Confession: Writing this article was hard. Because most of these sleep podcasts are so relaxing and slumber-inducing that it’s impossible to test them out without nodding off. I tried. And I might just have had some of the best naps of my life. That counts as research, right?
So with the hard work done and dusted, we’re left with a list of the best sleep podcasts out there. Some will take you straight to dreamland. Some will teach you about the science of good sleep.
And we hardly need to remind you that sleep makes you more productive, keeps you healthy, boosts your mood, and is just generally awesome for, well, pretty much everything.
Now all that’s left for you to do is jump straight in and have the best rest ever.
Can Listening to Podcasts Help You Sleep?
Before we get started, you might be asking yourself: Can listening to podcasts help you sleep?
The answer to this depends on a lot of factors, such as when you listen to the podcasts, what you want to get out of them, and how you tune in. But we think they absolutely can help you sleep if you approach them the right way.
Firstly, if you’re listening to a podcast while staring at a screen in bed, you probably won’t drift off easily. Why? Because blue light is terrible for your sleep. And while white noise can help you snooze, other noises, like people talking through earbuds, might have the opposite effect.
So how can sleep podcasts help you get more Zs? Some of these podcasts are giving you tips on how to sleep better, not necessarily encouraging you to sleep with them in the background. So if you listen to them at any point other than right before bed, you’ll get great tips that you can apply to your life for better sleep.
Others provide concrete ways to relax through guided meditations or white noise, which can help you drift off in the moment.
7 Sleep Podcasts For Anyone Who’s Constantly Tired
If you’re not relaxed, you’re going to have a hard time falling asleep. That’s sleep 101. This podcast is one of the best when it comes to relaxing guided meditations that lead you gently off to the land of nod. Why? The narrator’s voice is slow and soothing; the imagery he describes is peaceful and imaginative.
If you want to switch off your mind at night and drift into a deep sleep, this is a podcast for you.
Try this episode: Ripples Of Relaxation Sleep Meditation
There’s just something so relaxing about the sound of gentle waves lapping at a shore. In this guided meditation, the narrator takes you away to a tranquil lake setting where the sound of water and sunlit imagery will have you relaxed in no time.
Here’s another gem from Tracks To Relax — only this time the meditations are shorter and geared toward getting you to sleep stat. Because sometimes all you want to do is squeeze in a little nap on your lunch break. (And hey, that’s smart. Naps have lots of benefits.)
Try this episode: 10 Minute Power Nap Meditation
In just 10 minutes, this super-relaxing episode will guide you to a state where the tensions in your body have melted away, your mind is calm, and you’re deep in nap land. If you can even last 10 minutes without dropping off, that is.
Every month, Sleep Talk releases a new episode that delivers interesting and evidence-based information on the science of sleep. Our hosts health psychologist, Dr. Moira Junge, and sleep physician, Dr. David Cunnington, are regularly joined by experts in the field. You’ll learn all kinds of useful info about sleep that you can apply to your own life.
Try this episode: What to Eat
How does the food we eat affect our sleep quality? This episode looks at the science, delving into a bunch of topics — from the best time to milk a cow for maximum melatonin levels to the effects of a ketogenic diet on sleep quality.
Sleep Cove blends relaxing sleep meditations with guided self-hypnotherapy sessions and sleep stories, meaning there’s a wider range of sleep-inducing content to choose from. Host Christopher Fitton leads you through in a gentle and calming voice.
Try this episode: Sleep Hypnosis For Anxiety
This episode takes you from relaxed breathing to the imagery of a gently flowing stream, where your mind drifts along into a sea of peace and waves of relaxation wash over you. With each breath, your anxieties melt away, and you start counting backward from 100, and… who knows what’s next, because you’re already asleep.
ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a pleasant tingling that some people feel in the scalp or down the neck and back in response to some sensory stimuli. Often it’s triggered by whispered voices, gentle tapping, rustling sounds, etc. Sound weird? Maybe: But it’s become a pretty huge internet phenomenon of late.
The science on the calming benefits of ASMR is still scant, but at least one 2018 study concluded that it may have some therapeutic benefits.
Research aside, there’s no denying that gently oscillating fans, crashing waves, and pattering rain can be relaxing. Agree? Then this is one of the sleep podcasts you may love.
Try this episode: Relaxing Thunderstorm
Is there anything more shiveringly pleasant than being wrapped up in bed all safe and warm while a thunderstorm rumbles overhead? Personally, I’m a fan. If thunderstorms aren’t your thing though, no worries. There are literally 99 other episodes to choose from.
Sleep expert, Dr. Pixie McKenna is the host of this in-depth podcast looking at why sleep is so important and how you can get more of it. The episodes are delivered in a conversational style, with Dr. McKenna chatting to a range of experts on topics like how to beat jetlag, how to sleep when you’re stressed, and how to help your child sleep better (so you can sleep better too).
Try this episode: Is Your Daily Routine Harming Your Sleep?
This fascinating episode takes you through the effects that your routine can have on sleep. The discussion touches on circadian rhythms, napping, the importance of healthy evening routines, and how your day-time routines can affect your sleep. It’s worth a listen.
This podcast is brought to you by Casper, a bedding and mattress brand. But let’s not be deterred by that. It makes our list of best sleep podcasts because it’s well-produced, offers plenty of variety, and features lots of guest narrators plundered from various other programs and publications. The content is a mix of meditations, relaxing music, and sleep stories. Give it a listen — we bet it’ll have you snoozing in no time.
Try this episode: Nighttime Noting Meditation
If you can’t sleep, you may need a meditation for creating distance from all your distracting or worrying thoughts. Hosted by Meredith Goldstein, advice columnist for The Boston Globe’s Love Letters, this episode helps you brush away those pesky thoughts so you can get a relaxed night of shut-eye.
Your turn: What sleep podcasts have you tried? Tell us more in the comments.
For more ways to sleep better, check out our list of free sleep apps.