How to Fall Asleep Fast with Relaxing Sleep Music

The tantalizing prospect of deep, restorative sleep can seem frustratingly out of reach when you’re suffering from insomnia, or just having trouble relaxing enough to fall asleep. There are many ways to improve sleep quality and quantity, and one of them is using sleep music or other audio tracks to help you get in the zone. Whether you’re trying to adjust to a new sleep schedule or coping with stress and anxiety, calming music for sleep can help you fall asleep fast.


Music that Helps You Relax and Get Sleepy

Music can be energizing and exciting, or it can be calming, gently lulling you into a restful slumber. Do you remember falling asleep to lullabies as a child? Research has shown that, indeed, lullabies are relaxing for babies—as demonstrated by a lowered heart rate, constriction of pupils, and changes to electrical activity on the skin—regardless of the language in which the lullabies are sung. Soothing lullabies can have the same sleepy effect on adults as well.

Classical music can be an excellent choice of music to sleep by, depending upon which composer and pieces you choose. As the story goes, Bach’s famous “Goldberg Variations” was written for his pupil, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, to play on the harpsichord for Count von Keyserlingk to help him to fall asleep at night. Among the most hypnotic classical music for sleep is the newly released album by Simon-Pierre Bestion and the ensemble La Tempête: Hypnos, named for the Greek god of sleep, will enchant and mesmerize you into a dreamy slumber. Lowering the volume for classical music can make a significant difference in how well it helps you relax and fall asleep.

Ambient music is music that creates a mood and an atmosphere with little emphasis on rhythm and melody; such musical soundscapes generally have no lyrics, and often no voices at all. Ambient music is ideal sleeping music if you find lyrics or rhythms to be too distracting or energizing. If you’re looking for free sleep music, there is an abundance of ambient music available for every taste. You may also want to explore meditation music for sleep, as you may find it to be the perfect background music to help you fall asleep fast.


Audio Tracks for Relaxation and Sleep

Sometimes the best relaxing sleep music isn’t actually music. Since the pandemic, there has been a surge in the popularity of white noise as a means of coping with stress and anxiety. You can find white noise audio tracks on streaming services; there are also white noise machines. Other people swear by pink noise or nature sounds, everything from the sounds of falling rain and babbling brooks, to crashing surf, to crickets and bird song.

Guided meditations are a great way to get so relaxed that you’re able to fall asleep fast. The sound of a soothing voice can help you focus on unwinding from the day. An audio track that leads you through progressive relaxation techniques at bedtime is another helpful aid for getting a good night’s sleep.

There is a growing interest in cultivating the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) to help people relax and fall asleep fast. This is a sensory response to particular types of sound or touch stimulation, with accompanying physiological and emotional effects. The sounds tend to be quiet sounds, like rustling or whispering. There are now many ASMR sleep videos, with audio and visual content that is focused specifically on falling asleep.


Using Music Technology to Deepen Relaxation and Fall Asleep Faster

Music of different frequencies can have corresponding effects on mood, and can be used intentionally for different purposes—some frequencies are ideal for focusing, while others are effective at inducing relaxation and sleep. The best sound frequency for sleep is thought to be 432 Hz.

Binaural beats are also promoted as a helpful tool to achieve a deeper state of relaxation so that you can fall asleep faster. “Binaural beats” refers to music listened to through headphones, in which one ear hears music at a particular frequency while the other ear simultaneously hears music at another frequency. 

The difference between the two frequencies is perceived by the brain and is experienced as its own “beat” (or more accurately, frequency) equal to the difference in amplitude. The frequency of the binaural beat encourages brain waves of the same frequency. For example, a binaural beat of 6 Hz could be used to promote theta waves, bringing the listener into a very relaxed state, ready to fall asleep.

If you’d like to use binaural beats to get into sleep mode, you may want to wear sleep headphones that you can leave on as you drift off to dreamland. Designed specifically for sleeping, they should be secure and comfortable through the night.


Excerpt from "The Science of Music as Medicine" a webinar with Dr. Daniel Bowling, a neuroscientist and instructor at Stanford University, and functional music advisor. Watch the full webinar here


Finding the Sleep Music of Your Dreams

Everybody is different, and our needs at the end of the day can vary dramatically depending on our activity levels, mood, and environment.  There’s a difference between drowning out the sounds around you and quieting an anxious mind. Also, the music that helps you fall asleep, also known as sleep induction music, may be different from the sounds that are most effective for sleep maintenance, or what you need to stay asleep. Good quality sleep is so important for your body and mind, it’s worth experimenting to find the perfect type of music to help you relax and get sleepy. Enjoy trying out these options, and sweet dreams!

If you’re curious to learn more about how music can enhance health and wellness, check out our Music for Wellness page.







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