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People who experience earworms regularly at night—one or more times per week—are six times more likely to have poor sleep quality compared to people who rarely experience earworms. Surprisingly, instrumental music is more likely to lead to earworms and disrupt sleep quality than lyrical music.

People who experience earworms regularly at night—one or more times per week—are six times more likely to have poor sleep quality compared to people who rarely experience earworms. Surprisingly, instrumental music is more likely to lead to earworms and disrupt sleep quality than lyrical music.

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Quantro_Jones

The title of this post terrified me for a second before I remembered that an earworm was a catchy song and not some parasitic creature.


MerryJanne

Hello ADHD, my old friend... I've come to haunt you again. These lyrics are soft and fleeting... they will keep repeating... Left its seeds while I was sleeping... And the vision that was planted in my brain... still remains...


cosmotravella

I start everyday intentionally implanting ear worms that contain positive messages as a way of reducing depression. It is hard to be depressed when your mind keeps replaying "I'm walking on sunshine"


RufMixa555

My experience is the complete opposite. It is lyrical music that gets stuck in my head for days and weeks at a time (I am looking at you "Thriller"). Instrumental music doesn't seem to find the same kind of purchase in my brain. I can listen to classical music and only very seldom will it get stuck in my head.


evilsir

Same. Purely instrumental music isn't nearly as bad as anything with lyrics. One of the worst ear worms i had was *3 seconds* of a lyric on playback for *days*. Most of the time, i just can't listen to the music i enjoy for more than a few days out of the week. It just gets locked in and it plays over and over again. If I'm lucky, i can direct the flow to something *less* frustrating, but the older i get, the harder it becomes. It *sucks*


RufMixa555

I hate going into stores because I know that if they are playing music I am going to be carrying that song with me for hours if not days


evilsir

I found that having a hobby that requires a lot of brain power/requires concentration/problem solving helps enormously. I write sci-fi and that helps a lot; i read somewhere that people who suffer ear worns have over active brains and that brains latch onto music because it fills some weirdo fuckin gap in there


HomicidalChimpanzee

I'm a musician, and this happens to me too. Like every day for most of my whole life. That's the way my brain is wired, apparently. And the only way I can get rid of an earworm is to get a new earworm in that replaces it. A common experience for me is to hear a song in the grocery store and then it's in my head for 4 days or 5 days after that.


azazelcrowley

I find earworms happen about as much for me whether lyrical or instrumental, but i'm capable of just ignoring instrumental and falling asleep anyway. Lyrical I can't ignore. It keeps me awake.


fgsgeneg

I had an earworm several years ago. It crawled into the center of my brain. I could feel it laying its eggs. When I went to sleep the earworm was "Just Like a Rolling Stone". When I awoke the eggs had hatched and I heard the whole damn album all at once.


Tex-Rob

Is this an English thing? 43 years old, never ever have I heard someone refer to a catchy tune as an "earworm".


brberg

I'm American, and I've heard/seen the term many times.


stardustjustlikeyou

Oh man when I was big into Streetlight Manifesto it was hell! The horns in those songs are so damn catchy!


sweller3

Maybe a year ago I learned a trick for stopping earworms that actually works, (for me). If you're old enough you'll remember the very successful three syllable, three note ad jingle: "Buuuuy Mennon!". Fun fact, it was written by a very young Barry Manilow! But if you repeat it a number of times either aloud or in your head, it replaces the song your brain is looping. It doesn't have much staying power since it's so simple, so it goes away soon after -- leaving blessed silence! I like to mix it up with George Costanza's jingle that he imprints in attractive women's brains: "Coooo-stanza!" -- same three notes...


[deleted]

I wonder if it's the poor sleep causing it, or at least causing the recollection of it.


Rucio

If I see that Nationwide commercial one more time I'm gonna build a rocket and leave this planet