If you have trouble dropping off, you've probably dipped your toe into the world of sleep playlists: soft jazz, calming classical, whale noises, white noise and other sounds intended to drift you off to dreamland. Curiously, Spotify reported in 2015 that sleep playlists around the world overwhelmingly chose Ed Sheeran as their most popular artist, for his soothing power. But if you're not into hearing "Perfect" on a loop as you drift off, there are many different options out there to get a good night's sleep, many of them specifically engineered using research into our sleeping patterns and what makes us drowsy.
Listening to something as you sleep can help you doze off because it distracts you from the endless whirr of your thoughts, as well as drowns out the sounds of the very much not asleep outside world. But what soothes you may not work for friends and family, so don't assume that your sure-fire jazz insomnia playlist will make your jazz-hating girlfriend drop off. And, of course, the blue light of any electronic device's screen is likely not going to help you drop off, so if you choose to use a playlist or podcast, make sure that your screen is turned to its lowest setting (or off) while you're snuggled in bed listening to it. Prepare for sleepytime.