AI lullaby
Can AI help you fall asleep?Creative Commons

If the lullabies that have been helping you to fall asleep are not working any more, fret not. A healthcare company has used artificial intelligence to create a lullaby that may aid insomniacs like you in getting to sleep at night.

According to Kent-based AXA PPP healthcare, 54 percent of us struggle to get to sleep at night while a further 10 percent experience severe insomnia. To help people drift off to sleep, the company has produced two different tunes -- one by Scottish composer Eddie McGuire and the other by artificial neural networks -- to see which one works the best.

The tune, composed by McGuire, is called "Lyrical Lullaby", and was created with Bede Williams, the head of Instrumental Studies at the University of St Andrews.

"Lots of people report of a falling sensation as they fall asleep, and many lullabies mimic this by containing melodies made up of descending patterns in the notes. Lyrical Lullaby has this essential feature and many other musical devices which can induce in us a state of restfulness," Williams said.

The AI-created tune, on the other hand, is simply called "Lullaby," and was trained using sheet music in a computer-readable format, from which it learned a sense of harmony and rhythm. The tune, which was produced using a machine by London-based Jukedeck, is claimed to be able to help cure insomnia.

The AI lullaby was created through deep learning which is based on several layers of neural networks inspired by the brain. If you show one of these networks lots of complex data, it can easily discover hidden patterns like the human brain.

"We showed our networks a large body of sheet music, and, through training, it reached the point where it could take a short sequence of notes as input and predict which notes were likely to follow," Ed Newton-Rex, the founder and CEO of Jukebox, said in a statement. "Once a network has this ability, it essentially has the ability to compose a new piece, as it can choose notes to follow others it's already composed."

Researchers, however, believe that both human-composed and AI-composed lullabies can help people who struggle to sleep.

"Music can be used to reduce sympathetic nervous system activity; decrease anxiety, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate; and possibly have positive effects on sleep in regards to muscle relaxation and distraction from trivial thoughts," Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services for AXA PPP healthcare, said in a statement.

Here're the compositions for you to decide which one helps you better to switch off.

Human lullaby

AI lullaby