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Scientists say energetic and danceable tracks help you sleep better

Scientists have a surprising remedy for your insomnia - switch to your favourite upbeat and energetic songs

  • 28 January 2023
Scientists say energetic and danceable tracks help you sleep better

While it may seem counterintuitive, research suggests that your go-to energetic tracks could be the key to a good night's sleep. Scientists have found that listening to your favourite music, regardless of tempo or genre, may be more effective in promoting sleep than traditional calming, slow-paced instrumentals. So, if you're having trouble sleeping, don't be afraid to let your favourite high-energy tracks lull you into a deep slumber.

Experts have found that there's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to selecting the perfect music for sleep. According to a new research, the key to a good night's rest may be the familiarity of the song. It's suggested that listening to music that you already know and love may have a more relaxing and soothing effect on the mind and body, aiding in a peaceful sleep.

Kira Vibe Jespersen, an assistant professor at the Centre for Music in the Brain at Aarhus University in Denmark, told the PA news agency: “Our hypothesis is that familiarity with the music makes the music very predictable to the brain, and this predictability may enable sleep, despite the music being upbeat and energetic. We are currently working to test this hypothesis.”

To gather data, the team analysed over 200,000 tracks from nearly 1,000 playlists on Spotify associated with sleep. The results from their research showed that people tend to include tracks that are typically associated with sleep, such as being quieter and slower than other music, on their sleep playlists.

But in a surprising twist, the research team found that many of the songs featured in these sleep playlists had a higher degree of energy compared to what one would expect from typical sleep music. This suggests that people may be bucking tradition and turning to more upbeat and energetic tracks to help them fall asleep.

The research team found a wide variety of music that people listen to for sleep, leading to the identification of six unique sub-categories, as reported by Prof Jespersen to PA news agency. She expressed surprise at the diversity of music choices that individuals make to aid sleep.

The team stress that they cannot be certain whether high-energy music aids in slumber without user-provided sleep data. But they add that picking music promoting relaxation and emotional stability, as well as blocking out outside noise, can be beneficial for a better night's sleep.

“It is possible that music with high energy and danceability could increase relaxation when considering the interplay between repeated exposure, familiarity and predictive processing. Music that is very repetitive and constant over time might also result in increased relaxation due to familiarization with the piece and the increase of dynamic expectations. In such a case, even music with, for example, high tempo or high energy might induce relaxation,” reads the study’s discussion part.

Click here to find more about the study.

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