If you have no trouble dropping off at night and getting all the sleep you need, count yourself lucky. The rest of us, meanwhile, could use a little help, and sleep podcasts are a popular tool for anyone who needs a bit of ushering into the arms of Morpheus.
There are quite a few to choose from, but thankfully retailer Sleepseeker has revealed the best podcasts to help you fall asleep more easily. Its study ranks the top 35 sleep podcasts using a variety of metrics including rank and podcast score. The top ranking podcast is Sleep With Me, with a score of 8.77, followed by Nothing Much Happens, which scores 8.35 and is closely followed by Get Sleepy, with a score of 8.23.
The study also looked at which sleep podcasts had the most subscribers. Sleep With Me ranked number one with over 200,000 Castbox subscribers, followed by Tracks to Relax with over 50,000 subscribers and the Deep Energy Podcast with over 33,000. A lot of them are used by people dealing with insomnia, and doctors aren't immune to sleeplessness either, as one TikTok doctor shares the sleep technique that solved his insomnia.
Here are the Top 10 podcasts for better sleep, according to the study:
- Sleep With Me
- Nothing Much Happens
- Get Sleepy
- Sleep Cove
- Deep Energy
- Tracks to Relax
- The Sleepy Bookshelf
- Sleep Tight Stories
Let's take a closer look at the top three sleep podcasts:
1. Sleep With Me
Launched in 2013 and hosted by Drew Ackerman, Sleep With Me is inspired by late-night comedy radio, which Ackerman said was the only thing that helped him fall asleep when dealing with insomnia.
It’s essentially a story-telling podcast, with stories inspired by Ackerman’s childhood and beyond. Ackerman’s tone of voice and slow pace are relaxing, and what he talks about won’t get your brain fired up, giving you a better shot at relaxing and falling asleep. People who listen to the podcast swear that it helps them fall asleep faster.
2. Nothing Much Happens
Hosted by self-styled 'architect of cozy', Kathryn Nicholai, Nothing Much Happens has racked up over 65 million downloads and regularly ranks in the top 1% of all podcasts worldwide. It's a podcast of bedtime stories for grown-ups, designed to give you a chance to focus and relax at the end of the day, enabling you to feel good and fall asleep.
Kathryn has years of experience as a yoga and meditation teacher, and she brings her expertise to play by blending storytelling with brain training methods, helping you to build better sleep habits as you listen.
3. Get Sleepy
Tom Jones (not that one) is your host and guide to dreamland in the Get Sleepy podcast. Backed up by a team of writers, voiceover artists and meditation experts (along with guidance from sleep experts), he's the main voice behind a podcast of all-original stories and meditations that are perfectly crafted to help you get a good night's sleep.
Tom himself has suffered from sleep problems and is well aware of how much of a struggle it can be to still a busy mind at night, and he's learned a lot about the art of sleep over the past few years.
What are sleep podcasts and do they work?
Sleep podcasts help you feel calmer in bed, which can be tricky if experiences with insomnia, night terrors or exploding head syndrome make you feel agitated about sleeping. A good sleep podcast will distract your mind from worrying about falling asleep, so there’s zero pressure. You can access some podcasts via your sleep tracker too, depending on compatibility.
They come in a wide variety, but the most popular sleep podcasts have narrators with unobtrusive voices, who (to put it politely), drone on in the background while you lie down and relax.
If you want more bedtime stories, meditation music and sleep sounds though, we’d recommend one of the best sleep apps instead. Calm is one of our go-to apps, and as we explain in our Calm review it’s full of sleep meditations to calm bedtime anxiety.
Other ways to ensure a better night’s sleep
Your bedroom makes a difference to your relationship with sleep. If you dread entering because of past sleep struggles, you’ll build a negative association between your bedroom and poor sleep. A good sleep therapist can help you unwind a lot of the psychology around this, but in the meantime, ensure your room is as cool and stress-free as possible.
That includes picking the best mattress for your body type and the position you feel comfortable falling asleep in, as this is the position you’ll stay in the longest. No budget for a new bed but yours is lacking comfort? Try a good mattress topper instead, as these are a fraction of the cost.
Think about airflow too, as the cooler and fresher the air in your bedroom, the better you sleep. If you find white noise soothing, consider investing in a fan to circulate a breeze. You could also leave the window open, depending on outside noise and how hot it is.
Clear away clutter, dim the lights to a level you’re comfortable with, and grab your best pillow dressed in a clean pillowcase (fresh sheets help you sleep better). Then lie back, fire up your sleep podcast, and enjoy this time for yourself.
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Claire is a Sleep Editor and Certified Sleep Science Coach who covers all things related to slumber, and is the go-to person for getting great product recommendations for better sleep. As an expert mattress reviewer, Claire has tested memory foam and hybrid mattresses from a range of top-rated brands, and has extensive experience of testing bedding too. Claire regularly speaks to certified sleep specialists, such as chartered psychologists and doctors of sleep medicine, to stay on top of the research and techniques that can help you enjoy better quality sleep, and she speaks with industry specialists about the latest mattress trends and new releases. Before delving into the world of sleep, Claire was Health & Wellness Editor at Top Ten Reviews, and before that a Senior Content Editor at T3. Having suffered with insomnia for years, Claire knows how much of a difference a good night's sleep can make and is passionate about helping others to sleep better too.