Trouble Sleeping? Turn on Yoga Music
A new study from India has found that not only can listening to yoga music before going to bed help you fall asleep, but it can also benefit your heart health. You know that feeling you get from the perfect yoga class with your favorite instructor? It’s possible to mimic that feeling, but from the comfort of your bed, and it’s even good for you!
The scientists conducting this study recently presented their findings at a cardiology conference in Germany, and yogis around the world were impressed, although many were unsurprised. The group worked with 149 young, healthy participants, asking them to attend three sleep sessions on three different nights. During these sessions, they played different types of music, varying from upbeat, pop music one night to calming yoga class music, and finally, on the third night, no music at all.
For those of you used to the calming effect of yoga music, what they found won’t be particularly surprising. On the nights that the participants listened to pop music, their heart rate variability decreased. But when listening to yoga music, it increased. Heart rate variability is not to be confused with just a simple heart rate- it actually works as a pretty good indicator of someone’s overall health. Instead of measuring the heart’s beats per minute, it’s measuring the changes in time between each heartbeat. Lots of things factor into this number, like fitness, air quality, and even age. Essentially, just listening to yoga music for ten minutes before bed made a positive, tangible impact on the overall health of the participants.
And not only did heart rate variability change, but anxiety levels changed along with them. Using the Goldberg Anxiety Scale, the scientists measured a drastic decrease in anxiety levels on the nights the participants listened to yoga music. In contrast, after listening to the pop music, participants’ anxiety levels took a sharp increase. Even on the nights where there was only silence before they went to bed, the scientists still measured an uptick in anxiety levels.
Although this was only a small study and more research will need to be done in order to really evaluate the specific details of how music before bed affects your body, it’s clear that it certainly does more good than any harm at all. Dr. Sen, one of the cardiologists, explained it this way: listening to yoga music before bed can switch your body from “fight or flight” into “rest and digest” mode, relaxing you and setting you up for a peaceful night’s sleep.
This is an exciting find because it’s such a small, simple thing to tack onto your bedtime routine that can make a considerable difference in how you sleep and how you feel overall. So the next time you find yourself stressed out or unable to fall asleep, turn on some yoga music and give it a try.