If you listen to classical music to relax, you’re on the right track to achieving a better night’s sleep. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the Buddhist Tzu-Chi General Hospital in Taiwan have shown that listening to soft music at bedtime can increase sleep quality and quantity. |
Researchers randomly assigned 60 adults to either a music group or a control group. The music group listened to 45 minutes of soft, slow folk music at bedtime, and the control group did not. The adults ranged between 60-83 years of age, and had a history of sleep problems. The music group reported a 35 percent improvement in sleep quality and quantity during the three-week study. Researchers attributed the improvements to the physical changes the music causes—such as reduced heart and respiratory rates—which aid restful sleep.
Although this study involved older adults with sleep problems, there’s certainly no harm in the younger population giving it a try. The right music is key, so try classical or folk music, or a CD that’s marketed as relaxation music. Staying away from caffeine and other stimulants before bedtime can also help you relax and fall asleep. Remember though, sleep disorders can be a sign of an underlying health problem, or can lead to serious health problems. So if you’re having ongoing sleep issues, consult your doctor.