Music Can Help Treat Insomnia

Non-addicting and cost-effective, music reduces the time it takes for you to fall asleep as well as lessens sleep disturbances.


By Martin Reed


There are many things that contribute to insomnia such as stress, a hectic life, your sleeping environment, as well as health issues.

Whatever the cause, insomnia has a negative impact on the circadian rhythm, the body’s internal 24-hour clock. The result is the body is unable to comprehend if it is night or day. There are many ways that people deal with insomnia – from prescription medication to herbs, yoga and even acupuncture. Yet, the answer to insomnia may be as simple as listening to music. 

Music has been used since ancient times as a healing tool. Evidence of this appears in the writings of Aristotle, Plato, and Pythagoras. Today, science can prove the positive benefits of music therapy for a multitude of conditions, including insomnia. Music has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration, as well as reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It also lessens sleep disturbances. 

Before you put on your favorite rock or punk band and try to catch some sleep, you should know that not all music will work for insomnia. It must be music that slows and relaxes the mind. Soft music with slow rhythms is ideal. Slow, classical music that has roughly 50-60 beats per minute works the best. Not only will you fall asleep faster, you will sleep longer. If you do happen to wake up, the tonal and rhythmic patterns will help you fall back asleep quicker. Music can be played from a distance, such as from a stereo, or you can use earphones for more intense mental stimulation. 

In regards to the type of classical music that works the best, the most effective ones are those that mimic water such as the ocean, or compositions that sound much like lullabies. The waltz and the blues also work as well. The most effective instruments in music therapy for the treatment of insomnia are generally the guitar, piano, violin, or the flute. Pieces that do not have dramatic changes in volume levels are ideal. 

Compared to other treatment and therapies, music has no potential side effects or interactions. It is non-addicting and cost effective. If you are suffering from occasional or chronic insomnia, you should opt to give music therapy a chance. You can purchase sleep music applications that can be downloaded on your phone, find music online via your computer, or order CDs to add to your personal music collection. 

As each person is individual, when you begin your search for sleep music, know that once size does not fit all. Try out different composers, pieces, and primary instruments until you find the precise sounds and rhythms that work for you. How will you know? Your ability to sleep and your sleep quality will tell you. 

Martin is the creator of Insomnia Land's free online sleep training course for insomnia. Over 2,500 insomniacs have completed his course and 98% of graduates say they would recommend it to a friend.

Main photo credit:  arvitalyaa/

Second photo credit:  Dean Drobot/

Apr 30, 2015

Anyone know any good Spotify playlists for sleep? ☺️

May 6, 2015

Go to browse tab or search

May 6, 2015

It Keeps me awake!