Can Music Improve Sleep Quality? A Systematic Literature Review


  • Bing Yi Pan
  • Elizabeth Pan


music therapy, music, music intervention, sleep quality, sleep, insomnia


Poor sleep quality (PSQ) can have long-term effects leading to serious health issues. As more people turn to nonmedical
treatments, including the use of music for improving sleep quality, health professionals need to be aware
of how to use music effectively. This systematic literature review investigated, synthesized, and analyzed 56 studies
concerning the impact of music on sleep quality that were published between January 2007 and December 2019.
The authors found the studies: (a) were conducted by a variety of research disciplines from multiple countries;
(b) investigated a large number of participants from various clinical and non-clinical populations; (c) employed an
array of research designs, interventions, measurement tools, and rationales for music choice, and (d) found mostly
positive results. Of the 56 studies, 52 (92.9%) showed a positive influence of music on sleep quality, while 4 (7.1%)
found no impact. Seven (12.5%) articles reported that music had a greater or equal impact on sleep quality compared
to other treatments. Future research should include more detailed descriptions of music interventions in order to find
the most effective music interventions for improving the sleep quality of different populations.

Author Biographies

Bing Yi Pan

Bing-Yi Pan is a visiting scholar in the Creative Arts Therapies Department at Concordia University in Montreal. He got his MA in music therapy from Concordia University and has worked with seniors and young adults. He holds a PhD in physics from the Chinese Academy of Science and did his postdoctoral research at University of Prince Edward Island, working on the Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing project.

Elizabeth Pan

Elizabeth Pan graduated from the music education program at Western University (Ontario) and became a music therapist after getting her graduate diploma in music therapy from Concordia University (Montreal). She has worked with elderly clients, and adults and toddlers with special needs. She also writes children’s stories in her spare time.





Literature Reviews