Music has been around us since childhood. Lullabies used to help us fall asleep when we were young, but how can music affect our sleep now?
It turns out that music affects sleep and can help those with sleep disorders boost their sleep quality and quantity. A recent study showed the effects of music on sleep is suitable for sleepers of all ages. Both young and older adults who listen to 45 minutes of relaxing music before bed, fall asleep faster, sleep longer, wake up less during the night, and rate their nights as more restful than when they don’t listen to music. If a snoring partner bothers your sleep, know how to deal with it here.
Does music affect how you sleep?
Falling asleep to music affects the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body relax and prepare it for sleep. It is responsible for:
- conserving energy;
- increasing intestinal and gland activity;
- relaxing the muscles.
However, what music is best for you? Choosing the right one is essential. Slow tunes and lyric-free ones are the most effective for sleep. Look for a rhythm of about 60-80 beats per minute, close to our relaxed heart rate. You’re likely to find them among classical or jazz.
Music can also diversify our dreams. If there is a song playing in the room where you’re sleeping, you’re likely to hear it in your dreams. As we know how music affects our sleep, let’s dig deeper into the effects.
There can be hundreds of effects of listening to music before going to bed. Surely all work personally, but here are some universal ones:
- elevates heart rate;
- slows breathing;
- lowers blood pressure;
- calms the nervous system;
- eases muscle tension;
- reduces stress and anxiety;
- slows the release of dopamine and adrenaline hormones that boost alertness;
- triggers the release of serotonin and oxytocin hormones, sleep-friendly hormones;
- promotes physical coordination;
- activates areas of the brain responsible for mental focus, attention and creativity.
While the affects of listening to music while sleeping is potentially huge, the side effects can be significant. Music can damage hearing if you listen with your headphones and at high volume, ruin sleep quality if you don’t follow the basic rules and cause skin necrosis. But if you listen to the right song in the right way, it can definitely help.