I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how important sleep is. Not only does sufficient sleep improve our productivity and overall concentration, but studies have also shown that quality sleep can lower the risk of heart disease as well as strengthen our immune system.¹ And now more than ever, keeping our immune systems strong and healthy is more important than ever! But simply knowing how great a good night’s rest is for our minds and bodies does not guarantee that we get that sleep. In fact, on average, 30-35% of adults experience brief symptoms of insomnia² throughout the course of their lives. At the height of the pandemic this year, it was found that there was a significant increase in the number of web searches for insomnia-related topics.3 So if you’ve had trouble falling to sleep this year, or you’ve battled bouts of sleep-related issues at one point or another, you’ll know how distressing these can be. Thankfully, there are many wonderful resources at our disposal to help us banish insomnia and enable us to fall asleep quickly and easily each night. And one of those resources is podcasts. Today, we’re sharing our current favorite podcasts guaranteed to whisk you away to Lala-Land and have you catching up on some quality zzz’s. There’s everything from guided sleep meditations to calming bedtime stories, as well as some ambient noise and ASMR-focused shows, all of which will have you visiting the land of Nod in no time at all.
It’s easy to see why so many people love Sleepy! In each episode, using his soothing baritone voice, host Otis Gray reads a whole range of material in a low, rhythmic tone that gently lulls you into a deep slumber. It’s an incredibly popular podcast, which just goes to show that you’re never too old to be read a bedtime story! There’s a mix of classic stories, poetry, and folklore, and even some other boring (in a good way) content, such as the reading of a thesaurus and even a motorcycle shop manual, all of which does the job of sending you off for a sound sleep. Otis has an incredibly warm, comforting voice, which will calm your worries and soothe your thoughts, and allow you to swiftly drift off for a great night’s rest.
2. Nothing Much Happens: Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups
Following on the bedtime story trend, our next podcast to help you get some sound zzz’s each night is Nothing Much Happens. Host Kathryn Nicolai is a yoga and meditation teacher, but she also writes all the stories you’ll hear on the podcast. The tales are calming, and interesting, but, you guessed it, nothing much happens. Kathryn has cultivated her show as a soft landing space for your mind to help you brush off everything that happened in the day so that you’re able to catch some sweet sleep. The details draw you in, and you’re able to escape to whatever world Kathryn is creating. In each episode, she reads the story twice, slower the second time around, and helps you train your brain for falling asleep. You’re guided into sleep preparation and the more you listen, the easier it becomes for you to fall swiftly asleep.
3. Snoozecast: Stories for Sleep
Another great story-focused podcast with the mission of helping you sleep is Snoozecast. There’s a huge array of stories, from Peter Pan to Little Women, allowing your imagination to take over and help you debrief from the day. The episodes are designed to be played as you’re getting ready for bed as they help to create a tranquil atmosphere as your head hits your pillow and you snuggle into your favorite cozy comforter. There are a number of narrators, but each one reads at such a soothing pace with an incredibly calming tone, so it really doesn’t matter which episode you pick. And with a new episode releasing Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you will have plenty of content to help rock you to a sound sleep.
4. Get Sleepy
Get Sleepy does just as its name promises! Using a unique combination of a guided sleep meditation followed by a calming story, your mind is calmed and your body relaxes and you are able to easily drift off for a good night’s rest. The meditation, in the beginning, puts you in the perfect mental space for sleep, and the story always makes for the perfect bedtime story. They’ve really mastered the art of connecting with the listener and creating a safe space for you to relax and let go of all your worries and cares. Each episode is a masterful mix of soothing voices and calming background music. Nothing is jarring or distracting – even the ads are pleasant to listen to – ensuring that this podcast will quickly become your trusted guide to dreamland.
5. Tracks to Relax: Guided Sleep Meditation
This podcast is so focused on helping you rest and relax that it comes with a warning! Yip! This podcast should definitely not be listened to whilst driving or doing anything that requires your attention (like writing this post, ahem…), as the guided sleep meditations provided by Tracks to Relax will have you quickly drifting off to Sleepville! The combination of soothing voice and subtle background music, coupled with the guided meditation is a really effective way to prepare your mind and body for a great night’s rest. So if you are familiar with meditation, or you’re looking for an alternative method to train your brain for sleep, this podcast might just be what you’ve been searching for.
