Listen to ''Lullabies'' for Better Sleep

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.