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Best Podcasts to Fall Asleep To

Falling asleep can be a struggle, especially if you have anxiety or insomnia. But listening to the right type of podcast could help you catch some Zs right away!

What are the best podcasts for sleeping? Put on your pajamas as we guide you through our favorite podcasts to fall asleep to!

Rank Product Highlights
#1 Get Sleepy

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  • Professional creators
  • Meditation and Bedtime Stories
  • Weekly upload
  • Free
#2 Sleep Meditation Podcast

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  • ASMR soundscape
  • Meditation and short discussion on mental health
  • Offers ASMR playlists
  • Free
#3 Daily Meditation Podcast

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  • Guided meditation techniques
  • Free
  • New themes every week
#4 Mommy SOS

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  • Educational content about baby sleep for parents
  • Limited episodes
  • Free
#5 Sleep to Healthy

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  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia with exercises
  • Limited episodes
  • Free
#6 The Insomnia Project

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  • Mundane conversations with improvisational tone
  • New episode every week
  • Free
#7 Sleep Cove

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  • Sleep hypnosis and meditation
  • Free
  • Also available on YouTube
  • New episodes every week or two

What are Podcasts for Sleeping?

Podcasts for sleeping help you fall asleep faster as they activate various parts of your brain. Depending on the content you are consuming, your brain may manage the emotions, sensory processing, and the making of memories. After processing your thoughts, the brain activity slows down and off you go to dreamland.

These podcasts only work to help you sleep if they are intentionally boring. You want to choose a podcast for sleeping that you won’t pay attention to so that your brain avoids getting re-activated.

But podcasts for sleeping don’t just include boring voices. They are categorized into many formats such as:

  • ASMR Soundscape. It’s like a playlist that shows ASMR triggers like whispering, crickets, mumbles, and other relaxing sounds. The point of ASMR is to create tingling sensations in the body.
  • Storytelling. One host tells an entirely fictional story. It’s similar to reading a bedtime story to your kids before bedtime! The voice of the narrator should be relaxing and soft to help you fall asleep.
  • Theatrical podcasts. This is a stepped-up version of storytelling because there is a voice actor for every character and sound designers to immerse you. Not all theatrical podcasts aim to help you fall asleep. The quality of the voice, sounds, and other factors influence whether it is made for bedtime.
  • Conversational Podcasts. Conversational podcasts are just like radio shows that feature entertaining or informative exchanges about different topics. Sometimes, the commentary is also humorous. Some conversational podcasts are boring on purpose to make you sleepy.
  • Guided Relaxation. Whether it’s cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, hypnotherapy, or chakra meditation, this type of podcast helps you reflect, process your thoughts, and give breathing activities for better sleep. Others provided guided imagery and advice on your mental health to keep you relaxed throughout the night.

Can You Fall Asleep to a Podcast?

Yes. You can fall asleep to a podcast if the content aids in slowing down your brain activity. In a 2016 study, it was revealed that listening to stories such as podcasts can activate areas of your brain and organize the information you took in as you snooze.

This stage of shut-eye is called slow-wave sleep, where neurons sort through the important information of the day and files away from the unnecessary. After this activation, the neurons slow down, and you go into a deep sleep.

What Type of Podcast Helps You Sleep?

But not all podcasts can affect your slumber. If you’re listening to the climax of a thriller story, then your brain only gets re-activated and awake to listen to the podcast. Choose a podcast with peaceful soundscapes, guided activities for sleep, or boring narration so you can drift off more easily.

We recommend mindfulness meditation podcasts that bring your attention to the present without worrying about the past and future. It also focuses on breathing to eliminate everyday thoughts and induce relaxation. Relaxation is easier to practice when you can’t sleep at night.

How Do I Prepare to Listen to Podcasts for Sleeping?

Aside from the podcast content, your routine before bedtime also affects how easily you will fall asleep. You must already be in the right headspace so you can maximize the podcast for sleeping. Try listening to your podcast with a dark room, comfortable bed, and cool temperature.

Keep it at a low volume to avoid getting surprised or awakened by sudden sounds. Make sure there is no other exterior noise other than the podcast so that your brain only processes a few stimuli. If your room is quiet enough, you may even end up dreaming about the podcast narration!

Benefits of Listening to Podcasts While Sleeping

For the slumber-curious, here are some benefits of playing podcasts while you are sleeping.

Podcasts Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

The artistic, sensory, and tactile descriptions in podcasts have this powerful effect in making you fall asleep faster. Aside from the rate at which you sleep, the quality also improves! You’ll get in too deep without being awakened by a small movement or noise.

