By Joshua Paez
If you’re having trouble sleeping, then music may be the solution to helping you achieve better quality rest at night. Sleep is a biological necessity that has many benefits to our mental and physical health that we don’t completely understand scientifically, but there are various studies that investigate what contributes to quality sleep.
In a study from 2006, researchers found that soothing music can be an empirically-based intervention for older people ranging from 60-83. The study had participants listen to their choice among six 45-minute soothing music recordings when they slept at night for 3 weeks.
The selection included five types of Western and one type of Chinese music. The participants’ sleep quality was measured using the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) before and after the 3 weeks of the study.
Their results found that the participants that slept with music had significantly better sleep quality than those who did not sleep with any music. Those who had better quality sleep demonstrated better perceived sleep quality, longer sleep duration, greater sleep efficiency, less sleep disturbance and less daytime dysfunction.
From a study in 2008, researchers did a similar experiment with students to investigate sleep quality when listening to music. The researchers used three groups of students ranging from ages 19-28 who complain of poor sleep. The three groups either listened to 45-minutes of relaxing classical music, an audiobook, or nothing at all at bedtime for 3 weeks.
The students’ sleep quality was measured using PSQI before the study and after every week of the study. The students’ depressive symptoms were measured using the Beck Depression Inventory. Their results showed that the group that listened to music had significantly improved sleep quality. The group that listened to an audiobook and nothing at all did not show significant improvement in sleep quality. The group that listened to music even showed a statistically significant decrease in depressive symptoms while the other two groups didn’t.
Whether you’re young or old, research backs the idea that listening to relaxing music at bedtime can help you if you are seeking to improve your sleep quality. This further shows how much music can positively affect our lives and why we might need more of it!
Featured image by Joshua Paez.