Can Music Help You Fall Asleep?
Parents know from experience that lullabies and gentle rhythms can help babies to fall asleep. Science supports this common observation, showing that children of all ages, from premature infants1 to elementary school children, sleep better after listening to soothing melodies.
Fortunately, children aren’t the only ones who can benefit from lullabies before bedtime. People across age groups report better sleep quality after listening to calming music.
In one study, adults who listened to 45 minutes of music before going to sleep reported having better sleep quality beginning on the very first night. Even more encouraging is that this benefit appears to have a cumulative effect with study participants reporting better sleep the more often they incorporated music into their nightly routine.
Using music can also decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. In a study of women with symptoms of insomnia, participants played a self-selected album when getting into bed for 10 consecutive nights4. Before adding music to their evening routine it took participants from 27 to 69 minutes to fall asleep, after adding music it only took 6 to 13 minutes.
In addition to facilitating quickly falling asleep and improving sleep quality, playing music before bed can improve sleep efficiency, which means more time that you are in bed is actually spent sleeping. Improved sleep efficiency equals more consistent rest and less waking up during the night.