Updated: May 10
Classical music, unlike pop music, does not get much airplay in anyone’s Spotify or Apple Music playlist. It’s usually played as background music or for dramatic effects in series such as Squid Game. Or else classical music is only enjoyed by connoisseurs. Yet classical music deserves a lot more attention than to fill the silence. Listening to classical music not only makes you smarter, but it also can make you healthier. There are 5 positive effects of classical music on the mind and body you should know.
1. Helps you to sleep
The most common effect classical music has on us is to calm the restless mind. Perhaps this is the reason classical music is used in many malls and cafes as background music - to calm our minds. Calming our minds also lead to helping us sleep better. A study published in 2015 in the Critical Care journal found that classical music when combined with earplugs and eye masks induced sleep in patients who are recovering from cardiac surgery.
Another study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2008 found that students with sleep disorders fell asleep better when they listened to classical music. The slow tempo and soothing sounds of classical music make it a great way to prepare the brain and body for sleep.
2. Reduces pain
Many studies have found that music helps to reduce the feeling of pain. But classical music provides that extra punch in pain relief. Research found that intensive-care patients suffering from pain, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular issues, and sleep disturbances can benefit the most from listening to classical music.
Even infants can pick up this benefit from classical music. A study in 2018 looked at 80 full-term newborns who underwent painful procedures discovered that classical music, especially Mozart’s “Sonata for Two Pianos” and Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” reduced the infants’ perception of pain, decreased their heart rates, improved oxygen saturation and led to quicker post-stress recovery.
3. Improves your memory
A study was made on two groups of students in 2012 to find out if classical music made any difference to how students learn. One group of students listened to a one-hour lecture with classical music playing in the background. The second group listened to the lecture with no music.
The students were then given a quiz. The first group of students scored significantly higher than the second group. The researchers were convinced that classical music helped make the students more receptive to absorbing the information given, helping them store it and then to recall it more efficiently. According to Dr. Schneck, don’t stop listening to classical music as it can contribute to improved brain plasticity and neural-network development which can enhance learning and memory.
4. Reduced stress and increased relaxation
If you are feeling stressed, consider sitting back, putting on your headphones, and listening to classical music from Debussy to Ravel. A 2018 study on how different music genres has effects on patients’ preoperative anxiety found that classical music can cause the heart rate and breathing to slow, which decreases emotional distress. Classical music also lowers cortisol levels in the brain and can help to lessen anxiety.
5. Increases productivity
Repetitive tasks can be really boring to do both at work and at home. But music can make that difference in your mood and attitude in performing boring tasks. Research suggests that listening to music at work or while completing chores at home makes repetitive tasks easier to do. However, its effects may depend on the type of music, the task, as well as the person doing it. This was illustrated in a 2019 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology which found that a person’s propensity to boredom and the complexity of the task correlated with whether or not music, whether it is classical or otherwise, contributed to productivity. You can give classical music a try when doing boring tasks to see if it is able to elevate your mood.