Music Therapy Found to Significantly Improve Sleep Quality in Older Adults

Music therapy among older adults was associated with significant improvements in sleep quality, with sedative music cited as more effective than rhythm-centered music.

Sleep quality in older adults may be significantly improved through music therapy, particularly through slow-tempo, soft-volume, and smooth melodic music, according to study findings published today in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Affecting 40% to 70% of older adults, the researchers say that sleep issues increase with age due to changes in sleep architecture and circadian regulation. Moreover, the impact of impaired sleep could prove significant, with prior studies associating sleep issues with poor quality of life and an increased risk of dementia and death.

Recently, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials confirmed that listening to music is a potentially successful nonpharmacological intervention for improving sleep quality in adults.

As the researchers explain, there are 2 classifications of music: (1) sedative, which is characterized by a slow tempo of 60 to 80 beats per minute.

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