is it safe to listen to music while sleeping?
Better Sleep

Is It Good or Bad To Sleep With Music On?

Music can block external sounds, including snoring partners, noisy neighbors, and road traffic.

Relaxing music that unfolds at 60 beats per minute matches your sleeping heart rate, encouraging the body and mind to relax and enabling you to fall asleep more easily.

Avoid headphones at bedtime because they’re uncomfortable to wear and will disturb sleep. At worst, you risk damaging the ear canal, permanently impacting your hearing.

Audio stimulation overnight isn’t for everyone. Some experts list reasons why you shouldn’t listen to music in bed at night, mainly concerning sleep disruption.

If you find music soothing and relaxing, there’s no reason not to enjoy music in bed.

What Happens When You Listen To Music While Sleeping?

Listening to music undeniably impacts the body. The parasympathetic nervous system (which keeps the body calm) reacts to audio stimuli if you play music while you sleep.

Your heart rate and emotions respond when you listen to music. If you’re seeking a good night’s sleep, listen to calming, low-key music that reduces stress hormones and promotes relaxation.

When we refer to relaxing music, we need to consider the beats per minute. Whether jazz, dance, or rock music relaxes you, avoid tracks exceeding 60 beats per minute – never exceed 80 BPM.

When you lie down and listen to music, your heart rate will imitate the BPM of the audio.

A sleeping human heart will beat about 60 times a minute, and music of the same tempo will encourage the heart to maintain this ratio. The music will make you sleepy.

Avoid your favorite songs because these will provide an emotional reaction and negate the process.

is it good to listen to calm music while sleeping?

Does Listening to Music Impact Dreams?

Listening to music with 60 and 80 beats per minute is advisable. This will keep your heart rate steady and help you sleep overnight. However, music can still impact your dream.

While the body transitions between sleep stages into REM sleep, brainwaves continue to take in the impact of ambient noise. This means that calming music is likelier to inspire positive dreams.

Aggravating and unsettling sounds, meanwhile, may result in nightmares.

What Is The Best Way To Listen To Music While Sleeping?

When people ask, “Why is it bad to listen to music while you sleep?” it’s usually because they think it’s harmful. Wearing headphones in bed, especially earbuds, increases the risk of damage.

Bluetooth technology means that pillows, headbands, and other peripherals can be used to play music from a smartphone or tablet. Alternatively, play a radio or speaker at an appropriate volume.

Pros And Cons of Listening To Music While Sleeping

Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping with music:

Benefits of Playing Music While Sleeping

There are advantages to listening to music while you sleep. It isn’t for everybody, but if it works for you and doesn’t disturb anybody who shares your bed, it can improve your sleep.

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene is about forming a reliable, unwavering routine before retiring for the night. Music can play a vital role in this, especially if consistent with your selections.

Find calming music and listen to it before bed. Play the music while brushing your teeth or other routines 30 minutes before bed. Over time, this will train the brain to associate music with sleep.

Anything too intense may increase your heart rate or cause an emotional reaction, keeping you awake. The right choice will help you settle down by triggering positive associations with bedtime.

Insomnia Cure

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that music can help with adult insomnia. The study found that 314 insomnia patients slept through the night when listening to music.

Blocking External Noise

If you play music at night, you’ll fall asleep, meaning you’ll no longer be actively listening to the music. It will remain on your subconscious radar, taking on the effect of white noise.

This can be invaluable for remaining asleep, especially if you’re a light sleeper. Music will become rhythmic and block out external sounds. This could be a snoring partner or road traffic noise.

Drawbacks of Listening to Music While Sleeping

If you’re using wired headphones, strangulation is an ever-present risk. It’s unlikely you’d strangle yourself without waking, but a pet or child co-sleeping with you could be in danger.

As you lean on headphones, blood flow can be restricted, especially if you’re a side sleeper. This could cut off the supply of blood, potentially leading to necrosis.

Even if that doesn’t arise, wax can accumulate and damage the ear canal.

Bluetooth Radiation

Bluetooth appliances emit less radiation than a standard cellphone. However, this doesn’t mean that proximity to Bluetooth devices isn’t a concern.

Bluetooth use in the enclosed parameters of a car emits potentially hazardous radiation levels. If you’re concerned about radiation, avoid Bluetooth technology products. 

Disturbing Sleep

If your heart rate matches the beats of music, you can be awoken as easily as being rocked to sleep.

Imagine your playlist changes genre from a gentle lullaby to a louder, faster-paced song.

Will an advert begin to play on a streaming service, interrupting the soundscape? Will there be a sudden, unexpected increase in volume? Even a time change within an existing song may rouse you.

Avoid any audio that will stir your emotions or cause a physical reaction.

Reduced Security

If you’re listening to music in bed, you won’t hear potential hazards in the home.

You may be confident that your home is unlikely to experience a break-in and that music won’t prevent you from hearing the footsteps or actions of an intruder.

Could listening to music make it challenging to hear smoke or CO2 detectors? If such an alarm sounds, a quick reaction time will be of the essence.

What Kind of Music Should You Listen To While Sleeping?

Not every genre is suitable, even if you enjoy listening to music in bed. Avoid turning on the radio or placing Spotify on shuffle. Ensure that any music is calm and relaxed.

Everybody has a different definition of what calms them when it comes to music.

For example, heavy metal music is believed to provoke aggression, but Frontiers in Human Neuroscience disputes this claim. A fan of extreme metal may be more agitated by classical music.

Avoid music considered a personal favorite. Familiar, popular music will stir emotions in the body and mind, which will, in turn, disturb sleep.

why is it bad to listen to music while you sleep?

Meditation Music

Meditation music (relaxation music) is often used in therapeutic settings. The Journal of Advanced Nursing stated that relaxation music is an effective clinical therapy.

You can stream it through online services (like YouTube) or get sleep-centric smartphone apps that offer musical tracks. CDs are also available for sale if you prefer physical media.

In a medical setting, there are binaural beats. According to Anesthesia, this approach is prevalent in a pre-operative environment for promoting calm.

If you have anxiety at night, binaural beats may help you to sleep better.

Classical Music

Classical music is often considered to be calming.

The Journal of Music Therapy claims that Mozart’s 1787 composition, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, reduces psychological stress. In theory, this makes classical music ideal for sleeping.

This genre can stir emotional reactions. Even positive feelings, like euphoria, can disrupt sleep. Unlike relaxation music, classical music doesn’t maintain the same tempo.

As undeniably impressive as classical music’s musicianship, it doesn’t always lend itself to a good night’s sleep. The sound can go from calm and quiet to bombastic and frantic instantly.


You may recall falling asleep as your parents told you a story.

In theory, audiobooks are safer than music. An audiobook reading will likely retain a consistent volume and timbre, assuming the narrator doesn’t start shouting.

Don’t listen to the latest page-turning thriller you’ve been looking forward to for months. You’ll likely become emotionally invested and struggle to nod off.

Instead, choose something familiar and comforting that won’t engage you too much.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule on whether sleep is helped or hindered by audio because it comes down to personal preference. Find appropriate music and monitor the results, both positive and negative.