6. Sleep With Me: The Podcast that Puts You to Sleep
Ok, so this podcast sounds super forward! But Sleep With Me is actually one of the top sleep podcasts out there. In each episode, Drew Ackerman, AKA “Scooter”, monotonously rambles through his stream-of-consciousness monologues and shares boring stories to help your mind stop racing, dispel your worries and send you swiftly off to dreamland. Whether you need a safe space to put aside whatever it is that is on your mind, or you want to feel less alone in the deep dark night, or maybe you just want someone to tell you a bedtime story, Drew and his podcast are there for you. He has found a magical mix of monotonous tone, gruff voice, and boring content, and it’s no wonder this show has so many five star ratings.
The next four podcasts we have for you are ones that use ASMR as a tactic to help you fall asleep. What is ASMR? It stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, and it’s a fairly new technique that has grown in popularity all over the net, particularly on YouTube. In a nutshell, it’s that triggered, tingling feeling that starts at your scalp and makes its way along your body. For many, it causes a sense of relaxation which then helps them drift off to a sound sleep. If ASMR works for you, then check out the following podcasts.
7. The ASMR Podcast
First up, we have The ASMR Podcast. This show is a collection of stimulating audio recordings from our various guest hosts. As there are a variety of guest hosts, you might find some that work for you and others who don’t, depending on your response to their particular style and your own personal ASMR triggers, but there is plenty of content for you to try. There are episodes by Sherlock ASMR, where the tales of The Great Detective are whispered for your soothing pleasure, as well as episodes by well-known names in the ASMR world. There’s the pleasant northern accent of Northern Whispers, who experiments with singing, beatboxing, and generally offers a new and edgy take on ASMR. There are episodes by The Auracle which present multilayered tracks of a variety of sounds, as well many others offering their own unique spin on ASMR. With so much variety, you’re bound to find plenty to hit your trigger.
8. Sleep and Relax ASMR
Next up in the ASMR category is Sleep and Relax ASMR. This show features soft whispers set to tranquil background music to help ease you into a peaceful slumber. On top of that, many episodes feature other ASMR-trigger sounds, such as the trickling of water and the chirping of woodland creatures to the peaceful bells and whistles of a harbor. Even if ASMR is not “your thing”, the episodes are really peaceful, and you will feel all the stresses and worries ebb out of your mind when you pop on one of these episodes.
9. ASMR Sleep Recordings
The next ASMR podcast we feature is ASMR Sleep Recordings. The episodes on this show feature sound-perspective recordings, so again, even if you’re not really into ASMR, these episodes are incredibly relaxing – think the gentle trickle of a river or the sound of rain falling in a forest – and so are a really effective way to combat any difficulty you may have falling asleep. The episodes focus mainly on ASMR triggers found in nature, and so they are also a great way to relax or destress at any time of the day.
10. The Sleep Meditation Podcast
The Sleep Meditation Podcast is not explicitly advertised as an ASMR podcast, but we feature it here as it applies the same techniques as ASMR, with the addition of a guided meditation. You’re guided through a series of breathing techniques and vocal cues to help you switch off and slip into a deep sleep. There are a variety of sounds, so you will be sure to find those sounds that resonate with you best. The sound quality is excellent, and all the audio has been masterfully mixed together to give you the most relaxing experience possible. Definitely give this podcast a go the next time you are struggling to drift off!
A good night’s rest is vital if we want to function optimally and be on our A-game. And not getting that sleep can be damaging not only to our physical well-being but also to our mental health. So, if you, like so many, especially in this year, have a real struggle come night time to switch off, relax and drift into a deep, rejuvenating sleep, then I would highly recommend trying out some of these podcasts. Just recapping some of these shows had me yawning non-stop! Seriously! So, if you’re looking to have a great night’s sleep tonight and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day, pop in your headphones, hit play on one of these shows, and you’ll find yourself drifting off to a sound sleep in no time at all! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go catch a quick 40 winks.
PLEASE NOTE: These podcasts are not offered or advertised as cures for sleep disorders. They are just some of tools available. Please seek professional help for the correct diagnosis and recommendations should you be experiencing symptoms of a sleep disorder.
1. Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325353#stronger-immune-system
2. Sleep Education: http://sleepeducation.org/news/2014/03/10/insomnia-awareness-day-facts-and-stats
3. ScienceDaily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201118141724.htm