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Can music cure insomnia?

Every now and then, I'm asked via my Twitter account about music. People want to know if listening to music when trying to sleep is a good idea. Others want specific song recommendations.

Everyone is different - a song that will lull one person to sleep may drive someone else to despair. For some people, no music will help them sleep. Again, I'm not a doctor, but the advice I have picked up is this:

Only listen to music you are already familiar with - if you try listening to new music, your brain will stay active as it listens to the vocals/instrumentals. This may actually make falling asleep more difficult.

If you're looking for more inspiration, I came across an interesting read from Paste Magazine. They list 12 songs to cure insomnia. 'Cure' might be too bold a claim, but it might be worth checking out if you're getting desperate! Feel free to share your thoughts about music as a sleep aid in the comments below. Does listening to music work for you? If so, feel free to share the titles of specific songs.

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Last updated: October 10, 2013

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • Martin Reed
    December 21, 2009, 9:16 am

    Thanks for the suggestions, Lisa! Yes, I’d imagine falling asleep to heavy metal would be a bit of a challenge too, but you never know!

  • Lisa Marie
    December 18, 2009, 4:21 pm

    I have to agree, I think it’s definitely down to the relaxing memories, or the fact music can influence a more positive, calming energy. My favourite singer is Ryan Cabrera, so I just throw all his songs on shuffle & repeat. And set my iPod auto-shut-off clock to 1-hour and i’m able to fall asleep.

    Definitely try it with your favourite artist! Something more calming, I don’t think you could fall asleep to hard metal… haha!

  • Martin Reed
    December 18, 2009, 12:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Frank – I wonder if music that helps people sleep is more down to the relaxing memories they can evoke rather than the actual tunes themselves?

  • Frank Finlayson.
    December 17, 2009, 12:19 pm

    The ones that I find have meaning to me, so I don’t know if anyone else will be able to get anything from them.

    What a wonderful world-Louis Armstrong
    It reminds me of better days when my insomnia wasn’t as bad.

    Right where it belongs-Nine Inch Nails
    This song helps me get through my physical leg pain and insomnia.
    It makes me feel like the world is just here, and that’s it, I feel open and free and like all my problems vanish.