Music’s Role in Helping Those With Sleeping Disorders


Sleeping disorders are a lot more dangerous than they seem. Sleeping is just as important as eating, breathing and staying healthy. When we rest, our bodies recover from our day and let our muscles and organs relax in preparation of a new day. After a while with a lack of sleep, daily functions will be harder to do, your moods will change, your irritability will increase, you are more susceptible to catching an illness and your body will slowly start to shut down. In a Men’s Fitness article, they bring up the fact how a “lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing diabetes and obesity” and they list a couple ways on how to fix this. It is hard to think that a lot of people have sleeping disorders, but around 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleeping problem. According to, both Americans and Japanese citizens average “around six hours of sleep a night,” which is eye-opening to me after hearing how Japanese men are more likely to have mental illnesses and commit suicide from their lack of sleep and high stress. There are plenty of problems that come from experiencing a sleep disorder like insomnia or having a short-term sleep disruption.

There are a variety of ways to help treat from medications, to daily routines, therapy or natural supplements. A commonly advised and used therapy to help overcome a sleeping disorder is by incorporating music into a daily routine before going to bed. Normally, people suggest listening to classical, jazz, folk, nature sounds, or orchestral pieces because of their soft melodies and slow tempos which help listeners into a more relaxed state. You do not always have to do this. If you please, you can listen to your favorite genre of music whether that be classical rock, reggae, British funk, or whatever you are into. However, it is suggested that you listen to acoustic or slow songs to help you sleep. For some people, this works. For others, like Kieran Edwards who tweeted “@kameronedwards: When you wanna go to sleep, but can’t stop listening to music,” there are several other ways for him and other like him who can seek to cure his sleeping problems.

Knowing that college students are constantly running on a lack of sleep, I decided to use this information. I found a book written in May 2011 by a student, Marian Helene Creasy, at my school, James Madison University, for her major on the topic of how some majors can cause more sleep deprivation than others. In her book, she wrote how she conducted a survey with 208 students asking about their sleeping habits. On page 4, she tells her first impression of the results where that they “indicate that the overwhelming majority of students have difficulty sleeping as well as receiving enough restful sleep to feel rested the next day”.  I spoke with several college students at JMU also who vary in different majors and grades about their sleep experience. Below is a podcast I made talking about my personal experiences, an interview with my roommate who is an insomniac, and the other information I pulled from talking with students:

The songs featured in the podcast are Bali Spa Meditation, I wanna go by Summer Heart and On & On by Snakehips featuring George Maple. If you are interested to hear some of the other songs I listen to before going to bed, here is a playlist I put together:

Quoted by an article in Harvard’s Health Publication, Robert Burton said in 1682 that “our body is like a clock, if one wheel is amiss, all the rest are disordered… with such admirable art and harmony is a man composed”. Sleep is an important part of anyone’s day, so it is okay to put down that textbook or to stop worrying is you are prepared enough for your big interview tomorrow. Get some sleep and everything will be fine.

Works Cited

Creasy, Marian Helene. 2011. Impact of major on sleep perceptions and behaviors : a survey of undergraduate students in Virginia / [electronic resource] / by Marian Helene Creasy. n.p.: 2011., 2011. JAMES MADISON UNIV’s Catalog, EBSCOhost (accessed December 9, 2013).

Edwards, Kameron,  Twitter post, November 20, 2013, 1:26 a.m.,

Harrington, Rebecca. “Colleges Open Their Eyes: ZZZs Are Key To GPA.” The Huffington Post. (accessed December 7, 2013).

Harvard Health Publication. “New Releases.” Insomnia: Restoring restful sleep. (accessed December 7, 2013).

Howcast. “Health Problems that Can Cause Insomnia | Insomnia.” YouTube. (accessed December 9, 2013).

NY Daily News. “Americans, Japanese sleep less than other countries, averaging 6 hours a night: survey.” NY Daily News. (accessed December 9, 2013).


Radcliffe, Shawn. “Is Sleep Deprivation Making You Fat?.” Men’s Fitness. (accessed December 9, 2013).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s