Globetrotting DJ/producer/sound designer Tom Middleton has been burning the creative candle at both ends since the late ’80s in Cornwall, England. At the start of his production career he struck up a friendship with a then unknown chap named Richard D. James, whose Aphex Twin project was just getting off the ground. Not too long after Middleton had found his groove, creating genre-defining music with Mark Pritchard in Global Communication. (The duo’s 1994 album, 76:14, is a benchmark of excellence in the field.)
Middleton’s lengthy discography is truly something to behold — countless productions, remixes and a spate of brilliant mix CDs spanning ambient, deep house and downtempo. (2002’s sprawling three-disc opus The Sound Of The Cosmos is as sublime a mix collection as they come.) Factor in a variety of work as a sound designer, sample pack producer and that equals a busy man.
More recently, Middleton has come to learn and better understand the science of sleep, which invigorates the mind, body and soul, reduces stress, energizes, calms and plays an important role in overall wellbeing. If you don’t get enough of it on a consistent basis — a challenge for many of us in our always-on culture — then serious health problems may develop.
The cost of sleep deprivation in the US costs 1.2 million lost working days a year, costing $411bn or 2.28 percent of GDP. Middleton says if we could get just one more hour of quality sleep to make up to 7 hours plus, it would add £24bn back to the UK economy.
Middleton trained to become a sleep coach, learning about sleep architecture, sleep health and hygiene. Before long his two passions converged. It led to Sleep Better (Universal Music), an album of soundscapes designed to help inspire relaxation before bedtime. The tracks he created slow respiration with the goal of reducing blood pressure and stress levels, with the goal of activating the relaxation mechanism.
On the eve of the album’s release on World Sleep Day, Middleton recalls how he became interested in sleep science and why Sleep Better could be the important project of his career. Continue Reading