Thirty minutes of music therapy offered before bed helps older people with insomnia to sleep well, new research has shown.
Up to 70% of older adults have trouble sleeping, and more than 40% have insomnia, often waking up at night or prematurely in the morning, according to researchers from Cheng Kung National University Hospital in Taiwan. Short night’s sleep can also dramatically affect the health of the elderly. It is associated with depression, memory problems, dementia, falls and accidents.
In a meta-analysis of five randomized controlled trials, the researchers found that adults aged 60 or older slept better when they listened to music 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
A subgroup of participants who listened to sedative music experienced significantly better sleep quality than those who did not listen to music, the authors reported. Sleep improvement was also seen in the soothing music group than in those who listened to rhythm-focused music and if listening at bedtime was repeated for more than four weeks.
Soothing music can slow down the pulse and breathing, as well as lower blood pressure, the authors are theoretical. This, in turn, could help reduce stress and anxiety, they concluded.
The complete findings are published in Journal of the American Society of Geriatrics.