Benefits and Dangers of Listening to Music while Sleeping

Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
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Medical Advisory Team
Medical Advisory Team
Includes well-known professionals, who together provide decades of sleep medicine experience that enables Talk About Sleep to fulfill its mission of creating access to high- read more
Last updated: September 11, 2023
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Music is a very powerful form of art that means a lot of things to different people around the world.

To some, playing their favorite albums is a better way to relax their nerves and do away with their worries. For some other people (albeit weird as it may be), music helps them to sleep.

If you are in the latter category, you may be wondering if listening to music while sleeping is a healthy thing.

While music can help you sleep better, it can also harm you in ways that you never imagined.

So, in this article, you will find out everything you need to know about resorting to listening to music as a way of sleeping better.

Positive and Negative Effects of Music

As much as playing music is a great way to spend your day, it may not be a nice way to spend your night.

We do know a lot of people all over the world cringe at the thoughts of sleeping with an earbud.

Besides, we all are not going to have a similar response to music, as far as playing a playlist while you sleep is concerned.

Generally, music is an art that cannot be ignored – and it will be so for many years to come. The difference, however, is that the reception of different people to music will differ. If you want to try yourself in creating music that will appeal to you, then you can choose one of the best keyboard midi controller.

So, below are some of the positive and negative attributes of music.

Positive Effects of Music

Playing music (whether you are sleeping or not) has the following positive effect.

1.       Music Helps You to Solve Problems

Listening to music for some time has a way of activating both sides of your brain. That is why most people in the midst of making critical decisions listen to music.

On the one hand, listening to music will help in activating the right side of your brain – which is used for logical thinking.

On the other hand, the left side of your brain will be also be activated to provide the creativity you need to get around some tough situations.

2.       Listening to Music Boosts the Serotonin Levels

Benefits and Dangers of Listening to Music while SleepingAlso, you will find happiness (if you were sad) by playing music. That is because listening to pleasant tunes (music) helps to boost the serotonin levels, which in turn, makes you happy.

3.       You Can Re-Enact Memories by Listening to Music

Did you forget some events that happened in the past? You should listen to music so that you can remember them?

The hippocampus is that part of the brain that is associated with long-term memory usage. So, when you play classical music especially, it has a way of stimulating the hippocampus to help you recall some things you may have forgotten.

Negative Effects of Music

Listening to music can also pose some risks to you. Here are some of the negative effects and downsides of listening to music.

1.       Listening to Music Can Bring Back Old Memories

As hard as you may try, there is an increased chance that listening to music can bring back memories of events that you don’t wish to recall.

This is common with people who just got out of a relationship and happened to listen to a love song.

2.       Music Could be a Distraction

Also, you can be distracted by music. This usually happens when you play music in a high volume of up to 95 decibels.

Reasons to Listen to Music While Sleeping

While some will enjoy it and find it easier to sleep when music is playing, others will be wondering if it is healthy to listen to music while sleeping.

That is why we put together this part of the article to show you the good (positive) and the bad (negative) sides of listening to music while you sleep.

Here are some of the positive aspects or reasons why you should be interested in playing music while you sleep.

1.      Music Makes You Happy

The long and short of it is that many people often prefer to listen to music so they can sleep better. And the reason is not far-fetched from the fact that they are unhappy or they are thinking too much.

Listening to classical music while sleeping, for instance, will go a long way to stimulate the production of serotonin. As you, serotonin is that “feel good” chemical in the brain that makes you happy.

This article by BBC Trusted Source Music 'releases mood-enhancing chemical in the brain' Music releases a chemical in the brain that has a key role in setting good moods, a study has suggested. explains more about that.

So, when you play your favorite playlist or album, you rest assured that you will be in a happy mood that will set the stage for a good night’s rest.

2.      Playing Music Boosts the Quality of Your Sleep

You will sleep better for 2 reasons, provided you play music. The first reason is that music helps you to relax and feel comfortable Trusted Source BBC NEWS | Health | Listen to music to help you sleep Just 45 minutes of soft music before bedtime can help you drop off to sleep, say researchers. . In that state of comfort, you will feel happier to sleep. The second reason is that being consistent with listening to music while sleeping will go a long way to help your body become accustomed to that.

3.      Music Helps You to Relax

Last but not least is that playing or listening to classical music while sleeping will make you relax.

Not only does the classic bring back the feelings of yesteryears when the music industry was something to cherish. It also makes a lot of sense if you play the tracks between 60 and 80 Beats per Minute (BPM) because that is almost similar to the resting rate of the heart. Just put your sleep mask on and enjoy.

Dangers of Using Earbuds While Sleeping

Now, some people don’t fancy the idea of sleeping with earbuds playing their favorite tracks, even though the benefits are awesome.

