10 Podcasts to Help You Sleep Better Tonight
Having trouble getting enough rest? These are some of the best sleep podcasts that’ll have you drifting off to dreamland.
Get Cozy With These Sleep Podcasts
Did you know that one in two Canadians have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep? If you’re part of the half that’s sick of counting sheep, these are the best sleep podcast you’ll want to add to your evening playlist. From bedtime stories to meditation, the intimacy of podcasting makes for calming, sleep-inducing episodes.
Nothing Much Happens
Bedtime stories are not just for kids. On Nothing Much Happens, adults are invited to listen and enjoy them as well. The premise of the stories vary, from a chance encounter at a drive-in movie theatre to a day of hard gardening work, but there’s one constant across all episodes: nothing much happens. New stories are released every Monday, and each episode runs for half an hour. Host and writer Kathryn Nicolai uses her background as a yoga and meditation expert to blend storytelling with narration methods to train your brain to have better sleep without you even realizing. Her soft, raspy whisper and slow-paced stories will have you relaxed in mere minutes, so make sure you tune in after you’re all tucked in.
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Get Sleepy: Sleep meditation and stories
Tom Jones is no stranger to sleep problems himself, which makes him (and his soothing British intonation) a perfect and understanding host for a sleep podcast. Jones has a background in music and audio, and has been working on sleep-related content since 2018. That year, he started his own local radio show to help those like himself who just can’t keep their mind quiet. Get Sleepy: Sleep meditation and stories is released twice weekly and weaves moments of meditation and visualization into dreamy and relaxing bedtime stories designed to send you off into a deep sleep. The episodes all fall into the 45-minute range and are written by a creative team in consultation with leading sleep experts. From stories about scooping ice cream to exploring the historic city of Fez, Morocco, Get Sleepy: Sleep meditation and stories is bound to make your eyelids heavy.
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Game of Drones
As the name suggests, Game of Drones is a podcast that recaps every episode of the hit television series, Game of Thrones. While this might sound riveting to GOT fans, you shouldn’t be fooled—these 90-minute-long recaps are rambling and full of tangents. Essentially, the goal is to bore you to sleep by distracting you from the thoughts that are keeping you awake thanks to host Drew “Dearest Scooter” Akerman’s lulling drawl. Although this podcast isn’t producing any new episodes now that it’s covered the entire show, there are still plenty to keep you busy, or rather, sleepy.
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Sleep with Me
Sleep with Me is another one of Scooter’s podcasts that combines the pain of insomnia with laughter. A librarian-turned-podcaster, Scooter has been skillfully telling sleepy stories since his summer camp days. As a child, he often had trouble calming his anxieties and only fell asleep when he listened to comedy radio shows. He wanted to provide the same relief for others, and has now hosted and created several sleep podcasts. In these hour-long episodes released twice a week, Scooter tells stories that get progressively more boring as they go on…you’ll be nodding off before you know it! From attempting to explain Star Wars: Return of the Jedi from memory to new takes on classic childhood tales, Sleep With Me recreates the dreamy feeling of being a kid at a sleepover and falling asleep to your friends’ chatter as you recover from a sugar coma.
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Deep Energy Podcast
Does the sound of people talking keep your mind racing? Try musician Jim Butler’s Deep Energy Podcast, which blends New Age electronic music and progressive ambient music for an equivalent to an earful of melatonin. New episodes full of endless soothing beats are updated daily to help relax the senses. Bonus: It’s also good background music for ultra chill meditation and massages. Queue them and listen to the episodes one after another for hundreds of hours of calming vibes.
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Tracks to Relax
If meditation is what transports you into a deep slumber, look no further than Tracks to Relax, a sleep meditation podcast hosted by Alan Crossley, a master hypnotist and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner (someone trained to help change thoughts and behaviours). Every Wednesday, Tracks to Relax releases hour-long sleep meditations, and every Saturday, they offer 30-minute nap podcasts to satisfy both your long- and short-term sleep needs. While some are guided meditations with whale sounds, rainfall, or tropical oases in the background, others are stripped of the soothing voices and focus on ambient noise. No matter what your meditation mood is, Tracks to Relax has something for just about every type of sleeper.
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Headspace Sleepcasts is another great show for meditation fans. Though they require a subscription to the meditation and wellness app Headspace, there are few free ones you can test out before you take the leap and subscribe. These 45 to 55-minute “sleepcasts” begin with a wind-down meditation exercise and then offer a narration of a dreamy landscape, ranging from desert campfires to sleepy towns at night. They’re all voiced by Andy Puddicombe, a meditation and mindfulness expert whose slow-paced narration will have you drowsy in a flash. A unique feature of the sleepcasts is that they’re remixed every night so you’ll never be able to memorize the descriptions and use it to mark the passage of time (which could make it harder and more stressful to fall asleep).
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On A Dark, Cold Night
Horror-loving insomniacs rejoice! Kristen Zaza’s podcast, On A Dark, Cold Night, is a dream come true for people who love to be scared into sleep. A writer, composer, and performer, Zaza is behind the soundtrack and content production of these episodes. Why horror? There’s nothing like bedtime ghost stories to get you reaching for the covers and curled up tight in bed! These weekly episodes are “eerily comforting,” according to one reviewer. The stories are told by the ominous “Your Narrator” and are haunting, yet gore-free, and somehow soothing for many listeners. Just beware; the creepiness might not work for everyone. For some scaredy-cats, these stories might keep you up all night…
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Although Hardcore History is not a podcast explicitly meant to help you sleep, it’s a perfect solution for people who just couldn’t keep their eyes open during lectures at school. Political commentator and podcaster Dan Carlin’s impressive storytelling skills make hours of history interesting, but if that’s not your thing, this podcast might make you drift off like you’re right back in the classroom. Since they’re all fairly long—think three to five hours—and require tons of research, Carlin only releases new episodes twice a year. But don’t fret—he’s been making them since 2016 so there’s ample material to keep you dozing peacefully.
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The ASMR Podcast
ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a tingling feeling that you can get from certain sensory experiences. While these experiences differ for everyone, many people report experiencing ASMR from noises such as whispering or chewing—and some even find that it helps them relax enough to drift off to dreamland. The ASMR Podcast is true to its name and offers stimulating audio recordings from various guest hosts. Choose from many different series, including Whisper You To Sleep, in which affirmations and compliments are softly whispered to help your eyelids droop.
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