Tossing and Turning? These Sleepy Songs Will Make You Drift Off Faster Than You Can Say “Melatonin”

Photo: Getty Images/yacobchuk
Pianist George Winston's rendition of "The Snowman" is my go-to tune for when I have trouble falling asleep. It's dreamy, deeply calming, and fulfills the National Sleep Foundation's (NSF) 60 to 80 beats per minute cap for music that's basically pre-gaming for slumber. Winston's tracks might as well be melatonin. (That's a compliment!) And similar sleep meditation music is ubiquitous on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music, among other platforms.

"Music is more than something that's simply enjoyable to listen to. It has a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body relax and prepare for sleep," reads the NSF's website. The foundation cites a study that found just 45 minutes of chill beats before bedtime has been found to promote longer, less interrupted sleep in older adults.

Get ready, because I'm about to geek out on why certain notes promote restorative sleep. Listening to music with between 60 to 80 BPM actually has the same effect as falling asleep itself. It slows your heart rate, relaxes your muscles, and lowers your blood pressure. "Once you integrate music into your bedtime routine, stick with it," instructs the NSF. "The positive sleep effects can build over time, as listening to your relaxing sleep soundtrack becomes a habit that cues your body to prepare for shuteye."

Ready to queue up some somnolent symphonies? Here are 4 sleep meditation music tracks to help you fall asleep.

Space Tunes

For an out-of-this-world relaxing playlist, play this ten hour selection of galactic sound that's oddly reminiscent of Sandra Bullock's vibes in Gravity before the space station snafu.

Calm Piano

This 24/7 piano stream will strike a chord (ha, get it!?) with anyone who's having a tough time chonching out.

Jazz club dreamscape

Drift off into a New Orleans-esque dreams with sedative jazz music.

Coffee shop sleep-aid

I don't know about you, but "coffee shop music" always makes me want to crawl underneath the covers. This playlist has the same feeling (without the caffeine).

Before you fall asleep, two more things. Here's why sleep FOMO might be keeping you awake, and how to use the 4-7-8 technique to make quick work of PTFO. 

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