Is It Bad To Fall Asleep To Music?

~ Music has charms to soothe a savage breast. ~ William Congreve

Music is a big part of our lives, it soothes us, it makes us happy, it makes us sad, and it can evoke deep memories within us. As the quote suggests, even the hardest and coldest of hearts or dispositions can be soothed and quieted with music. From wind-up music boxes for children, to picking ‘your’ song for the first dance at your wedding, to even picking your favorite piece of music for your final farewell. Music has the power to move us, to soothe us, and to heal us.

Listening to calming, soothing music before bed, or soaking in a warm bath has fabulous results for helping us fall asleep. Even softly playing music while you try to fall asleep, or lie in bed reading before drifting off can have a powerful affect to make you sleepy and relaxed.

Not all types of music will work for bedtime. If you really like Heavy Metal or Acid Rock, it is better to save that for when you can enjoy it. Heavy Metal music is better played loudly, with friends. For shutting down at night we need softer and slower types of music.

Types of Music That Are Perfect For Sleeping

Classical Music

Choose music that is instrumental only, no lyrics. Someone singing can be distracting and actually cause your brain to remain alert. Classical music is perfect for sleeping, but again, not all of it. 

classical music

Even if you don’t like classical music, you can find other instrumental music that will help you relax. If you do try classical music, slow cello or violin music, you may find works well as a perfect sleep aid. You don’t have to listen to it all the time, but you should make it part of your sleep routine so that you will associate it with bed time. This sleep reinforcing routine will make it easier to switch in to sleep mode whenever you want to sleep at will. 



Studies have shown that lullabies are effective for helping people quickly fall asleep, even for people suffering with sleep disorders. This seems to work for all ages, which is good news for cranky, overtired toddlers, and cranky overtired seniors. Lullabies were made for just this reason.

There are studies that show your heart rate will fall into to the same tempo as the music. Music that has around 60 beats per minute is calming and as you slowly drift off, your heart rate will slow drastically to match the slower tempo music. 

Devices That Can Be Used When Listening To Music in Bed?

How you listen to music in bed will depend on your situation. If your partner doesn't mind the music, it is a lovely idea to share the peaceful music together, assuming you can both agree on what to listen to. 

Clock Radio

Together or alone, a clock radio or an electronic device with a timer is perfect. You can fall asleep to the music and be certain it will turn itself off later, or continue through the night, if you prefer. If you no longer have a clock radio or radio, you can find them at thrift shop or older department stores.

clock radio

Headphones or Earbuds

headphones or earbuds

Headphones or earbuds can be used, and this decision will also depend on whether you find them comfortable enough, and whether you are worried about them causing damage to your ears. You obviously need to be careful when wearing headphones or earbuds. They can cause a buildup of earwax, with the use of earbuds, as they are known to push wax up the ear canal.

The cords and wires of your headphones or earphones can cause wear and tear during sleep and may also result in damaged products. Other irritations can develop, like rashes or an affliction known as Otitis Externa, which is an irritation within the ear canal, causing pain and skin erosion. Keeping the volume down will save your eardrums and other hearing related health problems.

If you don’t find headphones comfortable, you may need to try it again a few times to break in the ear pads, or even try a few different types of headphones to find the right fit. It’s really up to you to weigh the benefits over the potential for damage or discomfort of having headphones on throughout the night.

If you have trouble getting to sleep or just like to have the music there with you, using headphones while you sleep can be great solution for you.  Headphones can provide you with the comfort and relaxation you need to fall asleep and stay asleep. They keep your partner or other household member at peace from your music and can provide a sense of calm and security.

They can also be very effective in blocking out other noises that prevent you from sleeping. If you work the late shift, and have trouble sleeping through the day, headphone can help you. Using regular soft foam earplugs can help, but traffic noises, dogs barking, sirens, children yelling, all of those noises can still seep through. The headphones or earphones in conjunction with music effectively blocks out noise.

Pillow Speakers

There are also pillow speakers. These speakers go inside or underneath your pillow and connect to your music device or cellphone. These are the best solution if you find the headphones too uncomfortable. They come in a wide range of sizes, brand name,s and prices.  

pillow speakers

With pillow speakers, you can comfortably listen to music while you sleep and not have to worry about damage, wires, pain, or agitation from the headphones. You can also find a pillow with the speakers built right in, or a music player that wraps around your head, and over your ears like a woolen earmuff.


If music helps you sleep, help yourself by finding the perfect way to listen to it in bed. It’s a comfortable calming way to fall asleep, so find your method and your rhythm will follow.

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About the Author

Peekaboo! Barbara speaking. I'm currently the Chief Editor at Sleep Titan and my job is to make sure that the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed on all of our amazing content! The lovely people here at Sleep Titan often tell me that my Friendly Superpowers come out after a glass of wine, but personally, I prefer a strong IPA. The sort of strength that screams alpha all the way! Maybe that's the reason why everyone wants me to have a drink around here. Right?!

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