The bedtime playlist that could help insomniacs fall asleep

A from above view of a happy Asian female in pajamas napping peacefully with  headphones on her head.
Listening to music before bed can help relax you and send you into dreamland. (Getty Images)

Nearly everyone will experience difficulty falling asleep at some point in their lives, but if you suffer from insomnia, getting to sleep can be the hardest thing in the world.

Insomniacs regularly find it hard to go to sleep, or to go back to sleep after waking up during the night. The condition can be caused by a number of factors, including stress, anxiety or depression, as well as uncomfortable sleeping conditions.

However, one potential way to combat insomnia is to listen to music that can help you drift off. Multiple studies have shown that listening to music can reduce stress and help people relax.

The type of music you listen to also makes a difference. A 2023 study by researchers at the University of Vienna found that listening to happy or uplifting music in particular can boost a person’s mood when they’re anxious, which brings stress levels down.

A separate study conducted by the British Academy of Sound Therapy found that 74% of participants experienced reduced levels of stress after listening to instrumental music for 30 minutes daily.

Figures estimate that nearly 23 million Britons were suffering from insomnia, affecting more than 40% of the adult population. According to research by Direct Line Life Insurance, a fifth of adults have experienced three warning signs of insomnia, including difficulty staying asleep and waking up earlier than planned.

Young woman resting on the couch at home, she is wearing wireless headphones and listening to music
Studies have shown that listening to music can help us relax and wind down. (Getty Images)

The NHS recommends that the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep every night. But many of us are getting by on only six hours a night, a study by Lingo, a metabolic health and coaching app found this year.

To come up with the perfect bedtime playlist for people who struggle to fall asleep, bedroom furnishing experts Bed Kingdom used Spotify’s Playlist Miner tool to determine which songs and artists feature the most on sleepy playlists.

Listening to music can significantly reduce stress levels by decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity and lowering stress hormones like cortisol, they said. This helps you to fall asleep quicker and fosters feelings of tranquillity and calmness.

This is the “ultimate bedtime playlist” as revealed by Bed Kingdom:

  • Apocalypse by Cigarettes After Sex

  • Sparks by Coldplay

  • Je te laisserai des mots by Patrick Watson

  • The Night We Met by Lord Huron

  • My Love Mine All Mine by Mitski

  • Fourth of July of Sufjan Stevens

  • Romantic Homicide by d4vd

  • I was all over her by Salvia Plath

  • Sunsetz by Cigarettes After Sex

  • Rises the moon by Liana Flores

According to sleep experts at Bed Kingdom, listening to soothing and relaxing music can help slow breathing, reduce heart rate and decrease blood pressure, while also alleviating muscle tension.

This relaxes your body and sets you up for a refreshing night’s sleep.

Music can also help distract the mind from worrying or intrusive thoughts, quietening it down and promoting mental peace.

“For those who struggle to relax and unwind in the evenings, a peaceful bedtime playlist could offer a soothing remedy, helping them transition from stressful thoughts to a peaceful night’s sleep,” they said.

Watch: Jennifer Aniston opens up about her insomnia struggle

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