Can Music Affect Your Sleep?

June 25, 2024

Have you ever tried drifting off to your favorite music and wondered if it’s actually helping or hurting your sleep? You’re not alone. Music has a powerful effect on our minds and bodies, but how does it play into our sleep patterns? Let’s tune in to the science and see how melodies might be affecting your nodding off and your staying in dreamland.

The Sweet Sound of Sleep

The idea that music can help you sleep isn’t just a modern concept. For centuries, people have used lullabies to soothe babies and calm their minds before bed. But what does the research say about music and sleep for adults?

The Benefits of Music for Sleep

    Relaxation and Stress Reduction: Listening to music can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, which are common culprits behind sleepless nights. A study in The Journal of Advanced Nursing found that listening to 45 minutes of relaxing music before bedtime helped improve sleep quality in students. Music helps slow down your heart rate and breathing, making it easier to relax.

    Improved Sleep Quality: Research suggests that music can enhance overall sleep quality. In one study, participants who listened to calming music experienced better sleep quality and felt more rested upon waking compared to those who didn’t listen to music.

    Helps with Insomnia: Music has been found to be particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from insomnia. A recent meta-analysis showed that music can improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep for people with chronic insomnia.

    Enhanced Deep Sleep: Slow, rhythmic music can stimulate the brain to produce delta waves, which are associated with deep sleep. Deep sleep is crucial for physical and mental recovery, making this an important benefit.

The Harmful Notes

While music can be a great sleep aid, it’s not always a hit for everyone. Here are a few potential downsides:

    Disruptions from Lyrics: Songs with lyrics can sometimes be stimulating rather than relaxing, especially if they prompt you to sing along or think about the lyrics. Instrumental music is often a better choice for promoting sleep.

    Volume and Noise: If the music is too loud, it can be more disruptive than soothing. It’s important to keep the volume at a low, comfortable level to avoid waking up during the night.

    Personal Preferences: Not everyone finds the same music relaxing. What soothes one person might irritate another. It’s crucial to choose music that you personally find calming and enjoyable.

Tips for Using Music to Improve Sleep

If you want to give music a try to improve your sleep, here are some tips to help you get started:

    Choose the Right Genre: Opt for genres known for their calming effects, such as classical, jazz, or ambient music. Nature sounds and white noise can also be very effective.

    Create a Playlist: Compile a playlist of your favorite relaxing tunes. Aim for a mix of slow, melodic tracks with a steady rhythm.

    Keep It Consistent: Establish a bedtime routine that includes listening to music. Consistency can help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.

    Mind the Volume: Keep the music at a low volume. It should be soft enough to blend into the background without startling you awake.

    Try Apps and Services: There are many apps and streaming services that offer playlists specifically designed for sleep. These can take the guesswork out of choosing the right music.


Music can be a wonderful tool for improving sleep quality and helping you relax before bed. By choosing the right type of music and incorporating it into a calming bedtime routine, you can potentially enjoy deeper, more restful sleep. Just be mindful of the volume and your personal preferences to ensure the best results.

So next time you find yourself counting sheep, try pressing play on some soothing tunes instead.