While listening to Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” is widely considered the way to get pumped up, music can also calm us down. Research suggests listening to tunes can distract us from stress and even increase our pain thresholdStress reduction through listening to Indian classical music during gastroscopy. Kotwal, M.R., Rinchhen, C.Z., Ringe, V.V. Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Referral Hospital Gangtok Sikkim India. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy, 1998;4(4):191-7..
Music can also help with a situation that stresses out even the bravest among us: heading to the doctor or dentistRegular dental visits and dental anxiety in an adult dentate population. Sohn, W., Ismail, Al. Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences & Endodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 2005 Jan;136(1):58-66; quiz 90-1.. In patients from infants to 20-year-olds, headphones playing certain calming tunes (folk, contemporary, classical, and lullaby) may decrease pain and anxiety during medical proceduresMusic therapy may reduce pain and anxiety in children undergoing medical and dental procedures. Bekhuis, T. Center for Dental Informatics School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice-Guide for Authors, 2009 Dec;9(4):213-4.. And one study found music can be beneficial for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Patients showed better moods, lower blood pressure, and lower heart rates when they listened to music or worked with a music therapistMusic interventions for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients. Bradt, J., Dileo, C., Grocke, D., et al. Department of Creative Arts Therapies, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011 Aug 10;(8):CD006911. Researchers think music can distract patients from their misery and even increase their ability to tolerate painStress reduction through listening to Indian classical music during gastroscopy. Kotwal, M.R., Rinchhen, C.Z., Ringe, V.V. Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Referral Hospital Gangtok Sikkim India. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy, 1998;4(4):191-7.. (Mozart makes that cavity filling a piece of cake.)
Still stressin’ at night? Classical music may be an effective way to ease into falling asleep, which will hopefully lead to feeling more refreshed in the AMMusic improves sleep quality in students. Harmat, L., Takacs, J., Bodizs, R. Semmelweis University, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Budapest, Hungary. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2008 May;62(3):327-35.. Not a huge Beethoven fan? Don’t you worry ’bout a thing — just listen to this song instead.
Listening to music (especially slower tunes) can alter brain activity, which may lead to a reduction in stress and pain.