Thursday, October 6, 2022

Our favorite shows, audiobooks and music to fall asleep

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If you’re like me, the last year has taken its toll on your sleep schedule. Part of it is good – if you don’t have to commute anymore, you’ve probably slept an hour or two more in the morning, or could even sneak in for a midday nap. But on the other hand, the fact that your kids are around all the time probably has you on the edge, or maybe you have to deal with frequent siren sounds outside. The antidote is a sound meant to calm you down, put you in the right headspace for a peaceful night’s sleep. Everyone has their own preferences, but I’ve highlighted a few that I’ve found particularly useful when I need to settle in and get a rest for a good night’s sleep.


I ran into this one by accident while browsing Disney +, and it’s become one of my favorite things about the service. Each episode is basically a great themed cut of clips from Disney animated movies, with the music and vocals removed to focus only on sound effects. Think Aladdin and Jasmine diving into the desert on a magic carpet, or Moana standing on the beach. It really lets you focus on the quality of the animation and sound design, like an ASMR track or direct medication. – KN

hip hop radio lofi – beats to sleep / chill to

It seems like a no-brainer, but the YouTube channel “Chilled cow” makes great playlists for your downtime. You’re probably familiar with beats to relax / study to list, but the Sleep List is a slightly quieter version that you can access on YouTube and Spotify, with new songs often added to keep it pretty fresh ( although still familiar enough not to be distracting). If you have YouTube Premium you can keep the music running even if your phone screen is off, so it is great for falling asleep. – KN

Pink noise and brown noise

Spotify has a lot of themed playlists – and I mean a lot – for every mood or mood you can imagine. And that includes a specific White Noise playlist which I have found useful for drowning out annoying sounds like my radiator. But for sleeping, I have found the Pink and Brown Noise playlists much more useful as they focus on specific types of static and pristine sounds, while the regular White Noise playlist skips, which might give you a feeling of tension. Note that in order to stream Spotify playlists to sleep, you’ll want to be Spotify Premium subscriber, so that you don’t get woken up by extremely loud advertisements. – KN


Calm is almost entirely chock-full of content that can help you sleep, and if you use it regularly, the Premium version is well worth it. Fee of $ 70 per year. Daily meditation right before bed can help put you in the right headspace to sleep, and the app has content in different lengths so you don’t have to worry about leaving your phone running all night. – or cut it too early. Everything that Tamara Levitt tells is sure to put you at peace, and I really liked the Priscilla Ahn remixes in the music section. – KN

Cozy mysterious classics and audiobooks

If you enjoyed listening to stories that were read to you as a child, audiobooks can almost recreate that nostalgia and that fantasy. Audible provides thousands of titles for every type of reader, or you can turn to digital library apps like Libby if you are willing to wait a bit for the book you have chosen to become available. Personally, I look for two things in a good audiobook before bedtime: the right genre and the right narrator. While I love to regularly read horror novels and epic fantasies on the edge of your seat, I usually turn to the classics and comfy mysteries (ish) before bed. The first includes titles like Gatsby the magnificent told by Jake Gyllenhaal and the Sprawling Sherlock Holmes Series narrated by Stephen Fry (almost anything this Briton reads can soothe you in sweet dreams). On the mystery side, Betty Rowlands’ Melissa Craig Series is just exciting enough to make you guess while Joan Walker’s warm voice continually delights (Walker also masterfully recounts many The books of Fredrik Backman, as well as relevant information from Lucy Mangan Bedtime stories for stressed adults.) – Valentina palladino


There are thousands of podcasts out there, and we all have topics that fall asleep every time. I love history, but sit me in a comfortable chair with a constant voice sharing interesting historical information and I will doze off every time. RetroPod is a show of The Washington Post, featuring capsule versions of printed stories. Each segment is nice and short, so it’s great for quick naps, and maybe you’ll absorb some knowledge in the process. – KN

The crown

My colleague Devindra Hardawar once mentioned it as her favorite show to fall asleep – and to be honest, I was a little offended because I love it. But he’s not wrong: this show has a lot of rich people arguing and wringing their hands, and you can easily close your eyes and not miss out on much of the action. The show also doesn’t rely on you knowing exactly what’s going on from moment to moment, so it doesn’t matter if you drift off and come back. KN

All creatures, big and small

To be honest, you could probably choose almost anything Masterpiece theater to fall asleep, but this recent PBS series is healthy enough for the whole family. It details the experiences of a Scottish veterinarian in rural Yorkshire in the 1930s. If you like pictures of lush countryside and many cows (and uh, hands in cows) you will find this to be a heartwarming blanket. to relax your evenings. – KN


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