The Emma mattress brand's new Spotify album is scientifically designed to help you fall asleep – and trust me, it works

Attendees asleep at the Emma Scores of Sleep concert
(Image credit: Emma – The Sleep Company)

I fell asleep at the last press event I attended. It's not as bad as it sounds. In fact, instead of being wildly unprofessional, it was actually what the hosts were hoping for.  

The event was to launch Scores of Sleep, Vol 1 – an album that's been composed specifically to lull you to sleep. Emma (one of our best mattress brands) looked at a study exploring the characteristics of sleep-promoting music, then worked with composer Torben Brüggemann to create a series of original tracks that would provide the perfect bedtime playlist. 

The whole thing was performed live, with Torben on keyboard, along with an electronic artist and string quartet, to an audience tucked up on Emma mattresses. Sure, it's one of the weirder press events I've been to, but it certainly illustrated how effective Emma's album is: I fell asleep during the final tracks, but judging by the (thankfully quiet) snores around, I was one of the last to nod off. 

Not everyone has a string quartet to serenade them off to sleep, but Scores of Sleep, Vol 1 is available to stream for free on Spotify, so you can listen to it from the comfort of your own bed. Perhaps it'll be even more relaxing without an array of strangers snoozing nearby? I couldn't say.

Sleep music characteristics

What makes Emma's sleep album so effective? There have been a few studies exploring how we use music to regulate our behavior in everyday life, but Emma's starting point was a 2023 study from the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. Researchers analyzed over 220k tracks from Spotify sleep playlists to find common features. 

Compared with other general playlists, they discovered the sleep tracks tended to be quieter, less energetic and less 'danceable', so the listener is less motivated to move to them, as well as being more likely to be acoustic and instrumental. They also found a specific tempo (around 105 BPM) that was most relaxing. These characteristics were used to inform Emma's original compositions.

Attendees asleep at the Emma Scores of Sleep concert

(Image credit: Emma – The Sleep Company)

How to use music in your evening routine

I spoke to neuroscientist and sleep specialist Angela Kondinska, who now works on the Emma product development team, to find out more about the brand's vision for the album. She explained that the idea of releasing it on Spotify was so that people could use it how they want to, whether that's to help them relax before bed, as part of their sleep routine, or as a playlist to actually fall asleep to.

She's also keen to emphasize that one of the most important things when it comes to any aspect of your evening routine is to find something that appeals to you, rather than trying to shoehorn something in just because you've been told it should help. Lots of people find white noise soothing, for instance, but if irritates you it's never going to help you relax and sleep. (In general, Angela thinks it's time to stop micromanaging sleep.)

"The big thing is likability, so people should enjoy the songs they listen to," she says. If Scores of Sleep isn't your thing, it's far from your only choice. In fact, Emma has also curated a range of sleep playlists, in genres from pop to hip-hop, as well as rating popular artist's most sleep-inducing tunes. 

Ruth Hamilton
Homes Editor

Ruth is TechRadar's Homes Editor, reviewing and writing about everything from air fryers to vacuum cleaners to coffee machines, as well as the latest smart home gadgets. She's here to help you find the perfect kit to upgrade your home. Prior to making the shift to Homes, Ruth was TechRadar's Sleep Editor, testing and reviewing mattresses and other sleep products. She's also a Certified Sleep Science Coach.