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What Kind of Music Is Best For Sleep?

What Kind of Music Is Best For Sleep?

Many of us sleep with the TV turned on or while watching youtube on our smartphones. These electronic devices emit blue light that sends signals to our body that it’s not yet our bedtime. This can eventually affect our body’s circadian rhythm and lead to the limit of our body’s natural melatonin production. Music can be a good alternative to bedtime relaxation activity that won’t require you to open your eyes.

A few studies indicate that music improves sleep thanks to its influences on the regulation of hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol. When your cortisol is high, you tend to be easier to alert thus causing you to sleep poorly. Listening to certain types of music can decrease your cortisol and helps you relax, and make you fall asleep easily.

Dopamine hormone is also known to be released while listening to music. It is the same hormone that can be triggered when we do pleasurable activities such as having sex, eating, and exercising. This release will help you feel better at bedtime and combat pain, which is also another common cause of sleep disturbance.

The autonomic nervous system is part of our body that can also be affected by listening to music. It is a part of our body that controls our unconscious process within the lungs, heart, and digestive system. By listening to music, the autonomic nervous system is calmed down which resulted in reduced blood pressure, slower breathing, and lower heart rate.

As we already know, music can trigger different kinds of feelings and emotions. One study even shows that it can boost the level of oxytocin which can help us feel more relaxed. At the beginning of the sleep stages, our heart rate slows down to 60 beats per minute. Listening to music with a similar tempo can help us feel sleepy and improves sleep quality.


So what kind of music is best to get you to sleep soundly throughout the night? Sleep Foundation website and Cnet website stated these few tips to choose the best music to accompany your night. 

  1. Slow-tempo music

    Most studies say that music with 60-80 BPM (beats per minute) is suitable for the sleep playlist. Normal resting heart rates range from 60 to 100 BPM. So when the music beats for 60 to 80 BPM, it is expected to sync with our body and help us feel more relaxed. Avoid upbeat music as much as you can and choose the one with piano, harp, violin, and soft drums instead.

  2. Soothing sound music

    Music that contains soothing sounds like raindrops, ocean waves, or other nature noise is vastly used to promote sleepiness and relaxation. You can find plenty of them on YouTube, Spotify, and other platforms.

  3. Make sure you love the music

    Some people may love classical music, some love jazz, and some love lo-fi music to help them sleep. Personal preference of the music is important when you create your own sleep playlist. 

  4. Use a sleep timer

    While the sleep playlist may help you fall asleep, you may not want to play it all night long. Some apps allow you to set a sleep timer that will stop playing after a certain amount of time. Or you can also play music on your phone and set the off time on your own.