Rumor has it that the right music to help you fall asleep and stay sleeping more effectively than if you were to listen to silence or the natural ambient sounds of your bedroom.  We’ve all nodded off to a song at some point in our lives. But is it true that choosing the right soothing tunes could make it easier to get the rest we need?

Evidence Suggests that Some Music to Help You Fall Asleep Works

There is music to help you fall asleep, and research does support its effectiveness. However, according to researchers, it depends on the type of song you listen to. Just playing any tunes you like won’t automatically help you get those Zs. Even if you love the song, that rock or metal just won’t do the trick. You need to work with something that has a pretty low beat if it’s going to work.

A meta-analysis cited by WebMD showed that the benefits of music to help you fall asleep has been supported in studies around the globe.  It is particularly studied in younger people and in the elderly.  That said, it has even been researched among mental health patients, having been shown to be helpful in people suffering from schizophrenia. Ten high-quality studies determined that it is helpful both in helping people over the short-term and for people with chronic sleeping struggles.

How to Use Your Tunes to Get Better Rest

In typical studies, people listen to relaxing tunes, such as classical or slow instrumental songs, for about 45 minutes before bedtime.  The tempo does make a difference.  Studies indicate that a 60 beat per minute rhythm tends to be helpful as music to help you fall asleep. During the process of drifting off, the heart rate slows down.  It moves in the direction of that same 60 beats per minute.  Therefore, choosing songs with that beat rate closely matches a sleeping heartbeat.

If you don’t enjoy classical music, it isn’t the style of the song that counts. It’s the beats per minute and the slow nature of the tune. “Blue Room Hotel” by Joni Mitchell is close to 60 beats per minute, as is “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis, which have both also been shown to be helpful as bedtime songs. That said, ideally, it’s best to aim for instrumental songs without any words.  Moreover, it’s also best to try to choose something that doesn’t inspire any emotions – good or bad.