How our Sleep CD's are Constructed
I have talked at length in various sections of this site about the concept of 'virtual dreaming' as a bridge from Alpha (relaxing), to Theta (daydreaming) and then to Delta (deep sleep) brainwaves state. In this Sleep Thoughts I would like to delve into the paradigm of a virtual dream.
First comes the idea. Lets take the newest download we have constructed, The Mountaineer, and break it down. All of our sleep sounds must have relaxing, and hopefully sleep inducing, sounds that make up the bulk of the recording. If I don't have a 'sleep sound' in mind when I first start the mixing process trouble may ensue. Sometimes there are happy accidents and things just 'work out' but, more often then not, if the 'sleep sound' (waves, thunderstorm, rain) is not considered ahead of time the work can become a bit muddled. In the case of Mountaineer I was shooting for a gentle spring thunderstorm combined with the rain hitting canvas.
Sleep Sounds That Promote Visualization
The visualization process starts from the opening and usually runs 5 to 10 minutes. All our recordings are binaural (stereo) and there is a spatial quality to them that promotes the idea of movement and depth of scene. If our big brains accept the sounds as 'accurate' the visualization process becomes almost second nature. Creating the scenario for the Mountaineer required horse sounds, snowshoe sounds, Foley effects, and such. Trying to keep the visualization as basic as possible is important. No one wants to think too much when trying to sleep. The mountain man sets up camp by starting a fire (he uses matches so that dates this dreamscape as sometime after 1855 when matches were invented), and constructing a basic lean-to by chopping down some small trees and covering the structure with a canvas. All the while wind, wildlife, and distant thunder is heard.
As the mountaineer goes into his makeshift shelter it occurred to me that he would do one last thing. He makes sure his rifle and six shooter are loaded and ready. It is bear country, after all. These sleep sounds begins in mountaineer at about 5 or 6 minutes. Rain starts slowly and, combined with the sound of droplets striking the canvas 'roof', a relaxing sound scenario ensues. The average human falls to sleep in ten to twenty minutes. So, keeping this in mind, all extraneous sounds outside of background ambiance are usually over by minute ten.
Most of our relaxation downloads are formatted in this way. There are exceptions. Stormy Beach and Bedtime Storm are static atmospheres that have their own uniqueness. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our products, or this site, please email me.
I have written extensively over the years about the process of falling asleep and have sorted my journal into four areas of interest.