I’m all about natural forms of healing. I struggle with anxiety and I subconsciously hold on to the past, so this affects my day-to-day life. I’ve received reiki many times, I’ve used healing crystals and I’ve even taken a special full moon healing bath which required tons of preparation. And, as of a month ago, I’ve been using virtual sound baths because I can’t fall asleep.
Sound healing is a powerful form of meditation. This is a different turn for me because I’ve never been a meditation kind of gal. It’s hard getting out of my head and sitting still for so long. After completing a traditional meditation session, I’ve never felt any differently—but you need to do it consistently. Recently, the founder of a major meditation studio in L.A. reached out about trying her new app. And that’s when things changed.
I likely have more restless nights than the average person, but there was a recent evening in particular that my mind was all TikTok’d out and I would’ve given anything to fall asleep. I downloaded the aforementioned app—and rather than opt for a guided meditation, I clicked on one of the sound healing selections. The 40-minute session required nothing more than for me to lie down, close my eyes and be able to hear. I kid you not, it knocked me out in five minutes. Sleeping pills wake me up in the middle of the night after they wear off; sleepy teas make me have to use the restroom in the middle of the night; CBD products give me crazy dreams. In other words, nothing’s worked up to this point.
I’ve gone to sound baths at various L.A. venues, and I’ve fallen asleep pretty shortly into the sessions. But honestly, I thought my simple snooze-fest resulted from my workplace, which zapped all my energy. The office always left me exhausted, but now I realize I actually fell asleep for a deeper reason.
I’ve been so excited to share my life-changing discovery with others that I reached out to Roxie Sarhangi, better known in cyberspace as @roxiesoundhealing. Keep reading for Roxie’s amazing tips on how to use sound healing to fall asleep.
skyelyfe: How did you get involved in sound healing?
Roxie Sarhangi: The first time I recall hearing the powerful sound of a gong in person was in a yoga class during Savasana. This was about a decade or so ago. It was a momentous visceral experience. I felt the vibration deep within my chest, and it brought my mind immediately to the present moment. I remember leaving, wanting to experience the gong for a longer period of time.
The first sound bath I experienced was in Ojai with Tibetian bowls, and it felt so calming and deeply relaxing. The ethereal sound really captivated me, so from there, I went to sound baths all over L.A. I decided I wanted to learn how to share it with others, so I became a certified sound healer practitioner in 2018.
SL: What were your initial experiences with it when you were exploring just for fun?
RS: I touched upon this above, but essentially, I always like to stay curious and have a learner’s mind. Sound healing is esoteric, unique and feels powerful. I loved the idea of everyone getting together to better themselves in this unique environment. I definitely wasn’t planning on becoming a sound healer!
SL: What’s the science behind sound healing and its ability to ease tension and assist with sleep ailments?
RS: Sound healing affects brain waves to slow down to a profoundly relaxing and restorative state. Notes of the crystal bowls are tuned to the seven chakras and energy centers. These help recenter us when we’re out of alignment. They’re also tuned to 432 hertz, the vibrational frequency of nature. If you think about it, everything has a frequency. Every living element in our body emits a frequency. The frequency of the crystal bowls is often described as a sound of the “universe.”
I’ll also play the symphonic gong, one of the oldest instruments. Its roots trace back to around 3500 B.C. The gong is used to release tension and blocks in the body, stimulating a higher functioning of the glandular and nervous system. I’ve heard many attendees share that they have the best sleep after sound healing. They’re in a deeply relaxed state primed for sleep, so that is why. As I understand it, you’re essentially moving from alpha and theta brainwave state. This occurs during sound healing to the next state—delta brain waves—which occurs during sleep. That’s one of the reasons why sound healing feels so magical to me!
SL: What’s the best way for a newbie to maximize their experience with sound healing?
RS: One of the many reasons I love sound healing is that it requires very little doing of the participant, mainly showing up! I approach it as easy, effortless, and transcendent. The more you can relax, the more you can receive the sounds. I recommend giving yourself the gift of coming into the experience as relaxed as possible, without pushing. If you go to an in-person session, allow plenty of time to drive to the location, park and get settled. Bring items that can allow you to feel cozy and good. A blanket, pillow, and perhaps an eye mask. Set yourself up to feel your best.
If you do an at-home sound bath, then light a candle, sage, or palo santo. Put yourself in a physical space that feels relaxing and healing. When I do in-person sessions, they’re always at inspiring locations such as the 1 Hotel West Hollywood on their rooftop deck under the night sky. We’re under a stunning large-scale sculpture, Dream Catcher by Janet Echelman. Our brainwaves when we dream is what inspired the sculpture. How perfect for sound healing!
When you can walk into an environment and feel uplifted, it makes an impact. If the space feels inspiring, you begin to feel inspired. Your space is very important. Another location I enjoy is at a museum style gallery, Barakat Gallery. Centuries-old artifacts, sculptures and life-size Buddhas surrounded us during our event last year. There’s an ineffable sense of depth and soul in a space like that.
SL: Are there any particular sound healing apps or YouTube videos/channels you recommend people listen to as they fall asleep?
RS: I don’t know if there are any apps only for sound healing, but that’s a great idea! I know there are sound healing sessions on Calm app, Insight Timer and YouTube. I also have a YouTube channel and IGTV with free sound healing sessions that I know souls listen to before bed.
SL: Is there anything else you’d like to add about your specific practice or sound healing in general?
RS: I feel truly honored to share sound healing. Sound is primordial. It’s the first vibration ever experienced. It is so powerful. I am constantly in awe of the power of sound. Thank you for asking me to share more about sound healing! See you under the influence of sound.
*Roxie is launching her 11 Days of Sound Healing this Friday (Oct. 16) in honor of the New Moon. To learn more or sign up, click HERE.
For more incredible healing tips and techniques, click HERE.