PhD defense by Helle Nystrup Lund

The Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Aalborg University Hospital, Psychiatry are pleased to invite to PhD defense by music therapist Helle Nystrup Lund, who will defend the thesis entitled: Music to improve sleep in depression-related insomnia: randomized controlled trial using mixed methods design


16.09.2021 kl. 13.00 - 16.00


The defense takes place

Thursday 16th September 2021 at 13-16
In Auditorium A, Forskningens Hus, Aalborg University Hospital

Link to follow the defense online:

The defense is followed by a reception.
All are welcome to join the celebration.


Executive Director, Ph.D. MPA, Prof. Jan Mainz
Psychiatry, Region North Denmark and
Danish Center for Clinical Health Services Research, Aalborg University

Assoc. Prof. Emeritus Inge Nygaard Pedersen
Dept. of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark

Prof. Søren Paaske Johnsen
Dept. of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Danish Center for Clinical Health Services Research, Aalborg University

Assessment committee     

Assoc. Prof. Christina Mohr Jensen (chair)
Dept. of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark

Prof. Emeritus Eckhard Weymann,
Inst. Of Music Therapy, Hamburg University of Music and Theatre, Germany

Assoc. Prof. Suvi Saarikallio
Dept. of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskulä, Finland


About the PhD thesis

Insomnia in depression is common and difficult to resolve. Unresolved de-pression-related sleep disturbances increase risk of relapse at high costs for individuals and society. Trials have suggested music for insomnia in various populations, but there is little research on the effectiveness of music for depression-related insomnia.

This dissertation investigated the effectiveness of music in improving sleep quality, depression and quality of life in depressed patients with sleep dis-turbances. Study I provided an overview of sound and music interventions in psychiatry at Aalborg University Hospital. Study II presented the study protocol for a randomized controlled trial including the methods and proce-dures to investigate sleep, depression symptoms and quality of life with questionnaires and actigraphy in a four-week period with a four week follow up period. Study III reported results from the trial. The music intervention group experienced improvements in sleep quality and wellbeing at four weeks. At eight weeks, i.e., four weeks after termination of the music inter-vention, sleep improvements had decreased. Actigraphy sleep assessments showed no changes and there was no detection of change in depression symptoms. Study IV investigated patients’ experiences of music listening at bedtime. The study provided examples of influences of music for sleep. Music distracts, affects mood, arousal and supports healthy bedtime habits.
The studies add to the evidence base suggesting music as a non-pharmacological self-help intervention in treating sleep disturbances related to depression. The studies contribute to the understanding of the effects of music and the underlying mechanisms of action. 


Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University


Forskningens Hus, Sdr. Skovvej 15, 9000 Aalborg


See the list