13 votes

Let's talk music to sleep to

I listen to music throughout each day but one of the most challenging things for me is finding good music to unwind and fall asleep to. What do you listen to before bed or while trying to fall asleep?

These are currently on my sleep rotation:

Sigur Ros - ( )
Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place
River Boat Sleep - Guided Meditation

I've tried listening to a lot of piano and classical but I get so invested in what they are playing that I can't fall asleep.

25 comments

  1. [6]
    ohyran
    Link
    Ok this is kinda OT but I wonder, wouldn't it be better to not listen to anything at all? Especially if you're a music enthusiast with a tendency to get invested in whatever you're listening to?...

    Ok this is kinda OT but I wonder, wouldn't it be better to not listen to anything at all? Especially if you're a music enthusiast with a tendency to get invested in whatever you're listening to?

    Have you checked out white noise or nature sounds etc to fall asleep to as a way to detach from active thought?

    (personally I never sleep in the same room as my cellphone and my sleep routine: brush teeth, watch boring video while doing that, then shower so I get kinda cold (making a warm bed more appealing) and then try to summarize the day a bit in my mind until I can go straight to pure imaginative scenarios in my head that I can easily fall asleep to and let spin out of control in my head - have been solid for years now)

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      DougM
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I've tried not listening to anything but then I just end up sitting there focusing on the fact that I can't fall asleep and before I know it, it's three in the morning. I've had some serious...

      Yeah, I've tried not listening to anything but then I just end up sitting there focusing on the fact that I can't fall asleep and before I know it, it's three in the morning.

      I've had some serious sleeping issues in the last few years and music has somewhat helped bring it in check.

      I'll try that routine though. I always sleep in the morning but I could see how crawling into bed after a shower would relax me so I'll give that a shot.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        ohyran
        Link Parent
        Ooof sleeping issues and insomnia are a pain in the neck... Hope you manage to get it sorted quickly and easily <3 (Have you checked out ambient music btw?) Below is sleep-fix suggestions, ignore...

        Ooof sleeping issues and insomnia are a pain in the neck... Hope you manage to get it sorted quickly and easily <3
        (Have you checked out ambient music btw?)

        Below is sleep-fix suggestions, ignore if unwanted:

        Had an old coworker, this docker who had worked his whole life as one (meaning early days and sometimes late nights mixed), who swore by what he called "the sleep train" - basically that sleep wasn't something you did but something you had to catch. In his case it was about building a routine of sleep times, and if he missed the "sleep train departure" he just accepted that he would have to wait until the next sleep train.
        So if his "sleep train" went at about 10 in the evening, if he had to get up at 5, and he missed that by half an hour he went up, put on some coffee and read a book somewhere else, instead of lying in bed trying to force sleep. He just waited until his NEXT sleep train, which was at midnight. When midnight came around he restarted his "boarding routine" and made sure to "catch it".
        I mean its basically a mental routine he stuck to ensuring that he would quickly fall asleep when he went to bed. Routine being key but its like all routines you have to build them up and they wont work from the first go.

        Another suggestion is making sure the routine IS a routine and your bed is your sleeping area. A close friend of mine swore that avoiding all other activity in the bed made the bed a safer sleeping spot for her ensuring her body got the message of "ok now sleep" when being in bed. No watching TV, using the phone or reading. Just sleep. (sidenote if you have and are living with your partner, it was apparently also a good way to spice up the ole lovelife if that is an issue as after a while most of that can become stale and routine (I like most 40+ married people can attest to that) and switching rooms and circumstances helps a couple/group of people/whatever get from a slump to a peak)

        Finally a note about that last bit which can be a last ditch effort method to fall asleep - especially, but not exclusively, if you're a born penishaving dude. When men orgasm we get a massive dose of prolactine which makes animals sleepy and drowsy - the level of which depends on the dude - it also defines "recovery time" so if you're a "fast recoverer" you probably get less of it after sex. The last ditch effort is basically either having sex (if you have a partner who's up for it, and tbh thats a tricky sell "But honey, I really need to sleep!") or playing the one-man-band full orchestra.
        Sidenote about that though: for some reason, and no one really knows why, men release four times as much prolactine after partnered sex than masturbation. Now we all (men, women, etc) get a sleugh of other chemicals when we orgasm that helps with sleep so whatever you are, it can be a good panic method.

        3 votes
        1. DougM
          Link Parent
          Wow, thank you so much for all the info! I will dig through it tonight. Yeah, I think one of my biggest challenges is I don't really have a "bedtime routine."

          Wow, thank you so much for all the info! I will dig through it tonight. Yeah, I think one of my biggest challenges is I don't really have a "bedtime routine."

