Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Objectives: Investigation of the effects of relaxing classical music on sleep quality in students in Hungary.
Methods: Randomized controlled trial was used with a three group repeated measures design. 94 students (mean=22,6; range:19-28, SD=2,83) with sleep complaints were recruited for each group using a Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI); 5. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) were used to assess depression and daytime somnolence. Participants in the experimental groups listened to 45 minutes of relaxing classical music (n=35) or to an audiobook (n=30) at bedtime for 3 weeks. There was no intervention in the control group (n=29). Sleep quality was measured by PSQI before the study as well as weekly during the intervention, and lasted three weeks. We measured the mood of the participants in the experimental groups with BDI before and after the study.
Results: Music and audiobook significantly improved sleep quality (t(34)=10,712; p=0,000), (t(29)=3,029; p=0,005). However we found a significant difference in sleep quality in the control group (t(28)=3,131; p=0,004) at the end of the study. Sleep quality of the audiobook group and control group did not differed significantly. There was a significantly higher sleep quality in the control group as compared to audiobook group (t= -3,982 ;p=0,000 ) and control group (t= -5,346; p=0,000). Music decreased a number of depression symptoms (t(34)= 6,124;p=0,000). There was no change in BDI scores after listening audiobooks.
Conclusions: Listening to music has a significantly greater effect on sleep quality than the audiobook or nonintervention. The results of audiobook and control group were similar therefore the effect of the audiobook may be no better than chance. The findings provide evidence for the usefulness relaxing classical music as an intervention for sleeping problems.