The Science of Sleep Music

Can music help you sleep? Yes. Here's how to use music to improve your sleep quality. Read about the benefits of sleep music.

The Benefits of Sleep Music: Does Listening to Music Help Sleep?

If you have trouble sleeping, music could be the solution. Playing relaxing music at a low volume in your bedroom can have a number of benefits as you slumber. Dr. Michael Breus, known as the Sleep Doctor, has an interesting viewpoint on how people can use music to sleep better. Read on to see if it's right for you.

How To Use Music To Improve Your Sleep Quality

It's been reported that music brings about welcome changes to the body in ways that mimic our sleep state. It slows the heart rate, lowers our breathing rate, and can result in lower blood pressure. All of these are physiological changes that help us to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Scientific research has shown that numerous benefits can be derived from listening to music; some of these are as follows:

  • Relaxing music is very soothing and eases away anxiety and stress that calms our emotional brain.
  • Listening to soothing music a few minutes before bedtime serves to improve sleep quality among children, younger adults, and older people.
  • According to recent evidence, listening to music prior to bedtime will help to improve sleep quality among adults who have insomnia.
  • Music can help increase the length of time we are asleep, as opposed to time spent lying in bed trying to sleep, but instead are thinking stressful thoughts. It can help prevent awakening during the night or waking up in the early hours and not being able to fall asleep again.
  • Research has revealed that a music listening session before bedtime helps us fall asleep much quicker.
  • Music serves as an effective remedy for coping with chronic or short-term sleep disorders.

Read More: The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

Why not make a habit of listening to music to help you sleep? The more you do it, the better quality sleep you will experience.

How music has a positive influence over our mood

In a big way, music plays an integral part in the way it affects our emotional state and mood.

Scientific research indicates that relaxing music improves both the physical and mental effects of stress, leading to relief of anxiety.

Studies also have shown that patients who undergo certain medical treatments, such as surgery, benefited from listening to music during such high anxiety situations. Music has the ability to lower one's anxiety, even more than prescription drugs can.

Research at the University of Kansas showed that healthy adults who listened to music experienced far less anxiety, and even showed fewer physical symptoms that accompany stress, like elevated heart rate and higher blood pressure.

People who have been subjected to emotional and physical trauma found that listening to soothing music lowered their anxiety while simultaneously improving sleep quality.

Using music to help you sleep better

Have you considered using music to improve your sleep quality?

Following are some useful ways to do so:

  • Slow beats: Both the body and brain prove to be highly responsive to the right kind of music, which includes tempo and rhythm. The best way to make this happen is to make use of songs that feature a rhythm of around 60 to 80 beats per minute. This way, your heart rate will eventually adjust to match the slower beats, your breathing will slow, and you will move closer to a sleeping state. Avoid up-tempo songs, which are better for helping you stay alert when driving or waking you up in the morning.
  • Steer clear of emotional triggers: Avoid listening to songs that cause emotional upset or that might have negative associations. You do not want to listen to these when it's time to sleep. The last thing you need is excitement or sadness.
  • Opt for lyric-free music: Instrumental music, rather than vocal music, is better for sleeping. If you're listening to music with lyrics, it's hard not to follow along, which can keep your mind awake and more alert rather than relaxed.
  • Be consistent: Research revealed that the benefits derived from listening to music before bedtime are numerous and get stronger the longer you do it, especially if you are alert, wired, and heavily stressed out at nighttime. Adopting a new music routine may not make a huge difference initially. However, if you stick with it for a couple of nights, then you will soon realize the benefits.

If you plan to incorporate music into your bedtime routine, do not neglect the rest of your sleeping environment. It's no use listening to the soothing sounds of Bach when the lights are blazing, or you are staring at a computer screen. Soft lighting and a comfortable mattress can make a world of difference.

Source—The Sleep Doctor