Can music actually make it harder to sleep? Researchers at Baylor studied involuntary musical imagery, or what they call “earworms,” when a song replays over and over in your head. In a study published in the journal Psychological Science, they played three catchy songs for participants before bed: Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off,’ Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe” and Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin.’ Not only did many people get earworms of these songs before falling asleep, many of them woke up in the middle of the night with these songs playing in their heads. And those who heard instrumental versions of these songs had them twice as often. While music is great, if you struggle with sleep, consider avoiding it right before bed. And if you do have an earworm, perform some type of cognitive activity, like writing your to-do list for the next day, to get it out of your head.
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