Music and sound to help you sleep

Earlier this year, DJ Tom Middleton put his talents to an unusual test. Having suffered from insomnia himself while touring, he set about creating an album that puts the listener to sleep. In his own words; he said he’d set out to create music that people don’t actually end up listening to.

Through relaxing music and songs that encourage the listener’s heartbeat and respiration rates to slow, it’s designed to create a calming effect that leads into the early stages of sleep.

In March, his labour of love reached fruition with the release of his album Sleep Better. We can’t wait to try it, but in the meantime, we’ve been trying out some popular sleep playlists to help aid a good eight hours. Ed Sheeran’s music seems to be famed for its calming qualities; we’re not sure he’d be so happy about it though!

Spotify’s top 20 songs to help you sleep

  1. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
    Stay with Me – Sam Smith
    3. Love Me Like You Do (fromFifty Shades of Grey) – Ellie Goulding
    4. I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
    5. I’m Not the Only One – Sam Smith
    6. Rain for Sleep – Rain Sounds
    7. All of Me – John Legend
    8. Earned It (from Fifty Shades of Grey) – The Weeknd
    9. Let Her Go – Passenger
    10. Skinny Love – Birdy
    11. Say Something – A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera
    12. FourFiveSeconds – Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West
    13. The A Team – Ed Sheeran
    14. Tenerife Sea – Ed Sheeran
    15. Give Me Love – Ed Sheeran
    16. Lay Me Down – Sam Smith
    17. Fix You – Coldplay
    18. Photograph – Ed Sheeran
    19. Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
    20. Latch (Acoustic) – Sam Smith

See what we mean about an excessive amount of Ed Sheeran. Interestingly, Rain for Sleep is the only track designed specifically for sleep here, whereas the entirety of Middleton’s album is scientifically created to help you drift off.

Let’s look at another.

 NME’s 30 strong selection of slumber inducing anthems

  1. Noting More – C Duncan
  2. Affection – Cigarettes After Sex
  3. Time is Dancing – Ben Howard
  4. Hey Moon – John Maus
  5. Midnight – Coldplay
  6. The Valley – Laura Marling
  7. Pink Moon – Nick Drake
  8. Love – Kendrick Lamar feat Zacari
  9. Adeline – alt-J
  10. Gone Clear – William Tyler
  11. Devotion – Jessie Ware
  12. Somebody Else – The 1975
  13. Saw You in a Dream – The Japanese House
  14. Nude – Radiohead
  15. In Words – Marika Hackman
  16. Glimmer – The Maccabees
  17. On the Level – Mac DeMarco
  18. At the River – Groove Armada
  19. Weightlessness – Marconi Union
  20. And Dream of Sleep – Kate Bush
  21. Still Life – The Horrors
  22. On Melancholy Hill – Gorillaz
  23. A&E – Goldfrapp
  24. Pala – Friendly Fires
  25. The Cascades – Fleet Foxes
  26. Healthy Moon – DIIV
  27. 8 (Circle) – Bon Iver
  28. In Reverse – The War on Drugs
  29. Goodbye Divine – Rachel Zeffira
  30. Immunity – Jon Hopkins

And now another.

 HuffPost’s top 10 songs to help you fall asleep faster

  1. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  2. All of Me – John Legend
  3. Earned It (from Fifty Shades of Grey) -The Weeknd
  4. Let Her Go – Passenger
  5. Skinny Love – Birdy
  6. Say Something – A Great Big World, Christina Aguilera
  7. FourFiveSeconds – Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West
  8. Fix You – Coldplay
  9. Photograph – Ed Sheeran
  10. Latch (Acoustic) – Sam Smith

We tested them out. Here’s a few thoughts from us.

  • If you need 30 songs to help get you off to sleep, you probably need a little more help than just music. Here are a few meditation techniques to help you out.
  • Ed, we love you but catchy tunes and angst might not be the best to help us drift off.
  • For us, some of these artists might not quite slow down our respiration rate and decrease our blood pressure – listening to their music only increases it! They’ll of course remain nameless though.

Try out the playlists and see what you think. And if you try Tom’s album, let us know if it has the desired effect.

Bensons for Beds

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