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Music listening near bedtime disruptive to sleep

Most folks pay attention to music all through their day and infrequently near bedtime to wind down. But can that truly trigger your sleep to undergo? When sleep researcher Michael Scullin, Ph.D., affiliate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, realized he was waking in the midst of the night time with a music caught in his head, he noticed a possibility to examine how music — and significantly caught songs — may have an effect on sleep patterns.

Scullin’s latest examine, revealed in Psychological Science, investigated the connection between music listening and sleep, specializing in a rarely-explored mechanism: involuntary musical imagery, or “earworms,” when a music or tune replays time and again in an individual’s thoughts. These generally occur whereas awake, however Scullin discovered that in addition they can occur whereas making an attempt to sleep.

“Our brains continue to process music even when none is playing, including apparently while we are asleep,” Scullin stated. “Everyone knows that music listening feels good. Adolescents and young adults routinely listen to music near bedtime. But sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. The more you listen to music, the more likely you are to catch an earworm that won’t go away at bedtime. When that happens, chances are your sleep is going to suffer.”

People who expertise earworms usually at night time — a number of instances per week — are six instances as probably to have poor sleep high quality in contrast to individuals who hardly ever expertise earworms. Surprisingly, the examine discovered that some instrumental music is extra probably to lead to earworms and disrupt sleep high quality than lyrical music.

The examine concerned a survey and a laboratory experiment. The survey concerned 209 members who accomplished a collection of surveys on sleep high quality, music listening habits and earworm frequency, together with how usually they skilled an earworm whereas making an attempt to go to sleep, waking up in the midst of the night time and instantly upon waking within the morning.

In the experimental examine, 50 members had been introduced into Scullin’s Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory at Baylor, the place the analysis group tried to induce earworms to decide the way it affected sleep high quality. Polysomnography — a complete check and the gold customary measurement for sleep — was used to report the members’ mind waves, coronary heart charge, respiration and extra whereas they slept.

“Before bedtime, we played three popular and catchy songs — Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off,’ Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ and Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,” Scullin stated. “We randomly assigned participants to listen to the original versions of those songs or the de-lyricized instrumental versions of the songs. Participants responded whether and when they experienced an earworm. Then we analyzed whether that impacted their nighttime sleep physiology. People who caught an earworm had greater difficulty falling asleep, more nighttime awakenings, and spent more time in light stages of sleep.”

Additionally, EEG readings — data {of electrical} exercise within the mind — from the experimental examine had been quantitatively analyzed to look at physiological markers of sleep-dependent reminiscence consolidation. Memory consolidation is the method by which short-term reminiscences are spontaneously reactived throughout sleep and reworked right into a extra long-term kind.

“We thought that people would have earworms at bedtime when they were trying to fall asleep, but we certainly didn’t know that people would report regularly waking up from sleep with an earworm. But we saw that in both the survey and experimental study,” he stated.

Participants who had a sleep earworm confirmed extra gradual oscillations throughout sleep, a marker of reminiscence reactivation. The enhance in gradual oscillations was dominant over the area corresponding to the first auditory cortex which is implicated in earworm processing when individuals are awake.

“Almost everyone thought music improves their sleep, but we found those who listened to more music slept worse,” Scullin stated. “What was really surprising was that instrumental music led to worse sleep quality — instrumental music leads to about twice as many earworms.”

The examine discovered that people with higher music listening habits skilled persistent earworms and a decline in sleep high quality. These outcomes are opposite to the thought of music as a hypnotic which may assist sleep. Health organizations generally advocate listening to quiet music earlier than bedtime — suggestions that largely come up from self-reported research. Instead, Scullin has objectively measured that the sleeping mind continues to course of music for a number of hours, even after the music stops.

Knowing that earworms negatively have an effect on sleep, Scullin recommends first making an attempt to reasonable music listening or taking occasional breaks if bothered by earworms. Timing of music is also necessary — strive to keep away from it earlier than mattress.

“If you commonly pair listening to music while being in bed, then you’ll have that association where being in that context might trigger an earworm even when you’re not listening to music, such as when you’re trying to fall asleep,” he stated.

Another method to do away with an earworm is to interact in cognitive exercise — absolutely specializing in a activity, drawback or exercise helps to distract your mind from earworms. Near bedtime, reasonably than partaking in a demanding exercise or one thing that might disrupt your sleep, like watching TV or enjoying video video games, Scullin suggests spending 5 to 10 minutes writing out a to-do checklist and placing ideas to paper. A earlier examine by Scullin — partially funded by a National Institutes of Health grant and the Sleep Research Society Foundation — discovered that members who took 5 minutes to write down upcoming duties earlier than mattress helped “offload” these worrying ideas concerning the future and led to quicker sleep.

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