Can Listening to Music Help You Sleep? ResMed India


Topics: Insomnia, insomnia symptoms

The necessity of sleep is known to all. Everybody is aware that getting proper rest contributes to physical and mental well-being. It allows the body time to repair bones and muscles and updates memory and the learning system. Also, sleep gives you an opportunity to clear the toxic byproducts of the day's waking activity. It offers a break from stressful daily life events and helps rejuvenate your system. But, despite its need and importance, not everybody is fortunate to catch on seven to eight hours of rest.

Does Listening To Music Treat Insomnia?

According to a study, around 30% of adults have chronic insomnia—a condition where sleep gets disturbed for more than a month—at some point in their lives. The numbers are even higher in older individuals or people who experience regular stress. So the question now is how can one treat insomnia? Can music help one sleep better? For those interested in finding the answer to this question, more information is provided in the following sections. Read more!

What is insomnia? How can you treat this condition?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people face difficulty falling or staying asleep. Many patients suffering from this condition also complain of getting up too early in the morning. The condition negatively impacts the circadian rhythm and renders the body unable to determine whether it's night or day.

There are several solutions that can help people suffering from insomnia to sleep better. Some of these are ITC drugs, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), light therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and listening to soothing music.

Can listening to music help you sleep?

Listening to music before bedtime has been scientifically linked to improved sleep quality. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that individual who listened to soothing music experienced quicker sleep onset, longer sleep duration, and better sleep efficiency. This effect is attributed to music's ability to lower stress and anxiety levels, facilitating a more restful state conductive to sleep.

Experts recommend insomnia patients take music therapy as it is believed to improve sleep. Listening to music at night specially the soothing tunes calms your nerves and lessens disturbances. It enhances rest quality and duration and reduces the amount of time it takes one to fall asleep. Playing self-selected music (melodies of your choice) also shortens the stage 2 cycle and allows you to reach the restful REM sleep more quickly.

A study suggests that music has a vital role in sleep induction. When you play a melody on repetition, it positively impacts your neurological system. Slow, repetitive rhythm imbues the feeling of safety and familiarity and prompts the brain's sleep response. Moreover, hearing music helps shut down the outside world and cuts off disturbances that otherwise keep you wide awake at night. It disrupts internal sounds (like tinnitus) and fills uncomfortable silences by providing a sense of security and companionship.

Another reason you should opt for music therapy is that listening to soothing musical notes has no potential side effects. Neither is it addicting nor does it results in too many expenses. So, people with chronic or acute insomnia should try musical therapy at least once.

What type of music should you hear to improve sleep?

Listening to music at night helps you catch up on sleep. But you should know that all sort of music is not helpful for insomnia. Putting on your favorite rock or punk band is not recommended. Instead, you must play slow music with a soft rhythm to relax your mind.

Slow and classical music with roughly 50 to 60 beats works the best. It aids in falling asleep faster and for a longer duration. Listening to tonal and rhythmic patterns is ideal for people who wake up from slumber in the middle of the night as it helps them fall back asleep quickly.

In terms of classical music, the most effective tunes are those that mimic water, like ocean noise or compositions that sound like lullabies. The waltz and blues also prove helpful. Those who like to listen to musical instruments can listen to the guitar, violin, flute, and piano notes. Musical pieces that do not have dramatic changes in volume levels are also good.

Besides these, ResMed's sound machine is another suitable choice for insomniacs as it helps you sleep fast. It plays 20 soothing tones, including ten white noises, to help block background noise and improve sleep quality.

If none of these options seems to work, you should not worry, as there is no one size fits all approach to music for sleep. Thus, it is best to develop a personalised music playlist that works for you. You should include your personal musical choices over generic sleep songs in the list. Remember that no one knows your brain and body better than you. So, choose your bedtime tracks based on what you like and need.


Insomnia has become a common sleep problem that affects several people around the world. There are numerous methods to treat this issue, like improving your sleep habits, cognitive behavioural therapy, yoga, and listening to soothing music. Hearing musical notes calms your mind and imbues a feeling of safety and security. This helps you in falling asleep fast and for a longer duration.


Disclaimer: The facts and information contained in this article are obtained from reputed medical research organizations and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & beliefs of ResMed. The solutions mentioned above are only suggestive remedies for treating sleep problems and should not be taken as medical advice. The content is meant only for informational purposes. So, the readers are advised to practice caution and consult a healthcare professional before pursuing any solution.

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