For a long time, all of us have believed that music helps us sleep. The tune helps tune your sombers. But turns out, things aren’t the same.
Dr. Micheal scullin is a associate professor of Neuroscience and psychology at Baylor University. He has done ample number of sleep related studies and also has his Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition laboratory and currently accepts Phd students.
So yes you got right, he did a study on whether music is a good friend in helping us sleep. Probably, no.
Have you experienced an earworm after you turn off your music and try to sleep?
Earworm means the tune or the lyrics keep playing in our head even though music isn’t being played now. Earworms hinder sleep as the tune keeps running in the head. Infact if you have an earworm atleast once or twice a week you are more likely to have a bad sleep than a person like me who doesn’t have it!
Dr. Scullin wanted to see what music does to sleep so he took 209 participants and asked them to fill a survey which asked them about their music habits, the earworms they get, how often they wake up.
Out of them 50 participants were called at his lab, and made to listen to music and used polysomnography which is used to see the brain waves and heart beat, while they sleep.
So, these 50 participants were made to listen to ‘Shake it off’ by Taylor swift, ‘Don’t stop believing’ by the Journey and ‘Call me maybe’ by Carly Rae Jepson. These songs were either lyrical or with no lyrics just instrument and then the participants were asked to sleep.
The astonishing thing was, both from the survey and this active participation, many people had earworms and they not only got it while sleeping, even when they were up in the morning, it rang in their heads.
There was also memory consolidation that is the short term memory (here the song or music) develops into a much longer term during sleep which is why the song pops in the head while the sleep.
Dr. Scullin said that instrumental music had worse earworms than lyrical ones and asked to avoid music before sleep and instead do something like writing tomorrow’s work or putting down your thoughts.
Although this study was objective and followed all the rules for a study, a bit controversy beneath the surface is running down.
On reddit, many people believe that three songs that were chosen for the research were all pop and rock songs and ofcourse a heavy song doesn’t help sleep either. Many believe that it is on just the same group of people (just American maybe it can different for Australian or Finnish). Many people who slept listening to that nice slow music yesternight, clearly oppose it!