The sound of bacon frying might help you sleep, according to an expert

A man lying in bed listening to white noise through headphones
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I'm a sleep writer, so I spend a lot of time researching the best ways to drift off. From choosing the best mattress to freezing your bed sheets, people have come up with a wide variety of ways to induce slumber (some more valid than others). But listening to the sound of bacon cooking? That might be a new one.

Playing the sound of bacon in bed is what Sammy Margo, sleep expert at Dreams, recommends for those struggling to drift off. "A good night’s sleep can improve so much in various aspects of our lives," says Sammy. And introducing a bit of ASMR is an easy addition to your bedtime routine that might have a big pay off. 

But why bacon? It's not because bacon rashers are inherently relaxing, but because the crackle and splutter of the frying pan hits the right repetitive frequency for keeping you calm. Studies have shown listening to ASMR can be particularly helpful for those trying to sleep when stressed, and cooking bacon – something many people associate with being happy at home – might be just the right type of noise.

A woman sits on a bed in a dark room, typing on a laptop

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of course, it doesn't have to be bacon. You could listen to sausages, donuts, tofu, veggie bacon... you can even expand beyond the kitchen. Sammy also suggests whispered conversations and crisps crunching, which have a similar repetitive effect but operate on different frequencies.

Does it work? I'll be completely honest – I was doubtful. But after accidentally leaving the video below, of frying bacon, looping in a forgotten tab for a solid hour of my working day, I can see the benefit. While I didn't drift off (I was still at work), I did find it to be surprisingly relaxing and unobtrusive. 

It also didn't make me hungry, which had been a concern. With the sound removed from the context, it was reminiscent of the sputtering and sizzling of a campfire – another excellent ASMR source.

While using white noise for sleep has been popular for a while, ASMR takes a new approach, moving away from boring bedtime playlists. ASMR favorites are the sounds you might hear everyday, and they help trigger that relaxing calm we all want when we sleep. And who doesn't feel content when there's a big pan of bacon waiting for them to get stuck in?

One final thing to note: listening to bacon might be a good bedtime routine activity, but eating bacon before bed is not recommended. Lying down after eating is bad as your body struggles ot digest food in this position, so you might find heartburn and indigestion hit right as you were about to drift off. Also, a healthy diet is important for good sleep, and as much as we might want it to be, a bacon sandwich is not a healthy snack.

Headshot of Sammy Margo
Sammy Margo

Sammy Margo, MSc MCSP MMACP HCPC AACP, established her physiotherapy practice 25 years ago and is a spokesperson for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. During her time treating patients, Sammy’s interest in sleep began to grow. She discovered that a good night’s sleep can have a significant impact on an individual’s healing process. With her hands-on experience, she went on to found The Good Sleep Expert.

Ruth Jones
Staff Writer

Ruth is TechRadar’s Sleep Writer. She’s here to help you find the perfect sleep setup for your budget and personal preferences. As well as keeping a keen eye on everything that’s going on in the world of mattresses, she regularly speaks to experts to help you learn how to improve your sleep habits, whether that’s by debunking sleep myths or explaining the science behind it all. Prior to joining the TechRadar team, she wrote features and product guides for new parents hoping to get a decent night's sleep, as well as writing for a variety of online spaces.