“Yes, there is data that suggests that music can help people fall asleep,” says Michael Breus, Ph.D., upwave sleep expert and author of The Sleep. The music-sleep connection has been supported in studies all over the world. It works in young people and elderly men and women. In a typical study, people listen to relaxing tunes for about 45 minutes before they head off to bed.
Several studies have found that the music’s tempo makes a difference. “Reputable studies find that music with a rhythm of about 60 beats a minute helps people fall asleep,” says Breus. “As you are falling asleep, your heart rate begins to slow, and starts to move toward that 60-beats-per-minute range.” In other words, slow music “tunes” your heartbeat toward the sleep zone.
If you pick a nice, slow tune that doesn’t rev you up emotionally, music may even help you get a good night’s sleep.