Health and Wellness

Does Music Really Help Improve Sleep?

By Eric Harry

We have all experienced the relaxing effects of calming music, but how effective is music in improving your quality of sleep? Turns out, it can be very effective.

Let's look at the research.

Music improves sleep in young adults

One study measured the effects of music on students who had difficulty sleeping (ages 18-28). Participants were divided into three groups: the first group listened to 45 minutes of relaxing classical music for 3 weeks before bed, the second group listened to audiobooks, and the control group received no intervention. Both sleep quality and depressive symptoms were recorded.

Results showed that participants who listened to relaxing classical music before bed showed a statistically significant improvement in sleep quality and a decrease in depressive symptoms. These results were not observed in the group that listened to audiobooks or in the control group.

"Relaxing classical music is an effective intervention in reducing sleeping problems."
(Harmat, Takács, & Bódizs, 2008).

Music improves sleep in older adults

A similar study observed the effects of relaxing music on older adults with sleep difficulties (ages 60-83). Participants listened to 45 minutes of relaxing music at bedtime for 3 weeks, and recorded their sleep quality weekly. The study found that the participants reported a significant improvement in sleep quality, including: better and longer sleep, less sleep disturbance and less daytime dysfunction.

"The findings provide evidence for the use of soothing music as an empirically-based intervention for sleep in older people."
(Lai & Good, 2005).

Music improves sleep in adults with acute and chronic sleep disorders

Another study evaluated the efficacy of music therapy in adults with acute and chronic sleep disorders. They reviewed relevant publications and selected ten studies with 557 participants in total. The results showed that sleep quality was improved significantly by music across the studies.

"Music can assist in improving sleep quality of patients with acute and chronic sleep disorders. For chronic sleep disorders, music showed a cumulative dose effect and a follow-up duration more than three weeks is necessary for assessing its efficacy."
(Wang, Sun, Zhang, 2013)

If you have trouble sleeping, it might be worth adding music to your bedtime routine. Try our wide selection of Relaxation or Classical channels to improve your sleep.

Or play Sleep, perfect for bedtime and a listener favourite.

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Enjoy your audio journey anywhere, even without internet. Calm Radio offers unique audio experiences – curated music, Sounds of Nature, relaxing ambience – so you can work, can focus, can relax, can sleep.

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