Listen to yoga music for heart health
Listening to soothing music has a calming and relaxing effect on the body. Previous studies have shown that listening to music reduces anxiety in patients with heart disease. But studies that investigate the effects of music on heart health in patients and healthy individuals have produced inconsistent results. This may be because the style of music was not specified. In new research from HG SMS Hospital in Jaipur, India, researchers have shown that listening to yoga music has a beneficial impact on heart health.
This study investigated the impact of listening to yoga music — a type of meditative music — before bedtime on heart rate variability. The study included 149 healthy people with an average age of 26. The study subjects participated in three music listening sessions on separate nights: yoga music before sleep; pop music with steady beats before sleep; and no music or silence before sleep.
Participants felt significantly more positive after listening to yoga music than they did after the pop music.
At each session, the heart rate variability was measured for five minutes before the music or silence started, for 10 minutes during music/silence, as well as for five minutes after it had stopped. Additionally, anxiety levels were assessed before and after each session using the Goldberg Anxiety Scale. The level of positive feeling was subjectively measured after each session using a visual analogue scale.
The researchers found that heart rate variability increased during the yoga music session, while it decreased during the pop music and did not significantly change during the silence.
Your heart rate will change as a normal response to being in “fight or flight” mode or “rest and digest” mode. These states are regulated by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, respectively, and together comprise the autonomic nervous system. A high heart rate variability shows that your heart can adapt to these changes. But a low heart rate variability indicates a less adaptive autonomic nervous system and is associated with a 32–45 per cent risk of a cardiovascular event. People with low heart variability have an increased risk of other cardiovascular events and death following the first cardiovascular episode. When the autonomic nervous system fails to adapt, it may also trigger inflammation, which is associated with cardiovascular disease.
The researchers also found that anxiety levels fell significantly after listening to yoga music. However, anxiety levels rose significantly after listening to pop music and also increased after the no music session. Participants felt significantly more positive after listening to yoga music than they did after the pop music.
This study shows that listening to yoga music before bedtime has a beneficial impact on heart rate variability and it helps alleviate anxiety and stress. While listening to soothing music cannot replace evidence-based drugs and interventions, it can be used in conjunction with those therapies.
Source: European Society of Cardiology
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