    2. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      If I listen to something familiar enough, I will fall asleep. But that is only if I have had a deep listening fairly recently. But a lot of my music is very emotional and tied to a story of some...

      If I listen to something familiar enough, I will fall asleep. But that is only if I have had a deep listening fairly recently.

      But a lot of my music is very emotional and tied to a story of some sorts, so trying to sleep to music can sometimes lead to me staying up at night crying at whatever small relevation I just experienced.

      And that is why I sleep to silence.

      1 vote
      1. DougM
        Link Parent
        Oh, man does this ring true for me as well. Someone times I will throw on the wrong album and I'll be up for hours.

        Oh, man does this ring true for me as well. Someone times I will throw on the wrong album and I'll be up for hours.

  2. [2]
    asoftbird
    Link
    l sometimes listen to minimalistic ambient, like The Hummer by Devin Townsend. Dude's got a huge range of different genres (though mostly metal) but also has very dreamy ambient country music.

    l sometimes listen to minimalistic ambient, like The Hummer by Devin Townsend. Dude's got a huge range of different genres (though mostly metal) but also has very dreamy ambient country music.

    3 votes
    1. DougM
      Link Parent
      Awesome, thanks for the recommendation. I'll give that a shot.

      Awesome, thanks for the recommendation. I'll give that a shot.

  3. [2]
    bleem
    Link
    I love listening to history shows. I could probably say I've learned more history over the last 15 years from going to bed listening than I did in school.

    I love listening to history shows. I could probably say I've learned more history over the last 15 years from going to bed listening than I did in school.

    3 votes
    1. DougM
      Link Parent
      I actually am thinking about trying this with the Hardcore History podcast.

      I actually am thinking about trying this with the Hardcore History podcast.

  4. [2]
    Bal
    Link
    Ambient as a genre is very well suited for this in my opinion. Some personal favourites include: Stars of the Lid - Tired Sounds of; and And Their Refinement of the Decline Jónsi & Alex - Lost and...

    Ambient as a genre is very well suited for this in my opinion. Some personal favourites include:
    Stars of the Lid - Tired Sounds of; and And Their Refinement of the Decline
    Jónsi & Alex - Lost and Found (especially because you mentioned Sigur Rós!)
    Nicholas Szczepanik - Please Stop Loving Me

    There are also several albums created specifically for sleep. These include:
    Robert Rich - Somnium
    Max Richter - Sleep

    3 votes
    1. DougM
      Link Parent
      Thank yous so much. I plan on sitting down and going through a lot of the recommendations that I have received on here.

      Thank yous so much. I plan on sitting down and going through a lot of the recommendations that I have received on here.

      1 vote
  5. krg
    Link
    Grouper. Queue up all her albums. Also, Celer. The trick is to keep the music barely audible. Just enough to kind of follow along. Your concentration goes into making out what's playing, allowing...

    Grouper. Queue up all her albums.

    Also, Celer.

    The trick is to keep the music barely audible. Just enough to kind of follow along. Your concentration goes into making out what's playing, allowing you to drift into sleep.

    3 votes
  6. [3]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    Something I had luck with when I was having trouble falling asleep was putting on random gentle piano music on Pandora. There's lots of very peaceful instrumental piano out there, and it was...

    Something I had luck with when I was having trouble falling asleep was putting on random gentle piano music on Pandora. There's lots of very peaceful instrumental piano out there, and it was something to keep my mind at ease while my body wound down. Just seed it with the calmest stuff you can find, and it'll pretty much stick with it.

    2 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      The downside is when you realize you've become a fan of Ludovico Einaudi. And now you are into this kind of music that all your friends don't get and you don't have the ability to explain why the...

      The downside is when you realize you've become a fan of Ludovico Einaudi. And now you are into this kind of music that all your friends don't get and you don't have the ability to explain why the music is so good.

      This may or may not be a personal anecdote from my childhood. 😺

      4 votes
    2. pvik
      Link Parent
      I find the spotify's Peaceful Paino playlist pretty good too.

      I find the spotify's Peaceful Paino playlist pretty good too.

      3 votes
  7. sqew
    Link
    My favorites for that are the soundtrack for Interstellar and Songs of Distant Earth by Mike Oldfield. I know both so well at this point that they just fade into the background. Overall, though, I...

    My favorites for that are the soundtrack for Interstellar and Songs of Distant Earth by Mike Oldfield. I know both so well at this point that they just fade into the background. Overall, though, I usually try to not listen before going to sleep, as I find that just laying silently is often the quickest path to sleep.

    2 votes
  8. UniquelyGeneric
    Link
    I tend to listen to electronica or light psychedelic rock. Anything a little spacey and loose. I haven't tried it personally to fall asleep, but you might want to give Mother Earth's Plantasia. If...

