A little yoga music at bedtime can help your heart. That’s the finding by researchers in India, who determined that the soothing strains of yoga music can quiet your heartbeats.
Earlier studies on music’s effects on the heart in patients and healthy people have produced inconsistent results — partly because they didn’t always specify what music style was used. This study looked at how the meditative strains of yoga music affected heart rate variability before bedtime.
Heart rate variability, the measure of time between heartbeats, can have meaningful medical consequences. Those with low variability, or shorter time between beats, have about a 40 percent higher risk of a cardiovascular event.
To establish their findings, the researchers monitored the heart rate variability in 149 people. On three separate nights, they were exposed to different pre-bedtime scenarios: yoga music, pop music with steady beats, or silence.
The participants’ heart rate variability was measured before, during and after the music sessions. Their anxiety levels also were measured using a standardized questionnaire.
The researchers found the time between heartbeats was longer during the yoga music. The heartbeats were faster with the pop music. The participants’ anxiety levels also fell after the yoga music.
Researchers said the results suggest that holistic therapies such as music can have a positive effect on heart rate variability. While it is likely to be an add-on therapy rather than one that replaces medicines, the researchers noted that soothing music can be an inexpensive and easy therapy.
So at bedtime, do your heart a favor: Turn in some mellow music and drop off to sleep.