It was yet another of those regularly occurring instances. I normally go to bed by midnight but a few days ago, I just couldn’t sleep. For an hour, I was tossing and turning. I am scared of those pills, and wondered what to do. Now Google has a solution for everything — how to sleep, stay awake, laugh, cry, get angry, control your anger. One website sleepfoundation.org. told me, “There’s a treatment that’s cheap, isn’t habit-forming and has absolutely no side-effects: music.”

I have tried that route before, but maybe I did it wrong. “Look for a rhythm between 60 to 80 beats per minute (BPM), which you are likely to find in classical, jazz and folk music,” the site advised. On the one hand, I have this insomnia, and on the other, I am expected to sit and count BPM with a watch timer. I tried another solution by looking for ‘Music for Sleeping’ on YouTube. There were many links. The shortest one was three hours long and the longest nine hours. Imagine staying awake that much time to try and fall asleep.


Decisive moment

I decided to obey sleepfoundation.org. I chose early 18th century classical baroque music — Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel and Antonio Vivaldi. I had tried Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ in the past. I had slept 20 hours a stretch. Didn’t want to risk that. I opted for one of my favourite classical pieces — ‘Water Music’ by Handel. I love it so much that within three minutes I was dancing horizontally on my bed, jerking my head fluriously ike a rock star and screaming loud enough to wake up my neighbours.

By now it was 2.30 a.m. The next option was Bach’s ‘Complete Flute Sonatas’. Same result and more vigorous body movements. To add to that my mouth and hands were playing an imaginary flute in a unique style, simultaneously trying to sound like classical player Jean-Pierre Rampal, rock star Ian Anderson, bansuri legend Hariprasad Chaurasia and Chinese dizi player Changkui Tang. It was now 4 a.m.

I moved from baroque to the 19th century Romantic Era. Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’. This time, I was out of my bed, doing a ballet with a dash of Kathak and disco thrown in. I even tried Indian instrumental music, though I am sure our leading violin, santoor and bansuri players will feel offended if they hear their tunes were being used as lullabies.


Music to snore by

Honestly, that three-hour ‘Music For Sleeping’ link would have worked better. I decided to change the mood. I played Justin Bieber’s album
Purpose
. I don’t remember getting past the first song ‘Mark My Words’… Zzz. Zzz. Bieber had solved my purpose. The next day, I had a 4 p.m. meeting on the 16th floor of a high-rise commercial complex. Kenny G played in the lift. I don’t remember which floor I crashed off in but the liftman had to splash water on my face to wake me up. I have since begun preparing my own ‘NK Music For Sleeping’ compilation. Besides Bieber and Kenny G, it has Barry Manilow, Air Supply, Spice Girls, One Direction, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Badshah and Dhinchak Pooja. I am also shortlisting some self-proclaimed YouTube sensations who claim to have got two million views in a day.

Moral of the story: If you want music that could make you sleep, don’t play anything you love.

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