How waking up to natural sounds can transform your day for the better

Introduce the sounds of nature into your morning routine to start the day feeling motivated and less stressed

A bed styled with multiple light colored linens and pillows
(Image credit: The White Company)

The gentle rustle of leaves, the chirping of birds, or the rhythmic flow of a trickling stream can evoke a sense of calmness, and waking up to these soothing sounds can set a positive tone for the rest of your day. 

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), natural sounds can improve health and even lower stress levels. So, embracing the sounds of nature as part of your morning routine can have significant positive effects on your health and well-being.

Whether you sleep with the window open or invest in bedroom soundscaping solutions, experts say that waking up to nature's chorus can be transformative. 

Waking up to natural sounds

Research has shown that listening to natural sounds, such as birdsong or ocean waves, can boost mood, decrease stress, and even lessen pain. 

1. Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Beige bedroom with a window seat designed by Thurstan

(Image credit: Thurstan Design)

Buying the right mattress can help you have a better night's sleep and start the day more positively. However, waking up to the gentle sounds of nature has been associated with a notable decrease in cortisol levels compared to waking up to loud, abrupt noises. 

‘This hormonal reduction translates to a more significant reduction in stress and anxiety, providing a calming effect that lasts throughout the day,’ says Carlie Gasia, Certified Sleep Science & Wellness Coach. ‘The positive association with natural sounds triggers the release of endorphins. This surge in feel-good chemicals can elevate your mood, contributing to an overall improvement in emotional well-being.’

Carlie Gasia
Carlie Gasia

Carlie Gasia is a valuable resource at Sleepopolis as a Certified Sleep Science Coach and Certified Wellness Coach. Her expertise lies in sleep science and wellness, bringing a unique perspective to Sleepopolis’s content. 

2. Connection with the environment

Bedroom with rustic wooden walls and bed with decorative green bedspread

(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue)

Waking up to the sounds of nature, whether in an urban or rural setting, can enhance your sense of connection with the environment. Studies indicate that individuals who incorporate nature sounds into their morning routine report a heightened environmental awareness, fostering a more ecologically conscious mindset. 

This connection with nature and the environment can be enhanced further by introducing houseplants into your bedroom. Houseplants such as snake plants have been known to reduce stress and anxiety.

3. Enhanced focus and productivity

Beige bedroom

(Image credit: Interior by Salvesen Graham / photograph by Simon Brown)

Nature sounds have been linked to an improvement in cognitive function and concentration. This increase represents the heightened mental acuity that individuals experience when starting their day with these soothing sounds, setting the stage for increased productivity throughout the day.

Moreover, the calming effects of natural sounds are said to create an environment conducive to creative thinking (perfect for anyone who wants to be more productive when working from home). 

4. Mindfulness

Cozy bedroom with brown painted walls, bed with cream, orange and blue linen, orange patterned rug, rattan and black wood bedside table, low hanging rounded glass pendant with striped design, boucle lounge chair

(Image credit: John Lewis)

According to Julia Siemen, a Certified Sleep Science Coach at Sleep Advisor, engaging with the natural sounds around you is a form of mindfulness practice. Heightened mindfulness positively influences your mindset and actions, enhancing your ability to navigate daily challenges with a focused and present attitude.

Gradual awakening to the sounds of nature provides a refreshing start for both the body and mind. It highlights the rejuvenating impact of a gentle and natural waking process, leaving individuals feeling more energized and prepared for the day ahead.

Julia Siemen
Julia Siemen

Julia Siemen is a Certified Sleep Science Coach at Sleep Advisor who is passionate about all things sleep and wellness. Her goal is to help others gain the knowledge and resources to transform their sleep health. She prioritizes a good night’s sleep by promoting healthier bedtime habits and routines to foster a good night’s rest, ensuring optimal wellness. 

5. Set a positive tone for the day

Green bedroom with rattan bed decor and quilted throw

(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue)

‘Waking up to the sounds of nature establishes a positive tone for the day ahead,’ says Laura Widney, President of Soaak Technologies. ‘This represents the influence of a positive beginning on one's perspective, fostering gratitude and optimism and contributing to a more joyful and fulfilling day.'

Laura Widney
Laura Widney

Laura Widney is the visionary behind Soaak Technologies, a healthtech company dedicated to transforming well-being through innovative digital solutions. With a deep understanding of the transformative potential of mind-body connections, Laura has curated a range of scientifically proven therapies to help individuals reduce stress, increase energy, and achieve optimal vitality. 

Incorporating natural sounds into your morning routine can be a simple yet powerful way to transform your day. It can foster a deeper appreciation for the natural world and promote harmony within ourselves. 

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.