What to Listen to While Sleeping? 5 Things to Listen To

If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, you’re not alone. According to the Sleep and Sleep Disorder Study, about 50 percent of adults experience difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep.

In this article, we’ll discuss different things that you can listen to while sleeping. It will help you fall asleep faster and wake up with an active body and refreshed mind.

Relaxing Music

If you find it difficult to initiate and fall asleep, you can listen to music while sleeping to solve this problem. According to the National Library of Medicine, classical music or slow music can reduce sleeping problems, improve sleep quality, and even treat insomnia.

Studies show that instrumental music can reduce the rate of your pulse and decrease levels of cortisol, also called the stress hormone. Additionally, relaxing music can also lower your blood pressure and make the process of falling asleep easy.

However, it is important to make sure that you choose slow music. Fast music with high-frequency beats will make you more alert and keep you from falling asleep easily. Instead, you should listen to relaxing music with slow rhythms, and it should have 60 to 80 BMP (Beats Per Minute),

You can also listen to the Slow Radio podcast as it offers calming soundscapes and soothing music. Each episode of this podcast is 15 to 30 minutes long and it can help you fall asleep.

Nature Sounds

Listening to nature sounds while sleeping is yet another effective way to fall asleep quickly. According to the BSMS (Brighton and Sussex Medical School) research, your brain performs the rest-digest activity while listening to natural sounds.

This activity is associated with relaxation and it helps you fall asleep easily. Nature sounds also suppress inward-focused attention, which is linked with depression, stress, and anxiety.

You can listen to different podcasts that play nature sounds. One great example of such podcasts is the Deep Energy Podcast. It provides its listeners with natural sounds such as ocean waves, drums, water streams, and raindrops. You can also listen to recordings of nature sounds such as the flutter of wings, crickets chirping, and wind blowing.

You just need to ensure that the natural sounds you listen to offer gradual variations in the sound intensity. Listening to something with abrupt and sudden changes in the sound frequency will keep you from sleeping.

Human Voices

According to modern research, soft human sounds can make you feel relaxed by triggering the ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) sensation. The research also shows that about 40 percent of people can experience the ASMR sensation by listening to the soothing voices of other people.

There are many sleep podcasts (with calming human voices) that you can listen to while sleeping. These podcasts are hosted by people with incredibly soothing voices and they tell bedtime stories. 

Daily Meditation Podcast and Sleep with Me are such sleep podcasts in which hosts talk about any random topic in each episode. The combination of a soothing voice, rambling sentences, and extra tangents make these podcasts sleep-inducing.

Nothing Much Happens is yet another podcast that you can listen to. In this podcast, the host Kathryn Nicolai, a yoga and meditation teacher, tells bedtime stories so that you can doze off easily.

If you like whispering sounds, then you can listen to Sleep Whispers. It’s a sleep podcast in which the host tells different historical events and bedtime stories in hushed whispers that can help you with sleep.

Pink Noise

Pink noise is basically sound signals that combine low and high frequencies. Pink noise can help people relax and fall asleep faster.

Noises like rustling leaves, beach waves, and rainfall fall under the pink noise category. However, pink noise can also be generated artificially and there are applications such as Rain-Rain Sleep Sounds and Rainy Mood that you can use for this purpose.

According to an NCBI study, your brain generates the same brain waves during deep sleep and while listening to pink noise. It helps you spend more time in slow-wave sleep and improve your sleep quality.

Listening to these sounds while sleeping can improve your memory and recall. Additionally, some studies show that it’s easier to recall material, which you listen to just before going to sleep, than something that you learn during the day.

White Noise

In white noise, all sound frequencies are joined together using the same level of intensity. Multiple studies have been conducted to understand whether or not white noise helps with sleep. The results of these studies are mixed. However, several studies show the positive results of listening to white noise while sleeping.

For example, a National Library of Medicine study shows that white noise can reduce the time that you take to sleep by 38 percent as compared to environmental noises. It masks the background noise and can help you maintain good quality sleep.

Another study was conducted on the patients admitted to the intensive care unit in hospitals. The study shows that these patients are awakened less frequently while sleeping with white noise as compared to other patients sleeping with normal background noise.

Downsides of Using Earbuds While Sleeping

There are some drawbacks of using earbuds while sleeping that you should know. Other than making you feel uncomfortable, earbuds can also cause necrosis, especially if they aren’t a good fit or you wear them for extended periods. You can also experience the following problems if you regularly wear earbuds while sleeping.

Swimmer’s Ear

If your ears are wet and you wear earbuds while sleeping, the water will get trapped inside your ear canal. It can lead to bacteria buildup that will result in “swimmer’s ear”, an ear infection.

It is common in swimmers but you can also fall victim to this health problem, especially if you have a habit of taking a hot shower before going to sleep.

You can easily prevent this problem from occurring by making sure that your ears are dry before wearing the earbuds.

Wax Buildup

In order to keep dust, small bugs, and other environmental elements from entering the ear canal, your ear continuously produces wax. However, too much wax build-up can clog your ears which will impact your hearing ability. Read also, Why do my ears block when I sleep?

Using earbuds for extended periods means that you’re blocking wax’s exit point. It can also cause infections and earaches and that’s why it’s important to keep your ears clean.

You can also read our full guide on Is it safe to sleep with airpods in?

How to Make Listening Experience Safe While Sleeping?

There are different methods you can use to make your listening experience safe while sleeping. The first and the easiest method is to use a radio and it comes in handy if you’re a solo sleeper.

There are alarm clocks available in the market that come with built-in radio. They also have the snooze feature which you can use to set a timer. It means that the radio will automatically turn off depending on the specified time period.

Another approach is to use headband headphones. These devices come with speakers that are installed inside a headband and they don’t block your ears. You just need to wear them on your head and you’ll be able to listen to whatever you want.

It’s important to note that the sound quality of these devices isn’t as good as a traditional in-ear pair of headphones. However, if you want to listen to music or relaxing sounds while sleeping, it’s one of the best products that you can use to avoid the health problems that earbuds can cause.


How Does Music Affect You While Sleeping?

Listening to music can reduce your pulse rate as well as cortisol level. It makes you feel relaxed and allows your body to enter the sleepy state easily. But you need to ensure that you listen to music with 60 to 80 BPM. Music with higher BPM will make you more alert and active and keep you from sleeping.

Is It Healthy to Listen to Something While Sleeping?

According to studies, listening to slow and classical music while sleeping can reduce sleep problems and improve your sleep quality. However, if you use a traditional pair of in-ear earbuds, you can fall victim to an ear infection. You can use a radio or special headband headphones in order to prevent this problem from happening.

What to Listen to While Sleeping to Make You Smarter?

According to recent studies, it’s not possible to learn a new skill from scratch by simply listening to something while sleeping. However, the studies also show that your brain continues working while you’re sleeping and some sorts of learning can take place. You’ll find it easy to recall material that you listen to just before going to sleep.

Final Words

Listening to calming and relaxing music is the best thing that you can listen to while sleeping. It allows you to feel relaxed and make it easy for you to fall asleep. You can listen to nature sounds or pink/white noise for the same purpose.

People who prefer soft human voices can listen to sleep podcasts that offer soothing bedtime stories. Whatever you choose, make sure that you use a radio or specialized headphones to protect your ears from the wax buildup and infections.