The Secret to Organizing the Best Music Playlist for Sleep

Listening to soothing music before bed is one of the best ways to fall asleep. There’s strong evidence that listening to relaxing music before bed can be beneficial, but it’s important that you do it the right way. The trick is to add soothing sounds, like soothing instruments or songs and sounds that relax you. Pro tip: Songs you have on your party or hype-up playlists unfortunately don’t belong in your sleep playlist.

Instead, here are the best types of sleep music and sounds for your bedtime playlist, and an explanation of the science behind listening to music before bed.

For even more help sleeping at night, pair listening to music with yoga before bed or these six natural sleeping pills.

Read more: Best mattress of 2022

Music is a good alternative to television

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Many of us have our phones strapped to our hips these days and spend time watching our favorite shows. It’s easier said than done, but it’s best to avoid your devices an hour to an hour and a half before bed to promote better sleep. There are several reasons for this.

Blue light is emitted by technological devices like phones, laptops and televisions, but it has a negative effect on sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep). The body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock, is influenced by external cues like light and dark. The blue light signals that it is not yet bedtime, which limits the body’s natural production of melatonin.

Music is a good alternative to TV or YouTube videos because it helps distract you and soothe you to sleep without forcing you to open your eyes and watch.

Read more: How learning your chronotype can help you sleep better

Why music and sounds can help you sleep

As you may know from experience, music has the power to influence different feelings and emotions when you listen to it. According to the National Library of Medicine, a study showed that music increased oxytocin levels and feelings of relaxation. Calming listening seems to have a relaxing effect on the body, helping to make it easier to fall asleep.

The type of music you listen to makes a difference, and the best results seem to come from classical music, instrumentals, and 60 beats per minute rhythms. It’s no coincidence that you start to fall into the early stages of sleep, your heart rate drops to around 60 beats per minute. Listening to music at the same tempo can, in its own way, promote drowsiness.

8 tips for creating a good sleep playlist

Now that we know the impact of music on our sleep, let’s see how to create the perfect sleep playlist for you.

1. Sleep with slow jams

Whatever songs or instrumentals you decide to add to your music playlist, make sure they are slow. The best songs for dancing and headbanging should be avoided at all costs. Songs with piano, harp, violin and soft drums can help do the trick.

2. Enjoy the music you add to your list

Although classical music can help you fall asleep, as stated by the NIM, personal preferences are also important when choosing songs for the perfect sleep playlist. If classical music isn’t your thing, consider other slow songs or artists you already enjoy listening to. You can also explore new music by checking out sleep playlists curated by your music provider (Apple Music, Spotify, Prime Music) or what other people have on their own sleep playlists.

3. Listen to a song in its entirety before adding

Try not to include songs you’ve never heard before. Test a song before adding it to see if it suits you and sleep. Many songs have tempo changes, and you want to make sure there are no surprise guitar riffs that might wake you up. You usually want to feel relaxed when listening to a song for your playlist, so skip it if it’s not doing the trick.

smiling woman wearing headphones

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4. Try a song in another language

Not sure what the singer is saying, but that’s the point. Listening to soothing music in another language can help you feel relaxed and distract yourself from intrusive thoughts, without the lyrics making you feel negative.

5. Consider ASMR and other soothing sounds

Music isn’t the only sound that can promote better sleep. You can also try listening to ASMR or soothing sounds like crashing ocean waves or nature sounds. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and it is a sensation resulting from particular soft sounds that trigger a tingling sensation or feelings of relaxation. You can find many ASMRtists and their playlists or pre-curated nature playlists on popular music streaming services.

6. Go for 432Hz music

If you find it difficult to choose songs that help you relax, consider a 432 Hz playlist. A 2019 study found that listening to music at 432 Hz can help you relax and promote a better quality of sleep. The same study concluded that listening to this type of music can reduce sleep latency and can produce a significant calming effect.

7. Use sleep headphones

You can use a speaker on your device to listen to your sleep playlist or your headphones. However, some headphones are too bulky and uncomfortable to wear while sleeping. This list of best headphones for sleeping proved to do the job without waking us up in the middle of the night.

8. Use a sleep timer

Some apps let you set a sleep timer that stops your music playing after a certain amount of time. While soft music is beneficial for sleep, you may not want it on a loop for all hours of the night. Spotify has launched a sleep timer with instructions on how to set it, just like Amazon Music, and you can create a makeshift sleep timer for Apple Music by following these tips.

You don’t have to settle for poor sleep. Learn to make the most of your sleepor follow these steps to help you fall asleep in 10 minutes or less.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.