Desperate for sleep? Try listening to music

April 9, 2020

Struggling with insomnia? There are many things you can do to become a better sleeper: drink less coffee and alcohol, avoid blue light rays, stay active during the day, and even take some melatonin supplements like Ginkgo biloba. Have you ever tried music as a sleep- inducing drug?

The science of sleep

Many psychological studies show that just by playing relaxing music at bedtime can alleviate sleep disorders for many people.

In 2007 psychologist Lazlo Harmat gathered 94 students having a poor sleep and divided them into two groups. One listened to the collection of relaxing classical music (like The Most Relaxing Classical, Edited by Virgin, 1999) for 45 minutes every night at bedtime for 3 weeks. Similarly, people in the other group were asked to listen to the audiobook CD containing 11 hours of short stories.

Maybe the novels by Zsigmond Moricz and 4 other Hungarian writers were not so entrancing. Still, by the end of the study, 30 out of the 35 people in the music group became ‘good sleepers,’ while the majority in the audiobook group still had problems trying to fall asleep.

Positive side-effects

It’s already known that sleep disorders may result in tiredness, anxiety, and problems in daytime functioning. Laszlo’s experiment showed that music can effectively regulate blood pressure and decrease depressive symptoms.

Other investigations of beneficial effects of music therapy by Hanser, Suzanne & Thompson, and Larry also support the idea of using slow, repetitive music to enhance deep relaxation or falling asleep.

Tune-up your heart for better sleep

The main scientific explanation of the sedative effects of ‘lullabies’ is an ability of heart rate to synchronize with music beat.

Dr. med. Uwe Reinhardt observed a very stable 2:3 synchronization at a musical tempo between 48 and 42 BPM.

Laszlo also noted that sedative music with a slow tempo (42–65 BPM) induced relaxation and reduced activity in the ‘music group.’

Keep calm and listen to music

So you decided to become a better sleeper with the help of music – where to start?

Here is Mubert’s 30-minutes napping music podcast on YouTube – optimal bed-time audio session.

But listening to the same track for 3 weeks (that’s how long it usually takes feel the difference) can make you sleep with boredom. That’s why especially for insomniacs, Mubert’s team has created a Sleep Music channel with a realtime-generated streams.

Sleep well with Mubert

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