While some people have zero trouble falling asleep in a dark, quiet room, the rest of us need a little help. Sleep podcasts are popular here, and a new study by retailer Sleepseeker has revealed the best podcasts to help you fall asleep more easily.
The study (opens in new tab) used a variety of metrics to create its Top 35 sleep podcasts, including rank and podcast score. The Sleep With Me podcast came out on top with a podcast score of 8.77, closely followed by the Nothing Much Happens sleep podcast, with a score of 8.35. Rounding out the top three is the Get Sleepy podcast, 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.
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
Sleep With Me podcast has over 4.4 million listens
As one of the world’s most popular sleep podcasts, we aren’t surprised to see Sleep With Me ranked first. What is surprising is the gulf in the number of listens and subscribers between Sleep With Me and its competitors.
So what is it and why is it so popular? 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.
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 pain during sleep 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.