Music and Sleep Quality
Sleep has a huge factor on our daily functioning and well-being. It has the ability to improve focus and concentration, has the potential to prevent diabetes and to ward off heart disease and can boost immunity among other benefits. I’m sure many of us are guilty of not getting enough sleep, roughly 1 in 3 adults, I for one go to bed too late most nights and, with my 6:30am start, it probably isn’t doing me any favours.
So can music influence whether we get a better night's sleep?
Well, according to studies, yes.
Cortisol is a stress hormone, the levels of which have been seen to decrease as a result of listening to music. The reduction in cotrisol levels will relieve stress and anxiety which is often the cause of sleepless nights, and can also induce a calm and relaxed state of mind ideal for sleeping.
Music also has the ability to trigger the release of dopamine, nicknamed the "feel-good hormone", which is also released when we partake in activities such as eating and exercising. Dopamine can also address pain which is another factor which often keeps us awake at night.
The ideal music to listen to in order to achieve a better night's sleep is music with around 60bpm because it encourages our heart to drop to that rate as we are trying to induce sleep; usually when we sleep our heart-rate slows to around 40-50bpm.
Another reason why music might help us to get better quality sleep is because of the constant beat or rhythmic pattern which accompanies the music; one study found that participants were able to fall asleep despite being exposed to stimuli, such as weak electrical impulses, because they were regular and consistent.
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