The Evolution of Sleep Music (1680-2019) : 34 Songs to Fall Asleep to

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The tradition of using harmony in words to produce a soothing effect has been part of every culture. Just try to reminisce being rocked back and forth in your mother’s bosom or legs while she belts out those beautiful pieces of music.

Quite peaceful, I presume?

I’m talking about lullabies. These have been enrooted in our traditions for over 1000 years. There’s a specific science behind those tones that takes the tension present on a child; lullabies activate the perception centres in the brain of children and decreases the blood pressure and heart rate, causing them to fall asleep quick.

I bet now that you’re all grown up and it would be unable for your mom to lift your heavy bottoms, let alone put you to sleep during those stressful situations.

Fear not.

Down below, I’ve compiled a selection of the best sleep music that you will easily make you doze off for good.

What Type of Sleep Music Can Make Me Fall Asleep?

Sleeping with music of 60-80 beats per minute has been regarded as a proven and flawless solution to treating commonly occurring disorders such as sleep deprivation, anxiety, insomnia etc. Click To Tweet

The sleep music below are just my personal recommendations- you may or may not like it. This list follows an order; at the top, there are songs that were recorded in the late 17th century all the way to 2019. Most of these songs have that element of serenity that can soothe your nerves.

And, I had a really good time writing this article. Let’s jump right in and get sleepy.

Pachelbel’s Canon

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever composed and is a very strong reason for Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Adam Levine and possibly every pop artist to walk the hall of fame because the songs of most chords are based on this key. Gives me goosebumps, it’s quite hard to explain.

Serenade

An elegant classical piece by the genius Pachebel that’s melancholic and happy at the same time. It resembles Canon at different parts.

Fur Elise

This is when people normally stop attending their piano lessons but nevertheless, it’s an amazing piece of music to fall asleep to.

Moonlight Sonata

The thing about this is the tempo and the range of emphasis in each notes. It’s so dynamic and vivid, just like life. That’s Beethoven for you.

Silence

Haven’t been in a relationship and got your heart broken yet? Don’t worry, this one will put you to tears (and sleep).

Ode to Joy – Symphony No 9

When someone says, “I dig the classics”, is this what they mean? Beethoven composed it when he almost went completely deaf. It’s ecstasy from when the chorus kicks in (7:20). TIP: Keep volume at mid level for the best experience or the sleep plan could backfire because this classic is a powerhouse.

Heaven’s Window

The angelic voices that sing in unison creates a divine aura, hence, the name.

Rondo Alla Turca

How fast can those fingers move, Mr. Mozart?

Nocturne in E-flat Major

An amazing masterpiece that’s timeless and so playful. Chopin was just 20 years old when he composed this.

Symphony #40 in G Minor, K 550 – 1. Molto Allegro

A splurge of emotions which is colourful and strong. Highly recommended not to listen to, at high volumes because the accent on certain notes may wake you up and full of energy.

River Flows in You

If you had a really rough day and wish to drown your sorrows, this works wonders. I’ve tried and shed a tear or two.

Kiss the Rain

Quite melancholic. I guess Yiruma wants you to hide your tears in the rain.

Nuvolo Bianche

Don’t let depression takes its toll on you. Wash it away with this peaceful composition by the Latin artist, Ludovico Einaudi.

Nightingale

Yes, the bird sings. So does Yanni, with his fingers. This song can make you feel the blood rush in your veins, all the way from the top to the bottom.

Nostalgia

I feel blessed to think that I was born at the right time and grew up listening to timeless classics such as this. This piece of music evokes so much emotion and can trail you off into sleep towards the end.

Children

This iconic anthem by Robert Miles falls into the 90s Trance genre. It’s upbeat but the piano version is just a sleep marvel.

Fable

Another piece by the legend, which is part of the same album ‘Dreamland’. The above video is its piano version which has a relaxing vibe or you can check out the original to bury your stress.

Pandora

Hans Zimmer and John Powell have collaborated to make a couple of serene music. This one seemingly has a Japanese vibe and it’s blissful.

Time

This composition, from the movie, Inception makes you reminisce at the past and question yourself what lies ahead in the future.

Interstellar – Main Theme

This one drifts you off into space. Tip: Keep volume at medium levels to ensure the notes from the pipe organs don’t wake you up.

