Sleep and Music

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Sleep and Music

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Does Music help you fall asleep?

Falling asleep make you anxious according to 25% of Americans who say they have difficulty sleeping most nights and some of them resort to listening to music.


Music and the Brain

Mathias Basner, associate professor of Sleep and Chronobiology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman, School of Medicine, studied the effects of ambient noise on sleep. “It never shuts down, constantly monitoring the environment looking for potential risks or dangers,” he says.


The Bedtime Ritual

Listening to music can be a part of your sleep hygiene. “If you always play a James Taylor album to fall asleep, that could be part of your bedtime ritual, and it will help,” Dr. Basner says. But he claims not being aware of any studies proving that music will help you stay asleep, give you a more restful sleep, or influence melatonin level.. However, he documented dream sleep arriving later when people are exposed to external sounds, but he didn’t find hard evidence that falling asleep is affected, among laboratory and field studies on ambient noise though not specifically music.


Sound Advice

If you want to fall asleep by listening to music, Dr. Basner he recommends you set music to a half-hour timer. “That way you get the benefits from the ritual of falling asleep without the intrusion into your sleep state,” he says. This is because we typically fall asleep between five and 30 minutes after hitting the pillow. He mentioned that one of the most important sleep stages happens during the first half of the night when critical neurological processes that aid in memory consolidation takes place. At that point, the room should be silent. Dr. Basner also suggests choosing a music that is soothing: “If the music is of someone singing with real content and crescendos and decrescendos, that may well wake you up.”



Mitchell, H. (2018). Dos Music Help You Fall Asleep?. The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones and Company, Inc, New York City.


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