Health & Wellness Articles

Listen to ''Lullabies'' for Better Sleep

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If you listen to classical music to relax, you’re on the right track to achieving a better night’s sleep. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the Buddhist Tzu-Chi General Hospital in Taiwan have shown that listening to soft music at bedtime can increase sleep quality and quantity.

Researchers randomly assigned 60 adults to either a music group or a control group. The music group listened to 45 minutes of soft, slow folk music at bedtime, and the control group did not. The adults ranged between 60-83 years of age, and had a history of sleep problems. The music group reported a 35 percent improvement in sleep quality and quantity during the three-week study. Researchers attributed the improvements to the physical changes the music causes—such as reduced heart and respiratory rates—which aid restful sleep.

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Although this study involved older adults with sleep problems, there’s certainly no harm in the younger population giving it a try. The right music is key, so try classical or folk music, or a CD that’s marketed as relaxation music. Staying away from caffeine and other stimulants before bedtime can also help you relax and fall asleep. Remember though, sleep disorders can be a sign of an underlying health problem, or can lead to serious health problems.  So if you’re having ongoing sleep issues, consult your doctor.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • SHARONSOWN
    I find that if I lay down to listen to an audiobook, it puts me out within about ten minutes, no matter what time of day, no matter what the subject! No more sleeping pills for me! - 12/10/2013 6:31:56 PM
  • I have a sleep sounds app for my iPhone & just love it. My wife does too. She's always asking me to turn it on.

    It's timed to shut-off after 15-minutes.

    Listening to a gentle rain with distant thunder with Native American flutes in the background.

    Very soothing.

    Jeff - 1/31/2012 9:13:42 AM
  • I usually listen to a podcast while I try to fall asleep, I seem to find someone talking relaxing. - 7/8/2011 5:26:48 PM
  • As a musician I find music is a total no-no at bedtime because it stimulates my brain rather than relaxes me. I do need sound to help me drop off though so I'm experimenting with different types. So far the most successful sound has been a combination of the sea and birdsong. Why is it that I find complete silence so stressful? Ain't the brain a funny thing? - 4/25/2011 4:14:02 AM
  • CAPEPONDPONY
    I'm old enough to have used a RECORD to fall asleep by - The Carpenter's "Close to You" album put me under every time... - 10/31/2010 3:03:06 PM
  • I used to listen to classical music or nature sounds. I think I try doing that again. thanks for the helpul information. - 3/2/2010 11:03:45 AM
  • I used to listen to classical music or nature sounds. I think I try doing that again. thanks for the helpul information. - 3/2/2010 11:03:25 AM
  • I frequently have trouble going to sleep. Reading a book use to help me get sleepy, but for some reason, it doesn't. think I'll try this! - 2/26/2010 8:43:54 PM
  • I listen to either "Brain Wave Delta" classical music that is supposed to produce delta brainwaves or tantric chant (which I also find exceptionally soothing). When my husband asked if the music really helped me get to sleep, I had to admit that I had never heard the last track on the CD! - 3/29/2009 7:16:03 PM
  • I wanted to read this article since I am one of many that like to fall asleep w/ relaxing music. Fairy Nightsongs is a good CD to relax or sleep with. Also Steve Sosa's instrumental guitar. Nice. Sweet Dreams! - 7/23/2008 11:23:24 PM
  • I listen to soft music almost every night. For annyone looking for quality relaxation type music try Steven Halpern, Hilary Stagg and Dean Evenson. - 7/4/2008 10:43:04 PM
  • This is something I've always encouraged our foster children to do when issues are causing them sleepless nights. Audio books are also great and have always helped younger children. I prefer country music for bed time myself though! - 4/20/2008 4:16:05 PM
  • great - 4/2/2008 10:32:49 PM
  • I'm totally about winding down in bed to some relaxing tunes! Have been doing it since I was a kid! - 2/21/2008 4:26:36 PM

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