Simple language, ASMR triggers, absences of big volume jumps, and chit-chat are key to snatching forty winks in podcasts!

Podcasts Alleviate Anxiety

Listening to podcasts can soothe your anxiety as they distract you from your worrying thoughts at night. Instead of falling asleep anxious because of your upcoming job interview or family problems, listening to a podcast will put your mind into relaxation.

Some podcasts offer advice on dealing with mental health issues that result in sleeplessness. The experts’ approaches vary. Some help sleepers identify the reasons for their anxiety, while others mask the problem with happy thoughts. Some podcast hosts lean on the spiritual side to ease your anxiety.

Meditation

Many of us want to start with mindfulness meditation but don’t know how to. You have to close your eyes while meditating, so playing a YouTube video may compromise the quality of your meditation.

A podcast can help you unwind, increase focus, and release more oxytocin. Oxytocin is the love hormone that deals with trust, relationships, and empathy.

Free Entertainment

Some people have no problem with falling asleep quickly. Maybe they just want a good laugh after a long, stressful day at work. Some podcasts offer comedy storytelling, theater performance, or roundtable discussions that you will enjoy listening to before sleeping. They upload new episodes weekly to keep you interested and laughing at night.

The most entertaining aspect of podcasts is the back-and-forth conversation that audiobooks lack. They feel more natural, fun, and spontaneous than a structured book.

Podcasts vs. Sound Machines

Podcasts and sound machines are different in terms of their purpose and how to operate.

Podcasts are audio programs that you can access with your mobile device or computer. You subscribe to it and listen whenever you like. Unlike a sound machine, podcasts are not just there to help you fall asleep. The thousands of podcasts cater to different niches. Some are educational and informative, while others are entertaining. Spoken words are common in podcasts, although some only use ASMR triggers and music.

Here are the Pros and Cons of Podcasts

Pros Cons
  • Thousands of themes and formats to choose from (not just sleep-promoting content)
  • Accessible on smartphone
  • Free entertainment
  • Some podcasts are not made to help you fall asleep faster
  • Cannot control timer
  • No alarm

A sound machine is a device that creates natural and ambient sounds to promote high-quality sleep. Also known as a white noise machine, it features built-in alarms, a sleep timer, and looping so you can control your listening experience.

Here are the Pros and Cons of Sound Machines

Pros Cons
  • engineered for better sleep
  • compact size
  • programmable timer to turn off the device after a few minutes or hours
  • alarm to help you wake up
  • expensive
  • limited to natural and ambient sounds

What You Need for Falling Asleep to Podcasts

If you want to have the best podcast experience, here is a complete list of the things you need!

Your Smartphone Device

You are more likely to listen to a podcast on your mobile device than a tablet or laptop when you’re falling asleep. They take up less space on your bed. You just have to place the device on your bed, connect your earphones, and listen. Make sure your device is fully charged before listening to avoid interruptions.

Sleeping Headphone

Some headphones fall off easily or are too bulky to be used for sleeping. Others do not have the best audio quality, making ASMR triggers ineffective for relaxation. Sleeping headphones can help you fall asleep on your side while also blocking out noise.

There are different types of sleeping headphones out there, including bands, wireless earbuds, and 2-in-1 eye masks and headphones.

Ambient Lights

If you hate turning off the lights, keep them low instead to promote melatonin production. Choose a smart bulb that you can pair with your mobile device to select the intensity and mode of the lighting. That way, you don’t have to get up to control the brightness of your room anymore!

Therapy Lamp Light

This is optional, but if you want to personalize your sleeping routine, you can get a Sleep and Wake-Up Therapy Lamp Light. It features a sleep tracker where you document how many times you wake up while sleeping, how long you wake up, and how long you sleep. The lamp can also monitor the temperature, light, humidity levels, and noise in your room.

Best Podcasts to Fall Asleep to

Not sure which podcast to start with? We’ve rounded up the best podcasts of different types to help you fall asleep faster! Here are some of them.

1. Best Podcast for Bedtime Stories — Get Sleepy

Key features:

  • Professional creators
  • Meditation and Bedtime Stories
  • Weekly upload
  • Free

Get Sleepy will help you doze off in no time through its mix of sleep meditation and calming stories done by voice-over artists, professional writers, and sound designers. The male and female voices are smooth and satisfying when paired with soft music, giving you ASMR vibes!

They upload new episodes every week to give you a restful sleep at night. Their podcasts are free and will have you snoring even before the story starts!

