Listening to music near bedtime may disrupt sleep patterns

A team at Baylor University released their new findings, titled “Bedtime Music, Involuntary Musical Imagery, and Sleep,” demonstrating how listening to music near bedtime may disrupt sleep.

As part of a published article in Psychological Science, the research consisted of three studies, one with 199 participants and another with 50 participants, all in early adulthood at the start.

The studies evaluated sleep quality, music habits, and earworm frequency among the participants.

According to the findings: “The study found that individuals with greater music listening habits experienced persistent earworms and a decline in sleep quality.”

“These results are contrary to the idea of music as a hypnotic that might help sleep. Health organizations commonly recommend listening to quiet music before bedtime — recommendations that largely arise from self-reported studies. Instead, Scullin has objectively measured that the sleeping brain continues to process music for several hours, even after the music stops,” the Baylor research team uncovered.

“Surprisingly, the study found that some instrumental music is more likely to lead to earworms and disrupt sleep quality than lyrical music.”

The study was authored by Michael ScullinChenlu Gao, and Paul Fillmore.

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