497 Music improves sleep quality

December 19, 2016

written by Brian R McAvoy

Clinical question

How effective is listening to music for insomnia in adults?

Bottom line
Compared with standard care or no treatment, listening to music alone or with standard care improved subjective sleep quality in adults with insomnia symptoms. There was no evidence that music affected the length of time it took to fall asleep, the amount of actual sleep someone got or the number of times they woke up. There was no difference in the effect on sleep quality between trials using researcher-selected music and trials giving participants a choice from a number of pre-selected types of music. There were no adverse effects reported. The studies examined the effect of listening to pre-recorded music daily, for 25–60 minutes at sleep initiation, for a period of 3 days to 5 weeks.

The quality of the evidence from the 5 studies that examined sleep quality was moderate. The quality of evidence for the other aspects of sleep was low.

Poor sleep affects physical and mental health. The consequences of poor sleep are costly for both individuals and society. Many people choose to listen to music to improve their sleep.

Cochrane Systematic Review
Jespersen KV et al. Music for insomnia in adults. Cochrane Reviews, 2015, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD010459.DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD010459.pub2. This review contains six studies involving 314 participants.

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.