The Best Sleep Sounds, According to Reddit Users
Where to Find Relaxing Sleep Sounds
Few things are more frustrating than trying to sleep while your mind's racing. As with all of life's other dilemmas, Reddit is a goldmine for anyone who wants anonymous advice for dealing with sleep problems. One Ask Reddit thread calling for tips from "former insomniacs" generated thousands of responses. Users suggested all kinds of ways they've improved their sleep environments, from weighted blankets and blackout curtains to light-blocking sleep masks. But one of the most common recommendations was to turn on calming sounds for sleep. To find your own sleep shortcut for the next time you're restless, check out these ideas from the thread.
Audiobooks and Podcasts
Many commenters on the post reported listening to either an audiobook or a podcast while trying to get to sleep. You want to choose something boring and monotone when you're trying to fall asleep. Several commenters mentioned the Sleep with Me podcast in particular, which is a bedtime story podcast made for the purpose of lulling listeners to sleep. (FYI, Headspace also rolled out bedtime stories with nonlinear storylines.) Redditor u/ananotherthing called out the British History podcast and recommended SleepPhones, soft headband earphones that are comfy to sleep in.
Multiple Reddit users rely on the most obvious solution: A sound machine. A major plus, you can use them and still follow the cardinal rule of sleep hygiene: No screens before bed. The Big Red Rooster White Noise Machine is the best-selling option on Amazon, with six sounds to help you sleep: rain, brook, ocean, thunder, summer night, or white noise. If you'd prefer to use your phone as a sound machine, consider White Noise Ambience Lite, a free app that one user recommended.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) has helped some of the users fall asleep. ASMR is a pleasant tingly feeling that some people get from seeing or hearing tapping, whispering, hair brushing, and similar actions. ASMR triggers are low volume, steady, rhythmic, and predictable. "Our brains interpret sounds with these traits as nonthreatening, which can induce relaxation," Craig Richard, Ph.D., founder of the site ASMR University and author of
, previously told us. Search "ASMR" on YouTube if you're unclear on whether you get tingles.
Multiple users suggested downloading the Mysleepbutton app to make falling asleep easier. It says a random word every few seconds (you set the interval), and you visualize each, giving your brain something to focus on that won't keep you up.
If you tend to fall asleep during boring documentaries, you should start using that to your advantage. Find a documentary or docuseries on a topic that doesn't really interest you that's narrated by someone with a soothing voice. Reddit's picks include Planet Earth II, Cosmos: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean, World War II documentaries narrated by Robert Powell, and Forensic Files. We also suggest these food documentaries or fitness documentaries on Netflix.
Sleep Apps for Babies
Relax Melodies App
Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds has rave reviews on iTunes. It lets you combine sounds to create your own sleep soundtrack, plus it has guided meditations and beats and tones designed to send your brain into a deep sleep.