Whenever I can't sleep, I try really hard to convince myself that if I keep my eyes closed long enough, sleep will eventually come. All this concentrating makes me hungry and I find myself fighting the urge to stumble into the kitchen for a midnight snack. It's a slippery slope, friends. Typically I end up resorting to my childhood ways and counting sheep. However, I recently learned there's an easier way to slip into slumber. It's time to forget the sheep and unwind with songs that help you fall asleep.
It might seem like common sense, but if you want to relax and unwind, you don't want to crank up your booty jam playlist. As Lazlo Harmat, a researcher who has examined the effects of music on sleep told Today, there are many types of music that can help a person fall asleep, even though string-based classical music is often recommended. In the same article, Liz Cooper of the British Academy of Sound Therapy explained that tempo is more important than the type of music. The secret sauce is the beats per minute, or BPM, of a song that will make you feel drowsy after listening. Music needs to be 60 BPM or less, to help the mind and body relax and prepare for sleep.
The next time you're having trouble sleeping, you don't have to stare at the ceiling in defeat — download these songs, put on your headphones, and you'll be drifting away to dreamland before you know it.
1. "Here 2AM Version" by Alessia Cara (56 BPM)
The quiet and repetitive throb of the piano in the background will hypnotize you into a sleepy state of mind, while Alessia Cara's voice puts just the right amount of sugar on top.
2. "All You Ever Wanted" by The Black Keys (59 BPM)
Even the electric guitar can be super mellow in the hands of The Black Keys.
3. "Cold Desert" by Kings of Leon (58 BPM)
Who says rock can't be relaxing? Wind down with Kings of Leon at the end of a long day and wake up feeling infinitely cooler.
4. "River"by Joni Mitchell (61 BMP)
One of my all time favorite songs, "River," will have you feeling like you are quietly floating down a river into sleepy time. If nothing else, Joni Mitchell's soothing vocals will cure the worst case of insomnia.
5. "Super Rich Kids" by Frank Ocean (60 BMP)
If you like something more edgy than rainforest sounds to put you to sleep, try this track from Frank Ocean for a beat that will help you relax.
6. "Lush Life" by John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman (58 BPM)
If you like to get a little jazzy at bedtime, download this classic from jazz legends John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman for a ballad that will help you drift off to sleep.
7. "Wheel In Motion" by Danny Elfman (60 BPM)
If you want to ditch the lyrics for some soothing instrumental, try this track from the Charlie And The Chocolate Factory soundtrack.
8. "Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down" by Noah & The Whale (59 BPM)
Let the alternative melodies of this song rock you into dreamland — and may all your dreams be peaceful, as the title suggests.
9. "The Dreamer" bu Darrell Scott (60 BPM)
Aptly named, "The Dreamer," feels like a lullaby with a slight folksy vibe and the storytelling lyrics familiar to country.