Study: Soothing Music May Improve Sleep

By Christine Macahilig
July 07, 2021

We tend to think of lullabies as a way to send babies off to dreamland. But if you struggle to fall asleep at night, you may be the one benefiting from a sleepytime playlist—especially if you're 60 years or more.

As we age, falling (and staying) asleep becomes harder. In fact, up to 70 percent of older adults have chronic sleep problems, estimate researchers. But a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society may offer a solution. Researchers found that adults 60-plus who listened to calming music at least 30 minutes before bedtime experienced improvements in sleep quality, with those who kept up the routine for at least four weeks having the best results.

The study further compared the sleep-boosting effects of listening to calming (slow tempo, smooth melody) music versus rhythmic (faster, louder) music while drifting. Not surprisingly, the calmer tunes proved more conducive to drifting off. The researchers theorized that calming music may improve sleep by slowing your heart rate and breathing, and lowering your blood pressure. This, in turn, helps decrease stress and anxiety.

So, whether your sleep playlist streams from a music service or create your own, greater snooze control may be just a tap away.

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