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2. Best Podcast for ASMR — Sleep Meditation Podcast

Key features:

  • ASMR soundscape
  • Meditation and short discussion on mental health
  • Offers ASMR playlists
  • Free

ASMR Sleep Triggers features a Sleep Meditation Podcast that is composed of rain sounds, ocean waves, Hawaiian rainforest, driving in the rain sounds, and binaural beats to soothe your mind and body while you’re in bed. Each episode starts with a relaxing introduction and meditation by a male voice.

As you immerse yourself in the sound of nature, you are encouraged by the voice to breathe and reflect. He incorporates a discussion on mental health, even recommending therapists that might help you! This podcast is perfect for those who experience anxiety at night after a very stressful day.

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3. Best Podcast for Sleep Meditation — Daily Meditation Podcast

Key features:

  • Guided meditation techniques
  • Free
  • New themes every week

Sip and Om provides daily meditation techniques for you to end the day with only positive energy! Each episode of The Daily Meditation Podcast introduces the listener to a new theme, including chakra and its aspects that will help you manage your emotions.

There are 7 chakras that remind you of your connection to the divine. This refers to the energy that is central to your body from your spine up to your head. You’ll learn all about this in the podcast! You’ll even learn how to detox unnecessary things in your life, whether it’s your anxiety, clutter, or unhealthy food.

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4. Best Podcast for Kids and Babies —  Mommy SOS

Key features:

  • Educational content about baby sleep for parents
  • Limited episodes
  • Free

Mommy SOS is a podcast by Jennifer Howard that is perfect for parents who want to help their babies and the whole family form a healthy relationship with sleep. As a mommy, she offers the best tips for improving your baby’s sleep, which then improves your well-being as a parent.

In one significant episode of Mommy SOS, Howard discusses that crying in babies is normal as you sleep-coach them. It’s part of setting healthy boundaries. This educational podcast also has a relaxing feel to it!

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5. Best Podcast for Sleep Science — Sleep to Healthy 

Key features:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia with exercises
  • Limited episodes
  • Free

If you are diagnosed with insomnia, the Sleep to Healthy podcast provides scientific explanations about your condition and a toolbox of techniques to improve your sleep. Anchored on cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBTi, Dennis Trumpy has effective methods to help you develop healthy sleeping habits.

The free podcast allows everyone with insomnia to have access to CBTi sessions, which are usually pricey in therapy. After listening to the course package, you can go to their page for lesson summaries, more resources, assignments, and other tools.

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6. Best Podcast with Relaxing Sounds — The Insomnia Project

Key features:

  • Mundane conversations with improvisational tone
  • New episode every week
  • Free

If mundane conversations get you bored and sleepy, then a podcast like The Insomnia Project will help you slumber right away. It contains nothing but light dialogues that sound like real-life tittle-tattle. Created by insomniacs for insomniacs, each episode is about 26 minutes long to help you drift off.

Want to know why boring exchanges make you sleepy? Because you are not engaged and interested! Your mind wanders until you find yourself going to the land of nod.

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7. Best Podcast for Hypnosis — Sleep Cove

Key features:

  • Sleep hypnosis and meditation
  • Free
  • Also available on YouTube
  • New episodes every week or two

Sleep Cove is a podcast that is available on YouTube and hosted by Christopher Fitton. It’s produced with a mix of meditation music, bedtime stories, and guided hypnosis that runs for 30 to 60 minutes per episode.

This podcast features breathing techniques, guided imagery, and suggestions that will encourage relaxation and the reorientation of emotions for you to catch some Zs. The host’s voice is so soothing that you shouldn’t be driving while listening to him!

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Time to Dream!

Podcasts can help you fall asleep faster and even alleviate your nighttime anxiety. Unlike sound machines, there are different themes and formats to choose from, such as sleep science, ASMR, or hypnosis.

Want to learn more about podcasts? Comment down your questions and we’ll be happy to help!

Podcasts offer various content to induce sleep. All you have to do is discover which kind of podcast format will help you on your way to Slumberville.

Photo credit: MIA Studio/Shutterstock; More Than Production/Shutterstock;
Prostock-studio/Shutterstock; anythings/Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

Can listening to podcasts help you sleep?

Yes. Listening to certain categories of podcasts can help you fall asleep because they help power down your brain to relax you and put you to sleep.

Are podcasts good before bed?

Yes. Podcasts can clear your mind off of stress through its entertaining, informative, and meditative content. The quality of the sound, volume, and background music also affect how podcasts help you during bedtime.

What is the best thing to listen to while sleeping?

It’s different for everyone. We recommend relaxation-focused podcasts to give you a deep slumber. But if exciting content works up your sleeping woes, go for this type of podcast!