Troubles sleeping are quite widespread nowadays, and they can have wide-ranging adverse effects on our health, especially if they are chronic. That’s why they should be taken seriously. Chronic sleep problems can increase the risk of the development of various health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. They can also impair our productivity, focus, and memory. Another consequence of sleep issues is decreased safety behind the wheel and increased chance of being involved in a vehicular incident. As you can see, these problems can have various consequences. Luckily, simple and cheap treatment can help you avoid sleepless nights without any side effects: listening to relaxing music.
People’s preferences vary a lot. Some people need absolute silence in order to drift off to dreamland in the evening, while others don’t feel comfortable in total silence. These people prefer some kind of noise, no matter if it is music or noise from sound machines. Listening to music before going to bed can be very beneficial. Although it may sound like a bad idea to some of us, it is not. Falling asleep to the right music can provide numerous benefits, such as improved quality of rest, increased duration of sleep, and decreased levels of stress.
The Impact of Music on Your Body and Mind
We all know that music is very enjoyable to listen to, but it is much more than that. Listening to music has a direct impact on PSNS or the parasympathetic nervous system, which is a part of the autonomic nervous system responsible for slowing the heart rate, increasing intestinal activity and relaxing gastrointestinal muscles. This system helps prepare us for sleep.
When we enjoy relaxing music, we feel calmer. Not only relaxing music slows our heart rate, but it also slows breathing, lowers our blood pressure, reduces anxiety and stress, and even triggers our muscles to relax. It is not just our imagination that we feel calmer when listening to relaxing music, it is the truth. Biological changes that occur when listening to music mirror some changes that our bodies undergo when we are falling asleep, which makes music the ideal preparation for drifting off to dreamland.
What makes music such a powerful and unique tool is that the reactions to it are different. Different rhythm, tempos, and melodies trigger different reactions. Our responses to a certain rhythm or melody depend on our personal preferences, as well as on the memories that we associate with a particular type of music. However, slow tunes are ideal for falling asleep.
Studies have shown that listening to relaxing music before going to bed improves sleep quality in children, young adults, and older adults, and it is the best music for sleep and relaxation. There is also enough evidence showing that this type of music can help improve the quality of sleep in adults with insomnia and PTSD or posttraumatic stress disorder.
One of the studies has shown that music can improve the quality of sleep in students. 94 students with sleep complaints aged between 19 and 28 years participated in this study, and they were divided into three groups. The first group of participants listened to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes at bedtime during the period of three weeks. The second group listened to an audiobook, every night before sleep for three weeks. The third group was the control group, which means that they didn’t receive any intervention. Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index was used for measuring the sleep quality before and during the study. The results have shown that listening to relaxing classical music is very effective when it comes to reducing sleeping issues. Music has significantly improved the sleep quality in students. On the other hand, the quality of sleep didn’t improve significantly in students listening to the audiobook or those who were a part of the control group.
According to a study, music improves sleep quality in older adults. 60 people aged between 60 and 83 years participated in this study, and each participant had difficulty sleeping. Adults who used caffeine at bedtime, sleeping medications, those who reported depression or cognitive impairment that might interfere with sleep were excluded from the study. Every person participating in this study listened to his or her choice of six 45-minute tapes with relaxing music, every day at bedtime for three weeks. The results have revealed that listening to music before going to bed improved the sleep quality of participants. Participants also reported that they fell asleep faster, slept longer, experienced less daytime dysfunction and less sleep disturbance. The findings of this study provide enough evidence to support the claim that soothing and relaxing music improves the quality of sleep in older adults.
Another research that was conducted in 2015 shows that music can improve sleep quality in people with insomnia. This research included six studies and 314 participants in total. These studies examined the effect of listening to music for between 25 and 60 minutes per day, during the period of three days to five weeks. It was discovered that listening to relaxing music affects the quality of sleep positively.
What’s the Best Music to Listen to Before Going to Sleep?
Different studies researching the connection between music and sleep have found that slow tunes are perfect for falling asleep. Music described as classical, calming, soothing or relaxing is the best music to listen to prior to bedtime as it is the type of music to fall asleep to fast. Not only it helps prepare us for sleep and drift off to dreamland faster, but it also improves the sleep quality. Listening to calming music before bed is beneficial to people of all ages, from children to older adults. It can also help people with PTSD, insomnia symptoms, and those with acute and chronic sleep disorders. If you have troubles sleeping, you should integrate music into your pre-bedtime routine and stick with it. Here are our suggestions for soothing music for sleep to listen to in the evening:
Renata is an economist who has always had a passion for writing. She is a dog lover, Netflix addict and a sleepaholic. When she is not busy doing sleep research, she spends her time reading books, hiking and playing video games.