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The best podcasts to fall asleep to

Soothing sounds to ease you into slumber...

The best podcasts to fall asleep to
26 May 2024

Whether it’s ambient noise or the sound of falling rain, more and more people seem to be relying on a soundtrack to send them off to sleep. But sometimes whirring minds need a little something extra to cling onto before they can let you sleep.

Just like a lullaby or a bedtime story, the right podcast for sleep is often interesting enough to distract us from our thoughts, but gentle enough to send us to the land of nod.

At the very least, the narrator’s dulcet tones will lull you into a state of relaxation, and you may just learn something mildly interesting along the way. Not too stimulating, not too boring, here are 10 of the best podcasts to listen to when you need an extra helping hand to get to sleep.

10 best podcasts to fall asleep to

10 best podcasts to fall asleep to

1. Nothing Much Happens

Listen now at Audible

This podcast centres around bedtime stories for grown ups where, er, nothing much really happens. The point of each tale isn’t to build intrigue or suspense, but to set you at ease in its pleasant monotony. It's narrated by Kathryn Nicolai - a meditation and yoga instructor. Topics include a gently ripening bowl of fruit, a neatly made bed, and the joy of a peaceful Sunday. Conjuring up images of the content, the cosy and the pleasant, you’ll happily fall into a relaxing doze as you listen to these comfortingly uneventful stories.

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10 best podcasts to fall asleep to

2. Boring Books for Bedtime

Listen now at Audible

This one does exactly what it says on the tin. Every week, a new episode of Boring Books for Bedtime drops, offering listeners soothing insights into some of the world’s most obscure, niche and downright dull books. Enjoy excerpts from ‘Bicycling for Ladies’, advice on how to build an economical cottage, and learn all there is to know about parrots - all read in Sharon Handy’s delightfully calming voice. Plus, every episode is ad-free, so there’ll be no rude awakenings from the usual suspects.

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10 best podcasts to fall asleep to

3. Sleep Cove

Listen now at Audible

Sleep Cove is a great option for the mindfulness crowd. Created by Christopher Fitton after years of working as a hypnotherapist, this podcast focuses on meditation and hypnotherapy to try and coax you into a relaxing and intentional sleep. Through a combination of sleep hypnosis, mindfulness exercises and bedtime stories, this podcast aims to not only deliver you a restful night’s sleep, but also help you establish positive habits and reduce the impact of stress and anxiety on your slumber.

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10 best podcasts to fall asleep to

4. Sleep With Me

Listen now at Audible

As the cheeky title may suggest, this podcast for sleep has a sense of humour. It brilliant toes the line between tedium and comedy. Sleep With Me has amassed a bit of a cult following thanks to its clever concept, witty content and, most importantly, efficacy at sending people to sleep. Featuring lighthearted - albeit sometimes convoluted - stories and singsong advertising jingles that don’t interrupt the sleepy flow, this podcast will have you smiling one minute and snoozing the next.

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10 best podcasts to fall asleep to

5. Goodnight, World!

Listen now at Spotify

Though aimed at kids, anyone who grew up watching Sesame Street is sure to love the nostalgia of this podcast, produced by mindfulness masters Headspace. This collab between one of the world’s most successful mental health apps and everyone’s favourite puppets is bound to help you sleep like a baby. It features bedtime stories told by Big Bird, the Count and, of course, Elmo, there’s no denying there’s serious comfort to be had by taking a step back into childhood.

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10 best podcasts to fall asleep to

6. Lights Out Library: Sleep Documentaries

Listen now at Audible

This podcast will pique your interest initially and then have you snoring in seconds. These ‘Sleep Documentaries’ span a range of topics, from Greek mythology to outer space and everything in between, so there’s bound to be something in there that takes your fancy. Each episode is narrated in a soothing voice and goes into granular detail on its chosen subject. No matter if you’re a dinosaur nerd or a science enthusiast, eventually the minutiae will win and you’ll be sound asleep before the story ends.

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10 best podcasts to fall asleep to

7. Sleep Life

Listen now at Spotify

Probably the most meta podcast on the list, not only will Sleep Life help you to drift off, it will tell you how and why. On the surface, the tone is relaxing and soothing, but there are some fascinating insights to be gleaned on the subject of sleep too. It includes interviews with scientists, journalists, authors and sleep experts — a genuinely interesting listen if you want to understand how to achieve good sleep hygiene and the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.

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If you love BBC radio, this is the podcast for you. Slow Radio takes all the best things about falling asleep to the sound of the car radio and puts them into one series. Enjoy a mix of tranquil tunes, soothing voice overs and peaceful field recordings from some of the most beautiful places on Earth. Listen to the insides of a beehive and the mechanisms of a clock or immerse yourself in soundscapes from the Himalayas, Harlem and the Highlands.

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If you just can’t get enough of ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘House of the Dragon’ this is the sleep podcast for you. Despite the tense, gruesome and, often, outrageous plot points of this beloved TV series, Game of Drones manages to deliver a dose of drama without being overstimulating. Each episode is around 90 minutes long and goes into excruciating and unnecessary detail recapping the episode at hand. We dare even the most die-hard fans to try and stay awake.

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10 best podcasts to fall asleep to

10. Sleep Whispers

Listen now at Audible

This one may not be for everyone. However, if you’re a lover of all things ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), Sleep Whispers will delivers all those delicious scalp tingles as you drift off. Lie back and relax as host ‘Whispering Harris’ regales poetry and bedtime stories, as well as a range of Wikipedia articles and even listener feedback. They say content is king, but this podcast is all about the delivery.

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