- It is more difficult for the elderly to fall asleep and stay asleep, which can have a negative impact on the overall quality of life.
- A review of sleep research shows that calm music can have a positive effect on the quality of sleep in the elderly.
- Listening to music, sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, and limiting caffeine and screen time before bed can also improve your naps.
As we age, our sleep quality is more likely to be affected. Although the myth that older people do not need as much sleep still exists, the National Institute on Aging recommends that, regardless of age, sleep 7 to 9 hours a night like any adult.
However, due to pain, certain medications or other factors, it may be more difficult for the elderly to fall asleep or stay asleep. This is also true. So, how can we achieve this high-quality snooze?
In a recently published study Journal of the American Geriatrics Association, A group of researchers at the National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Taiwan believes that music may be a solution. After analyzing a number of studies on this topic, the team’s research results show that calm music can have a positive effect on the quality of sleep in the elderly.
Researchers searched five databases to examine research on the efficacy of music therapy for adults 60 years of age or older. Their research results showed that participants who listened to music for 30 minutes to 1 hour before going to bed had significantly better sleep quality than participants who did not listen to music.
Analysis of the study subgroup showed that participants who listened to calm music improved their sleep quality more effectively than participants who listened to rhythm-centric music. The best results are experienced after listening to music for at least four weeks before going to bed.
The researchers concluded that music therapy is a safe and easy-to-manage option for older people who want better sleep.
Dr. Catherine Hall
When you feel stressed, your mind and body are on high alert… All the resources of your body will be sent to the area where you need to take action-when the action gets some sleep, it doesn’t help much.
—Dr. Catherine Hall
Generally speaking, relaxing music can connect with our mind and body by reducing anxiety, slowing down breathing and heart rate, and lowering blood pressure. These factors can also eliminate stress barriers that affect quality sleep.
Sleep psychologist Dr. Catherine Hall said: “When you feel stressed, your mind and body are on high alert. It is looking for danger and ready to take action.” “This means that all the resources of your body are sent to Areas where action is needed-when the action gets some sleep, it’s not very helpful.”
Therefore, it makes sense that music has such a positive effect before going to bed. Allana Wass is a certified sleep science coach and co-founder of the sleep website Comfybeddy. She likens bedtime music to meditation, because the listener focuses on the sound played, not thoughts or noise from the outside world.
“One of the best things about sleep music is that it can act as a good barrier against external disturbances,” she said. “For example, it can block noise from neighbors or cars driving on the street.”
However, not all music is created equally. Researchers at National Cheng Kung University Hospital focused on “sedating” music with a speed in the range of 60-80 beats per minute.
“Low-frequency, repetitive sounds are best for relaxation,” Hall said. “The types of sleep sounds that are commonly used vary. They can include the sound of water, which may include the sound of river gurgling, rain or wave breaking.”
From sleep music apps to hours-long YouTube remixes or curated playlists on Spotify, the number of sleep music options available can be huge. To find the product that suits you, spend some time exploring during the day instead of waiting until you go to bed. Then save it or bookmark it for easy access when you’re ready to go to bed.
Improve sleep quality
Dr. Chelsie Rohrscheib, sleep expert and chief neuroscientist at home sleep testing company Tatch, pointed out that lack of sleep and long-term lack of sleep can lead to countless negative health consequences, such as poor immune system function, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia.
“Sleep affects almost every aspect of our lives,” she said. “Even a lack of sleep for one night can reduce concentration, affect our ability to learn and recall memory, reduce mood and make us more prone to accidents and injuries.”
Our own lack of sleep affects not only ourselves-lack of sleep can lead to poor work performance and inability to maintain relationships.
Chelsie Rohrscheib, PhD
Even a lack of sleep for one night can reduce concentration, affect our ability to learn and recall memory, reduce mood and make us more prone to accidents and injuries.
— Chelsie Rohrscheib, PhD
Insomnia is the number one sleep disorder in the elderly. Unfortunately, being unable to fall asleep can become a habit.But thankfully, some habits can offset this.
Listening to soothing music as you drift away is just one of many steps you can take to improve your nap. In order to get a consistent, high-quality sleep, Rohrscheib recommends sticking to a sleep schedule that allows you to go to bed and wake up at the same time during the week, whether on weekends or holidays. Avoiding caffeine at least six hours before bed and limiting screen time at least one hour before bed will ensure that you are less nervous when trying to fall asleep.
Rohrscheib says it can also help you prepare yourself and your space. A cool, dark and quiet bedroom can optimize sleep, while bedtime rituals including relaxing activities such as listening to music, reading or meditation can put you in the right state of sleep.
If your sleep quality is still poor after taking these steps, please consult your doctor. Testing for common sleep disorders or other health conditions that may affect sleep can lead to appropriate treatment and a huge improvement in overall quality of life.
What this means to you
Listening to a peaceful sleep music app or playlist before going to bed may make it easier for you to fall asleep. Find a headset that suits you, and put it on 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed.