Singing lullabies to patients at the UK’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, scientists observed that their suffering eased and their heart rates dropped.
Researcher Dr Nick Pickett has been providing music therapy at the world-renowned hospital for two decades:
“Parents have been singing to their children for thousands of years and they have always instinctively known that it helps their children relax – but it is exciting to have some scientific evidence that lullabies offer genuine health benefits for the child,” he said.
Dr Pickett sang lullabies to 37 patients at the hospital before monitoring their heart rates and visible signs of discomfort, including crying, grimacing and squirming.
This was compared with a second group of sick children who were read to from pop-up picture books.
The journal, Psychology of Music confirms that only the singing eased the youngsters’ pain – scientists believe that the calming tunes distracted children from their illness.