Why Does Music Affect Sleep? How to Make Music Part of Your Sleep Hygiene? Update 06/2022

An artist’s medium of choice is music. The fact that it can help you sleep better and wake up feeling more rested may be overshadowed by its capacity to get people to dance.

Listening to music might help you fall asleep since it can make you feel calm and at ease. With streaming applications and portable speakers, it’s easier than ever to take advantage of the power of music wherever you go. You may want to consider including music into your evening routine because of its accessibility and potential sleep advantages.

Can Music Help You Fall Asleep?

Lullabies and calm rhythms have been proven to help newborns fall asleep, and parents know this from personal experience. Children of all ages, from preterm infants to elementary school students, sleep better after listening to calming music, according to scientific research.

Fortunately, lullabies aren’t just for babies and toddlers anymore. People of all ages say that relaxing music improves their sleep.

Listening to 45 minutes of music before bedtime improved the quality of sleep in adults immediately, according to a recent study. Even more heartening is the finding that the more regularly study participants incorporated music into their evening routine, the better sleep they reported.

The time it takes to drift off to sleep might be shortened by listening to soothing music. Participants in the research of insomniac women were asked to play a self-selected record before bed for a period of 10 nights. After adding music to their nightly routine, individuals slept in 6 to 13 minutes rather than 27 to 69 minutes before.

Playing music before going to sleep can help you sleep better by making it easier to go off to sleep and by increasing the amount of time you spend in bed actually sleeping. More restful sleep with fewer nighttime awakenings is the result of increasing your sleep efficiency.

Why Does Music Affect Sleep?

Musical perception is dependent on a number of procedures that turn sound waves into electrical signals in the brain. In response to the brain’s interpretation of these noises, a chain reaction of physiological repercussions is set in motion. Many of these impacts either help people sleep better or lessen the things that keep them from falling asleep in the first place.

Music has been shown in numerous studies to improve sleep quality by modulating hormones such as cortisol, which is produced in response to stress. Stress and high amounts of cortisol might make you more alert and impair your ability to sleep. Listening to music lowers cortisol levels, which may explain why it’s so effective in relieving stress and making people feel better.

Dopamine, a hormone released during pleasurable actions such as eating, exercising, and having sex, is triggered by music. The production of endorphins before bedtime can help alleviate pain, which is a typical cause of insomnia. Both acute and chronic physical pain can be alleviated by the physical and psychological effects of music.

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) can be calmed by listening to music. As part of your body’s autonomic nerve system, the heart, lungs, and digestive system are all controlled automatically or unconsciously by this natural mechanism. Relaxation of the autonomic nervous system results in slower breathing, lower heart rate, and lower blood pressure, all of which contribute to better sleep.

Many insomniacs believe that their bedrooms are the source of their anxiety and restlessness. In order to combat this, music acts as a distraction, encouraging physical and mental relaxation that is necessary to fall asleep.

Noise at night, whether it’s from traffic, planes, or neighbors, has been related to a number of health problems, including cardiovascular disease. Music can be used to mute the sounds of the outside world and help you get a good night’s sleep.

What Kind of Music Is Best For Sleep?

It’s understandable to ask what kind of music is best for getting a good night’s sleep. Studies have looked at several genres, but there isn’t a strong consensus on the best music for sleep. In the majority of these trials, participants either chose their own music or listened to music specifically selected with the goal of lulling themselves to sleep.

A person’s personal taste in music can have a big impact on the way music affects their bodies. Songs that have worked for you in the past as a sleep aid can be included in an effective personalized playlist.

One aspect to take into account when creating a playlist is the tempo. The beats per minute (bpm) is a common unit of measurement for tempo (pace) in music (BPM). Music with a BPM of 60-80 has been used in most experiments. Slower music has the potential to make the body sync up with resting heart rates, which typically range between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM).

Online music providers have stepped in and typically offer pre-packaged playlists for specific hobbies for individuals who don’t want to make their own. It is possible to create playlists that aid in sleep or relaxation. Playlists that focus on relaxing genres, such as classical or piano tunes, maybe the most convenient option.

It’s okay to try out a variety of songs and playlists until you discover the perfect fit. You may also want to experiment with a few daytime playlists to see if they help you relax.

Music Therapy

Making your own playlists or buying a pre-made one may work for some people, but a more formal method may be better for others. For emotional and physical well-being, therapists are trained in the use of music as a therapeutic tool. A person’s particular needs can be assessed by a music therapist, and a treatment plan can be developed that includes both listening to and composing music. Consult your physician or the American Music Therapy Association for further information about music therapy.

Evolving Science About Music and Health

Large-scale studies are being conducted to discover new ways that music can help health, as interest in its physiological impacts continues to expand. Sound Health Initiative was a joint effort between the National Institutes of Health and the John F. Kennedy Center, which launched in 2017. The use of music in health care settings is supported by this program effort, which has already sponsored several projects.

How to Make Music Part of Your Sleep Hygiene

Healthy sleep hygiene can benefit greatly from the use of music. Incorporating relaxing music into your bedtime routine will help you get a good night’s sleep.

  • Regularity aids sleep, so establish a sleep schedule. Establish bedtime routines that allow the body to relax and wind down, and incorporate soothing music into those routines on a regular basis.
  • Make a playlist of songs you like: If a pre-made playlist doesn’t work, make your own from songs you like. Music with a slower speed can help some people relax, while music with a faster tempo may be better for others. Try several things and find what works best for you.
  • Emotional music: We all have songs that stir up powerful feelings. Avoiding certain songs is a good idea. To help you sleep, avoid listening to music that makes you feel anxious or depressed.
  • Listening to music while you sleep can be dangerous, especially if you’re using headphones or earbuds at a high level. Earwax can accumulate in the ears of people who sleep with earphones, increasing their chance of developing an ear infection. As an alternative, you can place a tiny stereo or speaker near the bed to drown out the noise. Choosing speakers that do not emit bright light, which can disrupt sleep, and adjusting the volume to a level that is neither too loud nor too quiet.
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