Day One Dark

What does it feel when you’re about to enter a black hole? The tranquility of darkness. More pipe organs incoming so keep the volume bar low. This is goosebumps worthy material.

The Night King

Game of Thrones had a rather dull ending but this music from Season 7 packs a punch. For those who’ve watched the shows, it’d be so memorable. Anyway, it’s marvellous to listen to, regardless of whether you’ve watched the series or not.

Early in the Morning

Did you move to the city or a crowded area or has the world changed around you? Here’s an arrangement by Peder B. Helland who’s into making soothing melodies. Close your eyes and the birds will fly you away into a dreamscape.

Calm Wind

A decent piece of music by the same artist with a soothing piano background. You’d feel drowsy by the time you reach the loop.

Morning Whisper

Features both piano and guitar and creates a perfect blend of harmony. Just like the title suggests, it’s perfect while sipping a cup of coffee in the morning.

Weightless

Labelled as the best relaxing music ever by neuroscience experts, this melody has been proven to reduce cortisol, which reduces stress. If there was something like No Sleep November, I would have failed within 2 minutes. This is pure bliss. If you started listening to this while reading this blog, you probably wouldn’t have had to go through the rest of the list =]

Enter Jazzy music. The next set of tracks are featured on our Instagram account, sleeperlust and if you wish to listen to more tracks such as these, we’ll be uploading it there. Follow us =]

Sleepless

If you fall asleep to this music, you’ll probably have a pleasant dream. What a perfect track to listen to at the end of your day. Shoutout to almainey.

night calls

If you don’t mind a bit of a voiceover, this will just make your heart soft and warm. The beats are so uniform and cause a sleeping effect.

Memories

The conversation melds in well with the chill beats. If you’re the type of person that sleeps off when people speak serious stuff, this will help.

Phone number.

Is there a phone number that keeps on ringing and leaves you unattended? Let it go. Use this to go to sleep.

miss u / hate u

This one has a certain groove in the backdrop of a rainy weather. Warning: It could also evoke a sense of longing for someone who you might have never met before in your life, probably, someone from your dreamscape.

i dont want to be alone anymore but i dont want to love anyone else

Depression can really test us and create a surge of negative thoughts locked up in our minds. If you’ve ever been through it, this song is for you. Let there be no more sleepless nights.

hello

The voiceover you hear is from the movie, Her, where the protagonist falls in love with his AI. There’s no limits to love and sleep.

Bike Rides On The Block

A bit of an easygoing track that makes you feel like you’re barely listening to anything which is what should ideally happen when you fade to darkness.

That’s the end of it. Follow us on Instagram, @sleeperlust, for more music like this.

How Should I Create a Sleep Playlist?

 

These are just some of the music I’ve listened in the past, to help me drift off to sleep. Just remember to avoid anything that’s too fast-paced because it usually produces the contrasting effect and acts like caffeine. One thing I wish to mention is that some of the music in the list above have that uplifting or “energetic” bit which could alert you from dozing completely. The best solution would be to keep the overall microphone volume less and the blazing sounds wouldn’t cause a negative effect to your state of peace.

If you need a bit of help to start off with, think of every piece of music in your collection that’s slow, melodic and gives you positive vibes- the tone doesn’t matter. Check out YouTube for your song, and watch the space where it shows you recommendations- chances are you’ll find similar music.

Here’s an even better way- check out Spotalike if you have Spotify installed. It creates a custom playlist for you based on a song that you like. I’m certain they have designed an algorithm very similar to what Spotify has.

An alternate approach is to head over to Google or YouTube and search for phrases like ‘sleep music’, ‘music for relaxation’, ‘songs to sleep’, ‘music to sleep’, and you’ll find some. Browse more, add what you like to your playlist, rinse and repeat and soon enough, you would have your very own playlist.

While you’re at it, try listening to binaural beats.

It only takes a good thirty minutes to create one. So, what are you waiting for?

Leave a comment below on songs that you liked and subscribe to the mailing list for updates on all types of content related to sleep and dreams. Also, if you’re feeling too lazy and want me to create a playlist with all the tracks above, I can do that. Send some bucks to my Paypal. Just kidding, I’ve already done that!

Happy sleeping 🙂


To see more about the science behind lullabies, check out these research journals.

The featured image in this post is created by Alice Moore.

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