Getting better sleep is a lot easier said than done. If you find yourself struggling to deal with racing thoughts before bedtime, listening to a podcast can be a great way to wind down and keep yourself feeling a little more relaxed.
Sleep podcasts are specifically made for those who struggle to get their 8 hours of rest each night in mind. Some formats use soothing voices to softly lull you to sleep while others use a more intentional, meditative approach that can help target specific sleep anxieties.
If you’re thinking of trying out a sleep podcast for a better night’s sleep, here’s a few recommendations that are going to save you some time:
One of the first podcasts dedicated to helping people get better sleep, host Drew Ackerman has built a strong following with Sleep With Me. The concept of the show is based on the idea of bedtime stories for grown-ups, and episodes can be anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes long. Drew’s creative approach is the right balance of droll and engaging - one episode has him reading his HBO guide, another has the narrator talking through his favorite train-shaped clouds. If you’re drifting off already - imagine how good the podcast is.
While Sleep With Me is a more personal, one-to-one production, Get Sleepy is produced by a whole team of sound designers, voice actors, and writers. Each episode centers around the journey to the hushabye mountain, and the narration is backed by a series of gentle music and ASMR soundscapes for really gentle rest. This is a sleep podcast that feels like an adventure every time - perfect for those who want the effects of a white noise machine with a little bit extra.
Another sleep podcast for anyone in need of a good bedtime story, Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast is part-sleep, part-literature, and full-soothing. The mysterious Miette doesn’t give much away about who she is or where she creates her recordings from, but the modernist prose she chooses is just the right balance of gripping and monotonous to have you listening, listening, listening - until you’re not.
While this isn’t exactly a sleep podcast, Daily Meditation is a great choice for those who struggle with more specific sleep anxiety. Episodes are dedicated to everything from self-love, to restless thinking, and more. If you want to be more conscientious about the way you’re spending your time before sleep, or you just want to get into a habit of being mindful, these short episodes are a great way to get that done.
Do you prefer your sleep podcasts without any narration? Produced by BBC Radio, Slow Radio is described as a ‘lo-fi celebration of pure sound’, and while that might sound confusing, all it takes is a single episode to gain some clarity. With short episodes that range from fifteen minutes to half an hour, the ambient noise makes better sleep easier than it’s ever been, without the disruption of a voice in case you’re easily distracted.
So what exactly is the science behind how sleep podcasts work? The human brain is wired to pick up different frequencies of sound. For light sleepers, having a constant hum in the background can actually be more effective than silence, since they’re less likely to get distracted by sudden noises.
When you wake up to disruptive noise, it usually has less to do with the volume of the sound, and more to do with the change in consistency of sound. Sleep podcasts take this theory a step further.
Instead of providing you with one, constant sound, sleep podcasts work to create a soundscape that many people find more entertaining, and in some cases, more soothing, than the low hum of white or pink noise.
Sleep podcasts are also a great way to wean yourself off scrolling through your phone or having a late-night Netflix binge as a way of calming your brain enough to go to sleep. Both these habits tend to have a detrimental impact on our overall sleep hygiene since the blue light present in your phone or laptop can actually disrupt your circadian rhythm.
If you’ve been tossing and turning in bed for a couple of weeks, you might be experiencing sleep deprivation. A few small lifestyle changes can help you get your rest a lot easier. These include:
With the right routine, you’re going to be on your way back to a good night’s sleep before you know it. Finding a practice that works for you, making yourself a warm cup of herbal tea, and putting on a sleep podcast you love are all only going to work in your favor. Turns out your parents really did know best - for truly good sleep, it’s time to settle down and hear a bedtime story or two.
Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.