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

Kira Vibe Jespersen, Jens Madsen, Peter Vuust

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Sleep problems are highly prevalent in elderly persons with dementia. Poor sleep constitute a major problem as it causes distress and may aggravate the dementia symptoms. 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 effect after the intervention period, and we measured sleep with wrist actigraphy 14 days at baseline and during the 14 days intervention period. In the intervention period participants listened to music for 30 minutes every night at bedtime. We developed five playlists with slow, soothing music of different genres, and participants could choose the genre they liked the best. We found that the music intervention was well-liked and sleep improvement was observed in around half the participants. Wrist actigraphy showed no significant changes in the objective sleep pattern. 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 languageEnglish
JournalMusic and Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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