5 Audio Experiences to Help Lull You to Sleep
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
When it comes to falling asleep, some of us might not have the healthiest habits to ease our minds and bodies into slumber. Whether you like to scroll on your phone until your eyelids feel heavy or keep the TV on so long that late-night infomercials start to blend with your dreams, there are many ways we can inadvertently sabotage our sleep quality.
A blaring TV and the blue light from our devices are obvious enemies of sleep, but there's one tool you can use to fight back: audio storytelling. From music and audiobooks to podcasts specifically designed to help you fall asleep, there are a variety of options that will help you transform your bedtime routine for the better. Take a look at five of our favorites below.
If you’re someone who likes to fall asleep with the TV on but you’re looking for something a little less stimulating and a lot more sleep-inducing, try the Get Sleepy podcast. Each episode is 40 to 60 minutes long and will take you on a relaxing journey that ultimately ends in shuteye.
Episodes range from stories rooted in history, like a report on the Rosetta stone, to nighttime meditations and accounts of activities like walking through tranquil gardens or peaceful villages. The narrator’s slow, calm voice alone is enough to send you straight into a state of drowsiness.
Elizabeth Grace, the founder and voice behind The Sleepy Bookshelf, takes some of the most well known and beloved books in literature—Through the Looking-Glass, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—and turns them into dreamy bedtime stories that span several episodes.
Best of all, this Get Sleepy sister podcast provides more than a good story. Each episode starts with a brief relaxation session to signal to your body and mind that it’s time for sleep. Then, Grace walks you through a brief recap of the previous episode, so you won’t miss any important plot points when you drift off to sleep.
A.A. Milne’s beloved classic Winnie-the-Pooh is a wonderful collection of stories for the young, the young at heart, and anyone who just needs a good night’s sleep. The delightful and comforting Pooh tales are familiar enough that our minds can relax and slip off into a deep sleep.
These stories, narrated by Peter Dennis, take listeners back to a simpler time in life. Start with Volume 1, but don’t fret if you’re looking for more, as all four volumes are available as audiobooks.
If you’re the kind of person who needs some background noise to fall asleep, AmbientNoise.Online may be the solution for you. The site features a small selection of white noise options, nature sounds, and autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) sleep tracks that you can access from any device. Try out the beach noises, oscillating fan sound, or rainforest soundscape to help induce zzz’s.
Created in collaboration with the Sleep Council, the series invites listeners to explore new locations in their minds, from tropical beaches to cozy campfires, but its true aim is to help listeners ease their way toward rest and renewal. In addition to transporting you to a new time and place, this series blends narratives with simple meditations and sleep techniques.
The narrator’s slow, lilting voice welcomes you to the story but doesn’t jump too quickly into the tale, guiding listeners through soothing landscapes and settings. The pace alone is enough to make your eyelids droop.
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