The Sound of Nature

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bird song

Natural sounds such as birdsong and the sound of water have been used in stressful situations like surgical procedures, and have demonstrated stress-relieving effects via the autonomic nervous system (Annerstedt et al., 2013).

A randomized study by Bauer and colleagues (2011) found that nature sounds and music, compared to no sound, had the potential to reduce pain and stress significantly in cardiovascular surgery patients. 

One study found that nature sounds, compared to noise, facilitate recovery from stress after a stressful mental arithmetic task. Stress levels were measured by people’s skin conductance levels (Alvarsson, Wiens, & Nilsson, 2010).

Another study found that sounds of a soft wind and a twitter during epidural anesthesia, compared to no sound, reduced stress. Reductions in stress were reflected by a decrease in salivary amylase activity (Arai Y-C et al., 2008).

A recent experiment by Annerstedt and colleagues (2013) found that participants, exposed to natural sounds in a virtual natural environment, showed enhanced stress recovery after a virtual stress test.

The authors used cardiovascular and saliva cortisol data, and they found that natural sounds, combined with a virtual natural environment, increased stress recovery by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

Photo: timku

One thought on “The Sound of Nature

    awax1217 said:
    May 25, 2014 at 11:58

    I remember when my Uncle died and the hospital room was filled with the sound of classical music. That is how he wanted to be remembered. When I go I will use the nature concept. A hawk cawing at the heavens with a scream. Thanks for the suggestion now I have got to put it into my will.

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