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Music on Prescription to Aid Sleep Quality: A Literature Review.

Authors
  • Dickson, Gaelen Thomas1
  • Schubert, Emery1
  • 1 Empirical Musicology Laboratory, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
Volume
11
Pages
1695–1695
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01695
PMID: 32849025
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Research on the efficacy of music for improving sleep quality has produced mixed results. We investigated whether the number of music dosages could be a reason for the lack of clarity. Six longitudinal music sleep studies using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) over 3 weeks were identified. Music when compared to active (audiobooks or medication) or passive controls significantly improved (improvement is reflected by a lower score) PSQI within the first or second week of prescription. The improvement was an average mean difference of -1.15 (SD = 0.53) for each week. Music dosages continued to be associated with improved PSQI over a study that had a 3-month music intervention. One study with a low initial PSQI score resulted in poor sleepers (PSQI > 5) achieving healthy sleep (PSQI < 5) within 3 weeks of regular music intervention. For future studies, "prescribing" music beyond 3 weeks may lead to more instances of healthy sleep, particularly for those who have mild sleep problems. To explain the findings, we proposed that the relationship between weeks of music listening and improved PSQI are attributed to the truncation of poor bedtime habits linked to ruminative tendencies and consequent hyperarousal prior to the music intervention. Music listening at bedtime replaces those bad habits, we argue, by forming a new psychological link between bedtime and sleep through evaluative conditioning. The findings of the present study provide disarming evidence of the potential for prescription of music for treating mild sleep disorder. Copyright © 2020 Dickson and Schubert.

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