While the benefits of listening to classical music while sleeping could include improving the quality of sleep for people suffering from different sleeping disorders, the downsides should be considered too.

Is listening to music while sleeping a bad thing? Well, here are some of the known risks that are associated with continuous usage of earbuds or headphones while sleeping:

1.      Wires Can Wrap Around You

Well, you will be risking a lot by listening to music while you sleep. One risk many people take (which they shouldn’t), is to listen to music with a headphone or a corded earpiece.

When you are fast asleep, there is an increased chance that you will turn. And in the process, you might just roll the cords around your neck, which is pretty dangerous.

If you must keep listening to music while sleeping, consider using wireless/cordless headphones and earbuds.

Benefits and Dangers of Listening to Music while Sleeping2.      Reduced Blood Flow

Now, this is a problem you wouldn’t want to get into. The ear, just like every other organ in the body, needs blood to continue functioning.

So, when you plug an earbud or headphone into your ear for some time, you could be reducing blood flow to the ears. That would, in turn, trigger some negative effects.

This is mostly obtainable when you wear your earbuds or earphones for many hours. And because you are sleeping, you might not just know how long blood stopped flowing around your ears.

To be on the safe side, consider talking to a trained medical professional to guide you on the use of earbuds/earphones. Also, if you feel itches in your ear, you may want to consult an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist.

Above all, you will do yourself a great favor by reducing the number of hours you put on your earbuds, especially at night. And if the earbuds seem not to fit, remove them so that they don’t mount extra pressure on the skin in your ear canal. A great alternative here is getting the best pillow speakers.

3.      The Chances of Wax Build Up is High

Wax building up in the ear isn’t a deal-breaker. It is normal because when wax builds up in the ear, it helps to protect the ear and prevent foreign objects from coming in.

However, the wax that has built up over time may not be useful because you already blocked your ears with your earbuds.

So, you will be endangering yourself with excessive wax in your ear that only suctioning could be a way to remove.

You can find out if you have excessive wax in your ears by looking closely at your earbuds/earphones to see if there are some patches of the same there.

Alternative Methods of Listening to Music While Sleeping

The benefits of listening to classical music while sleeping Trusted Source Can music help us fall asleep? | Life and style | The Guardian Insomniacs can train themselves to become better at falling asleep by listening to music, says John Powell are many, but are that all there is to it?

Are there no other methods or alternatives you can use to sleep better, even if you don’t have to play music, especially from your phone or music player?

Indeed, there are several options you can rely on to fall asleep while listening to your favorite tunes.

Some of these alternative methods are listed below.

1.      Buy Headphones for Sleeping

There are lots of specially-made headphones that you can buy to listen to your favorite tunes while you sleep.

These types of headphones are designed in a way that the earbuds will be embedded into the headband.

The enclosure of the earbuds inside the headband may mean that the sound quality will be reduced. But, it is better than the risks of strangulation.

For those looking for headphones for sleeping, we suggest you try the Voerou model.

Benefits and Dangers of Listening to Music while Sleeping2.      Listen to a Radio

There are a couple of good radio programs out there that can lull you to sleep. Besides, you will find it a lot easier to sleep when listening to the radio – especially if you are the only one in the room.

You also might be interested in getting pillow speakers. Our experts recommend the Sound Oasis Amplified model.

3.      Listen to Pop Music on the Television

This is yet another alternative to listen to music – tune in to a television station that plays music. It s a safe bet that 2 out of 20 television channels will be playing music, especially pop music.

Tune into any of those channels and slowly drift to dreamland as you listen to your favorite pop playlists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most asked questions on listening to music while sleeping.

1.      Can the Music I Listen to Affect My Dreams?

Most of the things in your immediate environment could potentially affect your dreams. So, there is every possibility that the music you are listening to could affect your dreams.

2.      Can People with Insomnia be Relieved from Listening from Music?

Yes, music can help people with insomnia because listening to music distracts you from your troubles, as well as slows down your heart rate.

3.      What Type of Songs Should I Listen to?

Listening to classical music while sleeping is the choice of many people who want to sleep better. That doesn’t mean that some people don’t find it pleasing to listen to rock music.

No matter your choice of music to listen while sleeping, ensure that it can mimic your heart rate. Music that plays anywhere between 60 and 80 decibels is ideal.

Final Thoughts

Listening to music can help you get through the day, as well as induce you to sleep. But don’t try to overstretch and become addicted to it so you don’t trigger chains of medical conditions that could cost you some fortune.


Music releases a chemical in the brain that has a key role in setting good moods, a study has suggested.
BBC NEWS | Health | Listen to music to help you sleep
Just 45 minutes of soft music before bedtime can help you drop off to sleep, say researchers.
Can music help us fall asleep? | Life and style | The Guardian
Insomniacs can train themselves to become better at falling asleep by listening to music, says John Powell
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