Medical Mysteries of Music

Didn’t Sleep Again Last Night? Science Says You Need This Music

There’s nothing like that feeling of staring at the ceiling for hours, wondering why you can’t get to sleep. Most nights we do–eventually–but the next day is a disaster. You’ve tried everything from warm milk and counting sheep to all manner of non-prescription sleep aids yet nothing seems to work. What’s the solution? Music, apparently. From

Studies show that listening to music before falling asleep can help improve sleep quality, extend sleep duration, and reduce sleep disturbance. The reasoning? Trouble falling asleep is often attributed to stress and anxiety keeping the mind awake, and thus, music acts a distraction and means of relaxation.

As we’re sure you’re aware, hip-hop and upbeat pop songs aren’t exactly lullabies—instead, studies have tested the efficacy of calming music like classical tunes, finding a direct correlation between the genre and sleep quality. In a 2006 study, students who demonstrated trouble falling asleep were split into three groups, each of which listened to a specific sound for 45 minutes: classical music, audio books, and a control group. The latter two didn’t show any signs of change in their sleep, but the group that listened to classical music saw significant increases in their ability to fall (and stay) asleep.

All right, fine. But what kind of music? Go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38321 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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