like any other nature sound recording. But I think that you will visualization to be an easy and effective way to fall asleep naturally.