Lullaby vs sleeping pills: the benefits of music therapy
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Specialists from the US National Sleep Foundation NSF believe that older people need to sleep at least 7 – 8 hours a day for a complete recovery of the body. But they tend to sleep less and have a shorter hibernation phase, which poses serious health risks.
In a recent study, scientists found a strong link between sleep disorders and the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Older people who take 30 minutes or more to fall asleep were 45% more likely to develop dementia within five years.
Researchers from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan evaluated the effectiveness of different ways to overcome sleep problems in older people, focusing on the benefits of soothing music. Five studies were analyzed involving 288 patients with sleep disorders.
These studies compared the effectiveness of listening to music before bed and medication, as well as the effect of rhythmic and soothing melodies. Approximately half of the volunteers listened to different types of music before going to bed, others received therapy for insomnia or took no medication at all.
The results showed that listening to pleasant music at a slow tempo for 30 minutes significantly improved falling asleep and the quality of sleep of patients compared to rhythmic melodies. As a result, music therapy proved to be more effective than sleeping pills. Scientists have suggested that it reduces stress and anxiety by slowing breathing and heart rate.
“Music therapy is safe, easy to use, and can effectively improve sleep quality in older adults,” – scientists summarized.
It is noted that the maximum effect is achieved after four weeks of treatment for lullaby insomnia.
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