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Listen to music to help you sleep

Written by on April 1, 2018

Forget counting sheep, next time you are having trouble dropping off to sleep try putting on a jazz CD.

Researchers have shown just 45 minutes of relaxing music before bedtime can make for a restful night.

The Taiwanese researchers studied the sleeping patterns of 60 elderly people with sleep problems.

They told the Journal of Advanced Nursing, how the technique was easy to learn and lacked the side-effects of other treatments.

The study participants were either given a choice of music to listen to before going to sleep or nothing at all.

The music group were able to choose from six tapes that featured soft, slow music – around 60-80 beats per minute – such as jazz, folk or orchestral pieces.

Listening to music caused physical changes that aided restful sleep, including a lower heart and respiratory rate, the researchers found.

Sweet dreams

The people in the music group reported a 35% improvement in their sleep, including better and longer night-time sleep and less dysfunction during the day.

Lead author Professor Hui-Ling Lai, of the Buddhist Tzu-Chi General Hospital and the University of Taiwan, said: “The music group reported a 26% overall improvement in the first week and this figure continued to rise as they mastered the technique of relaxing into sedative music.”

Professor Jim Horne, from the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, said: “If anyone is a bit agitated before they go to bed then anything that can help calm them down and relax is a good thing.

“Some say making sure older people sleepless in the afternoon and get plenty of exposure to daylight can help them get a better night’s sleep.”