Music, sleep and depression: an interview study

Inge Nygaard Pedersen, Helle Nystrup Lund*, Niels Hannibal, Jan Mainz, Raymond MacDonald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Music has been suggested as a potential sleep aid option in the treatment of depression related insomnia, however, there is a need for research to more fully understand the possible benefits.
Objective: To examine experiences of music listening at bedtime for psychiatric outpatients with depression related insomnia.
Study design: Qualitative thematic analysis using phenomenological methods applied as microanalysis of interview data.
Setting: Outpatient unit for depression in psychiatry, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark.
Method: Four adultswith depression and sleep disturbances took part in a semi-structured interview after completing a four-week music intervention as part of a clinical trial. Participants evaluated a specific music listening intervention for sleep improvement.
Results: Six themes were highlighted in the analysis: Sleep and relaxation, Distraction, Mood, Habits, Preference and Technology. Three participants reported intervention effective in improving sleep and relaxation and evaluated the distracting effect of music positively with a positive effect on mood. Interactions with technology were important and reported as generally positive. Individual preferences in music selection were also important. This study improved our understanding of the multiple effects of music in depression insomnia and this includes limitations and directions for future research.
Translated title of the contributionMusik, søvn og depression: en interview undersøgelse
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Music
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Publication statusSubmitted - 1 Sep 2020

Cite this