    I tend to listen to electronica or light psychedelic rock. Anything a little spacey and loose.

    I haven't tried it personally to fall asleep, but you might want to give Mother Earth's Plantasia. If it's intended for plants, maybe it'll help slow your mind down as well.

    2 votes
  9. tomf
    Link
    SF1033 from SomaFM is pretty great. It's light ambient music with the SF police scanner over top... with reverb. :) Illinois Street Lounge is another SomaFM station I like for late night. If...
    • SF1033 from SomaFM is pretty great. It's light ambient music with the SF police scanner over top... with reverb. :)
    • Illinois Street Lounge is another SomaFM station I like for late night. If you're into exotica, jazz, etc, it's perfect. Unlike Luxuria, you'll rarely get a track that stands out enough to be distracting.
    • Any of the lofi hip hop / chillwave / futurebeats playlists on Spotify, Google Music, Youtube, etc are great.

    For my sleep music I use a Google Home. It works well. I have a bed routine that turns off all but one light, then makes that light a super dim red.

    That Sigur Ros record is killer. All of their records are great -- but ( ) is truly exceptional.

    2 votes
  10. TinmanJones
    Link
    I’ve got a few that could fill the dreamy and nocturnal vibe... 夕方の犬(U ・ェ・) - ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ♡ 2814 - 新しい日の誕生 Stan Getz & João Gilberto -...

    I’ve got a few that could fill the dreamy and nocturnal vibe...

    夕方の犬(U ・ェ・) - ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʕ•̫͡•ʔ•̫͡•ʔ♡
    2814 - 新しい日の誕生
    Stan Getz & João Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto
    Astrud Gilberto - The Astrud Gilberto Album
    Basic Channel - Quadrant Dub (especially the first track)
    Duster - Stratosphere
    Debussy’s Piano Works
    Bark Psychosis - Hex
    Bedbug - if i got smaller grew wings and flew away for good

    If I think about it I could get you some more... but these pop into mind first. I’m not too sure if a lot of these are your style but I reckon they’d make for very good falling asleep music. Wish you happy and recuperative nights !

    2 votes
  11. culturedleftfoot
    (edited )
    Link
    Fruddle has been probably one of my top three finds ever on Youtube. I initially found the channel years ago when searching for relaxing music that I could work to without distraction, but they...

    Fruddle has been probably one of my top three finds ever on Youtube. I initially found the channel years ago when searching for relaxing music that I could work to without distraction, but they also have a series of 2-hour compilations specifically of sleepytime music. It's all video game music, which may or may not float your boat, but since VGM is basically designed to provide atmosphere without ever commanding your focus, it should be pretty much perfect for you. Beyond that, Fruddle has, hands down, the best-curated VGM mixes on YT - impeccable taste and masterfully sequenced. I've never really had to use the sleepy mixes myself, but based on both what I've sampled sporadically and the phenomenal quality of the relaxing mixes, I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them.

    1 vote
  12. moocow1452
    Link
    Not a music, but the Sleep with Me podcast is great to listen to because it hits this mix of predictability and familiarity, but it's not boring to turn off or too engaging to pay attention, and...

    Not a music, but the Sleep with Me podcast is great to listen to because it hits this mix of predictability and familiarity, but it's not boring to turn off or too engaging to pay attention, and episodes are biweekly so that you can have a rotation.

    1 vote
  13. wervenyt
    Link
    Easy answer: Mort Garson - Mother Earth's Plantasia The more recent trend in hip-hop/trap of simple melodic loops has been a blessing for this purpose, too. Stuff like Drip Too Hard, for example.

    Easy answer:
    Mort Garson - Mother Earth's Plantasia

    The more recent trend in hip-hop/trap of simple melodic loops has been a blessing for this purpose, too. Stuff like Drip Too Hard, for example.

    1 vote
  14. SkewedSideburn
    Link
    Usually I don't listen to anything, but when I had trouble sleeping due to stress, Robert Rich was working wonders for me. Try Somnium

    Usually I don't listen to anything, but when I had trouble sleeping due to stress, Robert Rich was working wonders for me.
    Try Somnium

    1 vote
  15. 0x4A
    Link
    My personal recipe is something like No Such Thing As a Fish or even a stand-up special I've heard a hundred times, with Dark Noise playing quietly underneath. I tend to pay too much attention to...

    My personal recipe is something like No Such Thing As a Fish or even a stand-up special I've heard a hundred times, with Dark Noise playing quietly underneath.

    I tend to pay too much attention to music for it to let me turn my brain off, but voices put me right out, especially if it's something I'm already familiar with and it's "smoothed out" with some additional background noise.

    1 vote