What music to listen to at night to sleep well?
Music has been shown to be beneficial for sleep, but little research has investigated the specific characteristics of melodies that help you fall asleep. It could be assumed that they must necessarily be slow with low rhythmic activity, but a recent study challenges this misconception.
Perhaps there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to close one eye when it comes time to join Morpheus arms. For many people who have a hard time falling asleep, the results of a new study could go a long way to helping them find a very simple trick that seems to work. Listening to music before bed may be the answer to a better nights sleep, according to researchers at the University of New South Wales (Australia). They say finding the right bedtime song would not only help you fall asleep faster, but it would also improve the quality of your sleep.
"Music can be considered one of the best-studied non-drug sleeping pills that can help improve a persons sleep both in terms of insomnia and quality of sleep," explains Professor Thomas Dickson, whose study was published in the journal Musicae Scientiae. The study first indicates that listening to music changes what can be a stressful experience, that is, trying to sleep, into a more pleasant experience. Because in addition to promoting total relaxation, listening to music would act as a distraction in the event of incessant stressful thoughts and can also mask distracting noises from the environment.
The musical genre is not the most important
But the study goes even further by identifying the specifics of "perfect" music to listen to for falling asleep at best. "While previous studies of music as a "sleeping pill" have shown it to be beneficial in helping you fall asleep, little research has investigated the specific characteristics of music to improve sleep," says Professor Thomas. Dickson. "In this study, we asked people what music they had listened to in the past and we were able to help them sleep. We have found that songs that are used successfully for falling asleep have certain specific musical properties."
Thus, the researchers found that the type of music most conducive to falling asleep had to have more emphasis on low frequencies, such as louder bass and musical notes with a slow but sustained rhythm and not "danceable." The music most likely to promote sleep is not necessarily so-called "sedative" music, such as classical music or lullabies, as study participants fell asleep across a wide variety of musical genres. "Based on these results, we affirmed that the discovered characteristics appeared to be inherently more important than the musical genre in helping to sleep," they note.
The most and least effective pieces to fall asleep
What songs were the most successful? First of all, some pieces by renowned composers who have already proven their worth, in particular Beethovens Sonata number 14 nicknamed "Moonlight Sonata", Claude Debussys famous melody "Clair de Lune" or even Mozarts Piano Concerto number 21. The chart also includes three pieces by the South Korean composer and pianist Yiruma: Kiss the Rain, Poem and River Flows with You.
Conversely, songs considered "worst" to listen to on the pillow are, for example, Santanas I Am Somebody, Fergies Fergalicious, System of a Downs Chop Suey, and Polices Roxanne.
In addition, the researchers recommend implementing a real routine, at bedtime listening to music every night for 45 minutes for at least a month before seeing a positive impact on sleep patterns. However, people who do not experience difficulty falling asleep should not notice any difference in sleep quality. And while there are no known side effects associated with using music as a "sleeping pill," the scientific team urges people who have difficulty falling asleep and wake up at night with difficulty falling asleep first consult a family doctor.
And for good reason: "Music is more helpful to people who have trouble sleeping due to insomnia related to anxiety or stress, than it is to medical problems like sleep apnea. If you listen to music at the same time every nights for at least three weeks, we started to see an improvement in the quality of sleep, "concludes Professor Thomas Dickson. To put aside all your possibilities with this trick, the latter specifically recommends compiling a playlist with canions that have the favorable characteristics mentioned, but without raising the volume to more than 40 decibels at the risk of this being counterproductive.