Go “Bach” to Sleep

Recharge


Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven: what do you think about when you hear the names of these famous composers? Perhaps you imagine an orchestra or a performance in a grand hall. Perhaps you picture a bust of one of them sitting atop a piano.

Did you picture your own bedroom, at night? Or your eyes slowly closing into a comfortable, deep sleep? Because here’s a fun fact: Listening to classical music for 45 minutes before bed can be effective at reducing insomnia and improving the quality of your sleep. Listening to classical music is also linked to a reduction in depressive symptoms in older adults, which in turn can lead to less anxiety and better sleep.

Really not into classical music? No worries! Listening to slow tempo music (specifically new age, harp, piano, orchestra, slow jazz, and Chinese orchestra) has also been effective at helping people drift off asleep in a study of sleep quality of older adults. Music can decrease anxiety and reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. Listening to music can help ease you into sleep by helping your muscles relax and distracting you from the thoughts of your day.

Want to listen to music before bed without waking up the whole house? Try earbuds or a small wireless speaker next to your bed. It takes most adults 13-35 minutes to fall asleep. If you set a timer for 45 minutes and choose your favorite classical playlist, you’ll probably be asleep by the time your playlist comes to an end.

Sweet dreams.

References

  • Chan, M. F., Wong, Z. Y., & Thayala, N. V. (2011). The effectiveness of music listening in reducing depressive symptoms in adults: a systematic review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 19(6), 332–348. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.08.003
  • Harmat, L., Takács, J., & Bódizs, R. (2008). Music improves sleep quality in students. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(3), 327–335. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04602.x
  • Lai, H.-L., & Good, M. (2006). Music improves sleep quality in older adults. 2004. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 53(1), 134–144; discussion 144–146. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2006.03693.x