Does classical music really help you sleep?

Does classical music really help you sleep?

According the The Great British Bedtime Report, an substantial 32% of Britons sleep poorly. The most popular remedies for the problem? Worryingly, 31% have taken medication and 16% resort to alcohol. Neither healthy nor sustainable plans of attack, we're sure you'll agree. But all is not lost, with an encouraging 17% citing music as their ticket to the land of nod.

This got us thinking - is music a scientifically proven sleep aid or is it just wishful thinking?

The science

There are many evidentially-supported scientific studies which conclude that music really can help you sleep. One such study carried out by Niet in 2009 focusses on how music counteracts symptoms of pre-sleep arousal. This can include a racing heartbeat, wandering or anxious thoughts, and being distracted by ticking clocks and other environmental noises. By soothing these symptoms, music actively creates a state of mind which is conducive to sleep.

Why classical music?

It doesn't take a genius to work out that blasting AC/DC isn't going to make your eyelids droop. But what is it about classical music which makes it such a good sleeping partner?

  • Regular rhythm to encourage a semi-meditative state
  • Slow tempo (60 - 80 beats per minute ideally) to subconciously slow and regulate your breathing
  • Lyric-less music to avoid mental stimulation

In the news: SLEEP Concert

Torn between a relaxing night between the sheets and a music concert? Solving your problems in one fell swoop, it's classical composer Max Richter who is currently touring the globe with his new-age, 8 hour long, sleep-inducing composition SLEEP.

A review by The Independent reports that, earlier this month, 100 London guests were invited to get comfy on campbeds at a central city venue and drift off to Max Richter's 8 hour classical masterpiece in a concert quite unlike any we've heard of before.

The next SLEEP concert will held be in Paris on the 18th November 2017. Tickets go on sale on 29th May 2017 at 11am!

How do I decide what to listen to?

If you don't have a pre-prepared classical playlist and can't bear to wait until November for your sleep-inducing music fix, simply tune in to Classic FM.

The Smooth Classics radio show runs from 10pm every night of the week, playing a selection of relaxing classical tunes which have been specifically selected to help you drift off. All you have to do is wire your radio, tune in online or download the Classic FM app for free. Blissful slumbers await...