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Bedtime Music for Sleep Problems in older Adults with Dementia: a pilot feasibility Study

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Sleep problems are highly prevalent in elderly persons with dementia. Poor sleep constitutes a major problem as it causes distress and may aggravate symptoms of dementia. Music has been proposed as a potential sleep aid, and in this study, we assessed the feasibility and effect of bedtime music listening for improving sleep problems in older adults with dementia. We used a within-subject design including 40 participants. Participants and caregivers evaluated the feasibility and sleep improvement after the intervention period. We measured sleep objectively with wrist actigraphy (total sleep time and sleep efficiency). In the intervention period, participants listened to music for 30 minutes every night at bedtime. We developed sleep playlists of different genres, and participants could choose the one they liked the best. We found that the music intervention was well-liked, and sleep improvement was observed in approximately half of the participants. Wrist actigraphy showed no significant changes in total sleep time or sleep efficiency. Music listening at bedtime could provide a safe, comfortable and low-cost intervention for sleep problems among elderly persons with dementia, the intervention is feasible, but more research is needed to determine the effect on sleep outcomes.

Original languageDanish
JournalMusic and Medicine
Pages (from-to)222-230
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Dementia, Insomnia, Music, Receptive music therapy, Sleep

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