A little light music may be the answer to olderindividuals'sleeping longer. The current study builton the earlier findings that suggested quiet musicdiminished postoperative pain. In the study, whichinvolved 60 individuals aged 60 to 83, half of theparticipants were asked to select from tapes of quietWestern or Chinese music. The group was given atraining session in relaxing while listening to music.The researchers noted that individuals need up to30 minutes to fall asleep. Therefore, 45-minutetapes were used to improve the odds that participantswould fall asleep before the music ended.
During the 3-week study period, the music groupparticipants reported a continual decrease in the timethey needed to fall asleep and the length of time theyfelt tired the following day. The participants also reportedsleeping longer and better. The control group, however,experienced no changes in sleeping quality orpatterns. Reporting recently in the Journal of AdvancedNursing, the researchers said the benefits were notseen across the board. Nearly half of the participants inthe music group, those with milder problems, improvedenough to be categorized as "good sleepers."Individualswith more serious difficulties showed smallerimprovements and reported continued problems on theamount of time needed to fall asleep.