Best Podcasts to Help You Fall Asleep

Youf deep breathing or counting sheep isn’t working to help you fall asleep, a podcast might be just what you need. Listening to someone tell you a story—particularly someone who is a professional or semi-professional storyteller—can help quiet your mind and refocus it away from stress, anxiety, or whatever else is keeping you awake.

There’s an entire genre of podcasts specifically built around sleep, including shows like You can sleep with me Be Sleepy. If you’ve already tried those or are looking for something you can listen to at other times beyond when you’re trying to fall asleep, here are eight shows with a strong storytelling focus to consider.

Instead of scrolling through your smartphone, relax and listen to these stories and narrations.

Phoebe Judge hosts the CriminalPodcast and has, my opinion, one of the best voices in podcasting. It’s perfectly suited to this series, in which she reads chapters from classic novels like Moby Dick, Little Women The Scarlet Letter. You’ve probably read at least a few of these books before, so it’s not a big deal if you drift off in the middle of an episode. These shows are an excellent alternative to audiobooks which can be expensive.

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I tried to stay away from true crime on this list because I didn’t want anyone to end up staying awake because they were sucked into a story or afraid of having nightmares after what they heard. Lore examines some of history’s darker elements, but in a way that’s not gory or overly dramatic like true crime. Aaron Mahnke is a wonderful narrator who calmly takes listeners through each of the show’s nearly 200 episodes.

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LeVar Burton shares his love for storytelling and reading with us all since our childhoods, when we watched him. Reading Rainbow. His podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, features Burton’s iconic voice reading works from authors like Kurt Vonnegut and Neil Gaiman. Burton is not content to simply read the story. He also plays the role of the characters. Sound design helps create an immersive experience.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

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There’s nothing like a little travel to get your mind off whatever is stressing you out. Podcast from The Atlas Obscura, produced by travel guide site Atlas Obscura, transports listeners to some of the world’s most intriguing places. The majority of episodes last less than fifteen minutes. This makes them perfect for those who want to wind down before going to bed. You can visit the Goblin Valley State park in Utah, California’s Forestiere Underground Gardens, or the Monongahela Incline, Pittsburgh. You can start to dream about your next adventure as soon as you get off the bed.

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BJ Harrison was the first to start the Classic Tales Podcast in 2007, and it didn’t take long for listeners to discover that he was an amazing storyteller. Now, 15 years later, he’s narrated more than 650 audiobooks and released nearly 200 episodes of the podcast, which revisits works of literature by authors including Charles Dickens and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Like Burton, Harrison’s voice is soothing enough to help you wind down after a long day, and quiet enough not to wake you up if you happen to doze off before the end of an episode.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

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Radio shows, long before audiobooks and podcasts, were used to tell stories and bring books to life. Radio developed a sound all its own that’s captured perfectly on the Nostalgic mystery radio podcast. Imagine your grandparents listening to the podcast and trying to relax after a hard day. They didn’t have any technology to distract them; this is a perfect excuse to put your phone away and transport yourself back in time.

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This show will help you if you have ever fallen asleep in philosophy class at college. British author Nigel Warburton talks from his book The Classics in PhilosophyThis book summarizes 27 of the most important works in philosophy. Aristotle and Plato aren’t exactly designed to keep you on the edge of your seat, so this show is perfect if you want to zone out while maybe learning a thing or two. You can drift off to sleep contemplating life’s deeper questions and perhaps wake up with new ideas after sleeping on those big questions.

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You might like LoreThe podcast is a collection of stories and folklore about the people who have had a significant impact on our daily lives. Jason Weiser is the host and has made more than 250 episodes. You can read the entire book here. storytelling is immersive, yet Weiser’s delivery is calm enough to help you relax and get closer to falling asleep. The Myths and Legends website lists recommended episodes for new listeners to start with, including the show’s series on the hidden origins of Disney movies and another on the Greek Gods.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

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