Listening to your favourite tunes might be a great escape from the harsh realities of life. But if yoga music is the banger you bounce to, you’re in luck. Listening to soothing serenades before you rest could be the key to a longer life.
According to new research presented at ESC Congress 2018, listening to yoga music before sleeping is good for the heart.
“We use music therapy in our hospital and in this study we showed that yoga music has a beneficial impact on heart rate variability before sleeping,” says study author and consultant cardiologist at HG SMS Hospital, Jaipur, India, Dr Naresh Sen.
Previously, studies had shown that music could also reduce anxiety in patients with heart disease. However, previous findings didn’t specify the the genre of music that had the positive effect.
The new research investigated whether yoga music, a soothing or meditative noise, would impact heart rate variability. High heart rate variability signals the body’s ability to adapt to changes in the autonomic nervous system. Low heart rate variability is linked to a 32-45 per cent higher risk of a cardiovascular vascular occurrence .
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Gathering 149 healthy people with an average age of 26, scientists orchestrated three sessions. On the first night, patients listened to yoga music before sleeping. On the second, they listened to steady pop music before sleeping and on the final night there was no music or silence before dozing off.
During each session, researchers measured heart rate variability five minutes before music started, ten minutes during music or silence and five minutes after it ceased.
They also assessed anxiety levels before and after using the Goldberg Anxiety Scale.
Results found that heart rate variability rose during yoga music, lessened during pop music but there was no significant chance during silence.
Meanwhile, yoga had a positive effect on anxiety levels while pop music and silence saw increases.
Dr Sen clarifies that this however should not be used as a substitute for evidence-based drugs.
“Science may have not always agreed, but Indians have long believed in the power of various therapies other than medicines as a mode of treatment for ailments. This is a small study, and more research is needed on the cardiovascular effects of music interventions offered by a trained music therapist. But listening to soothing music before bedtime is a cheap and easy to implement therapy that cannot cause harm,” adds Dr Sen.