Music Can Help with Depression-Induced Insomnia | Sip2Sleep®

Music Can Help with Depression-Induced Insomnia

Sleep disorders and mental health go hand in hand. Many people think those with depression sleep a lot (and some do), but there is also depression-induced insomnia. If you have depression and struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, you’re probably looking for natural solutions. Always work with a sleep expert and mental health expert for issues related to sleep and mental health disorders, but also know that there are many options to help you get the sleep you need without professional intervention.

A recent study showed that listening to curated music during bedtime can be an effective tool in calming depression-induced insomnia (although researchers stress that this does not alleviate the depression itself). The Music to Improve Sleep Quality in Adults With Depression and Insomnia (MUSTAFI) trial worked with 110 people diagnosed with depression. Some were randomly assigned to “music intervention.” Researchers found that the sleep quality and overall quality of life “significantly improved” after just one month in those who listened to music for 30 minutes before bed. The lead researcher says, “This is a low-cost, safe intervention that has no side effects and may easily be implemented in psychiatry.” Of course, you don’t need psychiatric care in order to make use of these findings yourself.

Music and Mental Health

The researchers were aware of how common insomnia is for many patients with depression and that it is “difficult to resolve.” There is growing evidence that music can be a positive sleep aid, but very few studies have looked specifically into music and those with insomnia from depression. The group of people who had the co-morbid condition and were assigned music therapy received their “treatment” from MusicStar, a free downloadable app. This app was developed by a music therapist and featured a multi-colored star. Every “star arm” is synced with a playlist lasting 30 – 60 minutes. The arm’s color is the music tempo of the playlist.
For example, blue playlists are very quiet and soothing. Red is lively. There are also grey playlists that are more like white noise machines and not music. The team behind this app found that organizing playlists with a color code related to stimuli—instead of genre, which is the norm with playlists—lets listeners take charge of their arousal levels so that their playlist choice is intuitive. There are, of course, various genres within these playlists like pop and folk, but there’s no hard rock. According to the developers, “There’s actually quite a large selection of music available, because studies show that individual choice is important, as are personal preferences.” However, choices are limited because too many choices can be confusing and cause the opposite effect of what the app aims to achieve: better, faster sleep. “We made curated playlists and designed them with well-known pieces, but also with newly composed music not associated with anything,” explains the developer.


A Good Nighttime Routine

Those who received music therapy were assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, two World Health Organization questionnaires on well-being, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and actigraphy. At the end of four weeks, the PSQI went down an average of 2.1 points and the WHO questionnaires resulted in an effect size of 8.4. Plus, those who went through this trial got an average of 18 more minutes of sleep each night. There were no changes in the actigraphy or HAMD scores.

On average, considering all measurements, there was a positive change in both the sleep quality and quality of life for participants by about 10 percent. “This, on the surface, would seem to be a meaningful change,” comments one researcher when speaking to Medscape Medical News. Of course, more information and studies will be necessary to really see how music can affect insomnia from depression. There are also other all-natural solutions that may help you get better sleep, such as improving your sleep hygiene and adding Sip2Sleep® to your nightly routine. Sip2Sleep® is made with tart cherry extract and Venetron® for a double dose of anti-inflammation and anti-anxiety. It’s not a medicated “sleep aid,” so there is no risk of dependency or systemic side effects. Get started today and place your first order now.

Back to blog