In the quiet of the night, when it feels like every single being in the world is fast asleep, I lie awake staring at my ceiling. In my defence, it’s only after 3 am that I get a random burst of motivation to get my life together, which inevitably leads to A LOT of non-stop thinking. I’ve counted all the sheep, avoided taking naps during the day, even skipped the caffeine, and yet, I find myself awake long enough to witness the sunrise (which is not what I had in mind when I said I wanted to be more of a morning person).
Things changed when I discovered that I fall asleep faster to calming music or people’s voices playing in the background. “This is one of the techniques that I share with my patients in therapy. It’s called thought blocking. I usually ask them to do this using audiobooks or podcasts,” Ms Aishwarya Jain, Clinical Psychologist, Glisten Healthcare reveals. “When we come to bed, that’s usually when we tend to think about all the things that happened throughout the day or things that are particularly bothering us. Oftentimes, that is what keeps us awake at night. Usually, as a distractor, we make use of our phone, but the blue light is something that further disrupts our sleeping patterns. Whereas if you play a podcast/audiobook, it is going to serve as a good, healthy distractor. It’s recommended that you listen to something more generic, not a topic that is close to your heart so that even though your mind is engaged, it’s not something that is going to keep you awake to a point where you’re connected and eventually you’re going to be able to drift off into sleep much more easily. When it comes to music, sticking to one particular song or one particular type of calming music really helps because then your mind starts associating that song with sleep.”
Grab your blanket, cosy up, here are 6 sleep podcasts that you can listen to as you catch the zs:
From Matthew McConaughey and Rege Jean Page to Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Kate Winslet, the Calm app has collaborated with multiple celebrated voices to relax your anxious little mind by reading bedtime stories to you. You don’t just have to dream of Harry Styles anymore, now you can dream with him!
2. Sleep With Me
A one-of-a-kind podcast, Sleep With Me combines the pain of insomnia with the relief of laughing with stories that veer off in random directions with rambling sentences and a soothing monotone voice. It progressively and intentionally gets more boring and incomprehensible until you eventually doze off.
3. Nothing Much Happens
Join yoga and meditation teacher Kathryn Nicolai as she tells you stories where Nothing Much Happens. From riding down the interstate with the windows down on a sunny day to a midwinter morning when you’ve got no plans to leave the house, each episode takes you through calming experiences in great detail.
4. Deep Energy
If listening to people talk doesn’t do the trick, maybe some calming sounds will. From chirping birds to rainstorms and drums to ocean waves, the ambient new age music is designed to help you chill out and switch off. This podcast is not just for helping you fall asleep, but is also good for any time you need some soothing background music like during meditation, yoga, or studying.
5. Tracks To Relax
If you like guided meditations, try listening to Tracks To Relax which provides soothing exercises, directions, and visualizations designed to calm your mind. Get to journey through forests, waterfalls, and caverns as you make your way into deep slumber.
6. Sleep Whispers
Like the tingling feeling of ASMR? Enjoy whispered readings and ramblings with the Sleep Whispers podcast that narrates everything from cooking recipes to tranquil poems in a hushed tone that’s sure to slow down your thoughts and relax your mind.
Knowing your sleep personality or chronotype can help you maximise productivity. Click here to find out how.