8 Podcasts To Fall Asleep To Because Switching Off & Relaxing Is A Lot Harder Than It Looks

Aleksandra Jankovic/Stocksy

Whether you love them or hate them, podcasts are everywhere and if you have an interest, I'm almost positive there is a podcast for that. Something that you might not be aware is that many people use podcasts to fall asleep to. And actually, when you look at the numbers, it's probably more of us than you'd think.

With the NHS claiming that one in three of us suffer from bad sleep, insomnia is a very common problem. Sleep is just about one of the most important parts of a healthy life. The Mental Health Foundation states that:

We spend about a third of our lives asleep. Sleep is essential - It is as important to our bodies as eating, drinking and breathing, and is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health. Sleeping helps us to recover from mental as well as physical exertion.

So, if you are only getting 35 winks instead of your required 40, you are almost definitely doing damage to the other two-thirds of your life. Having suffered from periods of insomnia in the past, I have tried many different methods to help me sleep, from tablets, to cutting caffeine, to attempting meditation. However, the one thing that has really changed my sleep life is listening to podcasts. Here's my list of top podcasts to help get you on an express train to the land of nod.

1. 'Mysteries Abound'

Mysteries Abound Podcast, Paul Rex

OK I am going to be honest and say that this podcast is not strictly supposed to be for helping you get to sleep, but let me tell you, this man's voice is more soothing than anything you have ever heard. The podcast looks at weird stuff from the internet, mysteries, lists of interesting facts, and the occasional Creepy Pasta. Not only is the content super interesting, fun, and I am sure encouraging of super cray dreams, but the music is very dreamy and chill as well. I listen to this almost every single night and fall off nearly instantly, meaning if you are anything like me, the back catalogue of 165 episodes (and counting) should last you forever.

Listen to the podcast here

2. 'Sleep With Me'

Sleep With Me Podcasts

Not as racy as it sounds, honestly. This bad boy, which ranges from one to two hours long per episode, is the master of the sleep podcasts. The host of the show, Drew Ackerman is a person who has truly suffered with insomnia through out his life. His podcasts are billed as “bedtime stories to help grown ups fall asleep in the deep, dark night", with The New Yorker describing Ackerman's stories as "Labyrinthine." They are not wrong.

Basically Ackerman takes a story and edits it, making it filled with tangents and extra ifs and buts, making it just about as boring as you can imagine. The boring-yet-great nature of his stories means you fall asleep tittering to what he is saying, rubbish or not. His voice, it is also worth mentioning, is super soothing and gravelly which really helps with the chill, relaxing, sleepy time vibes.

Listen to the podcast here

3. 'The Auracle'

The Auricle Podcast

The Auracle is a podcast that utilises ASMR to help people relax and get into the sleepy zone. What is ASMR? It's Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. OK, what? Dictionary.com defines it as

...a calming, pleasurable feeling often accompanied by a tingling sensation. This tingle is said to originate in a person’s head and spread to the spine (and sometimes the limbs) in response to stimulation.

With some people who experience it describing it as a head orgasm, this is not too shabby at all.

Sadly, not everyone experiences ASMR but it's certainly worth a try because if you do? It's about to be lit.

Listen to the podcast here

4. 'Game of Drones'

Game Of Drones Podcast

This one is yet another offering from perhaps the godfather of the sleepy podcast, Mr Drew Ackerman. Ackerman, we salute you. In this instance he uses the all too familiar rambling, boring, long winded method of story telling but in an even better way. He is using it for the purpose of Game Of Thrones recaps. He should really write a book on how to take your podcast and make it even better.

The aptly and hilariously named Game of Drones sees Ackerman masterfully manage to make perhaps the most exciting and enthralling show EVER into the most boring yet soothing drivel you have ever heard. This guy is a genius, I swear.

Listen to the podcast here

5. 'Great Detectives Of Old Time Radio'

The Great Detectives Of Old Time Radio

Who doesn't love murder mystery, eh? This little peach focuses on detective stories from back in the day with host Adam Graham.

Each week Graham focuses on a different series. Utilising the lovely legal loop—hole that all radio shows pre-February 15, 1972 are fair game in terms of copyright, this podcast will lull you into a deep and rewarding slumber while musing on whodunnit instead of whatever anxiety-inducing thoughts keep you awake.

Listen to the podcast here

6. 'Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast'

Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast is yet another offering that shows nobody is too old to be lulled off to sleep by a bedtime story, and grown ups deserve them too. OK, not sure if I would describe myself as a grown up but you get me. With slightly more grown up and classic content, the show describes what it provides when it says

Lay yourself down to sleep with the soothing soporific of Miette's purr as she reads you the world's greatest works of short fiction

Let me tell you they are not kidding. Miette has one of the most soothing AF voices I have ever heard. Is it Scottish? Is it Welsh? Does it matter? I really don't know but it is absolutely lovely and so relaxing.

Listen to the podcast here

7. 'The New Yorker Fiction'

The New Yorker Fiction Podcast

Do you read The New Yorker? If you don't, start now. Not only is it great but it's kinda classy. Anyhow, this podcast comes from its fiction editor Deborah Treisman. In her lovely silky voice, she reads excerpts from famous pieces of fiction and has guests on to discuss said pieces.

It's a bit like having your super cool aunt who you want to be when you grow up reading you stories and then explaining them to you with her super cool mates. Yeah, it's that good.

Listen to the podcast here

8. 'Sleep Whispers'

Sleep Whispers Podcast

Another sort of ASMR type podcast, and this one does exactly what it says on the tin. Whispers. Ranging from whispering stories to recipes to any old nonsense really, this podcast really hits the mark. You know when you try to get a baby to sleep and you whisper to them? Yeah that. Turns out whispering can help adults sleep too.

The team over at Sleep Whispers Podcast describe the show as "whispered ramblings & readings to help you sleep". And it really does.

The show was created with the intention to slow down your thoughts and help you rest your busy mind. The idea is to get your mind focused but quiet as opposed to "oh, my life is a mess!" or "ugh I need to do my taxes" type thoughts that keep us all awake.

Listen to the podcast here

Insomnia is not new, nor is it going anywhere anytime soon. "Oh but what if it runs all night and drains my phone battery?" I hear you ask. Fear thee not. With the handy addition of the sleep timer on podcast apps, you can leave your podcast running for as long as you think you need to get your snooze on. I assure you that as you get accustomed to this wonderful method of drifting off to the land of nod, you will find that sleep timer gets shorter and shorter. Now get your PJs on, turn one of these bad boys on and sleep tight.