Music hath charms to soothe the average sleep

Music hath charms to soothe the average sleep

When it comes to improving the quality of your sleep, Barry Manilow might be a better friend than Twisted Sister. For those who are not children of the ’80s, the latter musical act was a heavy metal band. Barry Manilow, however, needs no introduction.

A study out of Taiwan has found adults ages 60 and up slept better when they listened to music 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. But not just any music. Calmer, less-rhythmic music appeared to be most beneficial.

The findings appear to mirror previous investigations that showed people in all age groups improved their sleep when they tune out at night with some good vibrations.

As we age, researchers note, our sleep patterns deteriorate. And that can impact your good health. Scientists say that ideally, older adults require seven to nine hours of shut-eye.

In the current study, nearly 300 people were separted into two groups, one that listened to music at bedtime and another that didn’t. During the trial, participants also were asked to rank how well they were sleeping on a scale from 0 to 21.

Researchers say calming music with a tempo between 60 and 80 beats with a smooth melody appeared to work best at getting people to nod off. They suggested it might have something to do with slowing the heart rate and breathing, along with lowering blood pressure.

A similar study in 2008 among young people indicated the same biological mechanisms were at play. The scientists in that study found classical music improved sleep patterns.

So, if you’re having a hard time getting to sleep, some soothing strains might substitute for a pharmaceutical sleeping aid. Think elevator music, carrying you off to dreamland.

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