For some people, drifting off into a peaceful sleep can be a frustrating experience. With so many modern distractions and stresses, it can sometimes feel impossible to calm your mind and let yourself drift off.
Some people require absolute silence and darkness to sleep, but for others, music can be a great way to close your eyes, relax and switch off.
If you’re a person like this, or perhaps you just want to try something new to help you sleep, then you might be wondering what kinds of music are best to listen to.
In this article, we’re going to be breaking down the 10 best albums that can help you drift off and get a good night’s sleep. We’ve made sure to include a variety of albums, but all of them feature aspects that will make you sleep easier.
We’ve also included a short FAQ that will help answer any additional questions you might have left over.
What Makes A Good Album To Sleep To?
Everyone is different, and some people can sleep to just about any genre or type of album. But there are a few classic things that separate an album you might want to listen to during the day, from one you can easily sleep to.
We’re going to break down a few of these aspects for you in the space below.
Volume: Volume can be something you set yourself, but it’s also something that songs feature. You’ll probably want to make sure the song you’ve chosen isn’t too loud in terms of things going on.
For example, a heavy metal song with lots of distorted guitars and screaming isn’t going to put you in the right mindset for sleep. It’s better to pick something with soft, soothing instruments.
Tempo: A fast song is going to make your mind race more than a slow one, which is why a lot of the albums we’ve chosen tend to feature much softer songs.
Lyrics: Soothing words can send you to sleep, but more often than not the fewer words the better. For this reason, we’ve chosen a lot of albums that lean heavily on instrumentals versus a lot of different lyrics.
Sound Design: We also made sure to choose albums that have a calmer sound design.
Abrasive guitars, excessive drums, and bellowing vocals are all great musical tools, but when you’re trying to sleep it’s better to have something softer to lull you into relaxation.
The Top 10 Albums For Sleep
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
To start off we’ve gone with a fairly sad album, but one with a lot of very calm guitar/vocal duets which will allow you to drift off.
Bon Iver has a very soft, calming voice, and the lyrics – whilst present throughout the album – are very downplayed. This album was made in isolation in a cabin in the middle of the woods, and its sound design perfectly reflects this.
Sigur Rós – Ágætis Byrjun
We once heard Sigur Rós described as the soundtrack to heaven. This album is their breakthrough project and can be described as a mix of post-rock, ambient, and dream pop.
There are a few loud parts of the album, but it’s mostly very calming and delicate and is the perfect thing to send you to sleep.
Tycho – Dive
Tycho had been making music for a while, but it wasn’t until the Youtube upload of his sophomore album Dive that he really started to go viral and take off.
Dive is in many ways a classic Chillwave album, with gorgeous, relaxing soundscapes that conjure images of frozen landscapes and deep red sunsets (just like the iconic album cover).
This is a perfect album if you want to feel cozy and calm as you curl up in bed.
The XX – The XX
The XX’s moody duets are a perfect soundscape for you to fall asleep. Expect very moody instrumentals and soft-spoken lyrics.
This album is going to allow your mind to slow down, reflect, and eventually drift off. The main themes of this album involve love and relationships.
Owl City – Ocean Eyes
This is arguably Owl City’s most accomplished release and is a great introduction and revival of synth-pop. Owl City started making music as a way to cope with his lifestyle struggle with insomnia, so all of the songs have a dreamy feeling.
One thing to note here is that a few of the songs on this album are quite upbeat, so it’s best to have it on quietly if you choose it as your sleeping album.
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon
This is another album that has some fairly noisy parts, so it’s only one to pick if you’re the kind of person that can sleep to that. We’ve chosen this album because it is often described as a psychedelic dreamscape.
If you’re really struggling to sleep it can be a great album to focus on, with many sections allowing you to completely sink into the music and drift off.
Radiohead – Kid A
Radiohead has a lot of varied albums that feature many different sounds, but arguably their most low-key and delicate is Kid A.
Off the bat we’d like to mention that this album is fairly depressing, but it also features some very soft soundscapes and lullabies that allow you to drift off.
We wouldn’t recommend other Radiohead albums for sleep though, as they tend to involve some pretty heavy sounds and faster-paced songs. But if they’re your favorite band – as they are for so many people – you might think differently!
Frank Ocean – Blonde
The enigmatic and extremely talented Frank Ocean has only put out two albums as of the time this article was written, with third nowhere in sight.
Blonde is often regarded as his masterpiece, and for the most part, it is a very low-key album with a lot of moody ballads. If you find incredible vocals relaxing, then this is going to be a great one for you to pick.
There are some louder parts, but its sound design mostly features calming electronics and guitar backings.
Connan Mockasin – Caramel
A guitar can be one of the most soothing instruments if played in the right way, and nobody plays it in a more unique way than Connan Mockasin.
With quiet, subtle singing and odd, bending guitars, this is an album you can play at a low volume and let take you on a long journey into the night.
Jack Johnson – Bushfire Fairytales
If you’re looking for something calm involving a guitar and low-key vocals, Jack Johnson might be the perfect one for you.
There’s something inherently calming about his music that just makes you feel happy, no matter what stress you have going on in your life.
Nick Drake – Pink Moon
This album by Nick Drake is a favorite for people to sleep to, because of its calm folk sound and short runtime. Expect a lot of forlorn lyrics and folky guitar ballads.
Nick Drake’s voice is very soft and calm, and the guitar never rises to the point where it’s abrasive. This is a great album to put on a low volume and close your eyes to.
So there you have it! That was our top 10 picks for albums that are good for sleeping to. It’s important to remember that it’s sometimes best to pick music that is good for you.
If it’s an album that comforts and calms you, then it’s probably going to be a good accompaniment for sleeping. If you’re not sure, then it’s best to opt for soothing, low-key music with soft sounds.
We hope that this list has given you some ideas for the best albums to sleep to, and we hope that one of them puts you into a long, deep sleep. If you still have some questions about this list, check below for our short FAQ section for some answers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Music Help You Sleep?
This really depends on the person. There are some people who find that they can’t sleep without it, and for others, even the smallest sounds in their bedroom will keep them up all night.
Music is generally good at relaxing you before you try to sleep, but it can work to varying degrees depending on your own personal habits and sensitivity to noise.
What Are The Best Genres To Sleep To?
Some of the best genres to sleep to include Acoustic, Chillout, Chillwave, Lullabies, White Noise, Binaural Beats, Lof-fi Hip-hop, Ambient, and Synth-wave.
What Are The Best Sounds To Sleep To?
If music is too much for you, then you might prefer some simple sounds to listen to instead. These can be less stimulating than music and lull you to sleep.
Some of the best sounds people find helpful include ocean sounds, rainfall or storms, classical piano, white noise, space sounds, and ASMR.
What Is ASMR?
ASMR stands for ‘Autonomous sensory meridian response’ and is usually defined as a good feeling that is combined with a tingling sensation, often causing you to relax.
Some music can cause this, but often ASMR can be experienced through albums created specifically for it, or from various videos across the web. Some people find ASMR very useful for sleep.
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