If sleep is so essential for physical and mental health, then why is it so hard to come by? Stress, lack of routine, and any number of medical conditions can interfere with sleep, which can make it so hard to function normally during the day. Luckily, your doctor or a Minded provider can recommend therapy, lifestyle changes, or medication that can help you fall and stay asleep. But sometimes, you need an extra push into dreamland.
Any sleep expert will tell you that practicing good sleep hygiene—for example, keeping screens out of your bedroom, and making sure to avoid caffeine and excess alcohol before bed—can be a game-changer. Another simple-but-impactful way to prep your mind and body for rest is tuning into a podcast: Just pop in your earbuds, turn the lights out, and let the soothing sounds whisk you away. If zoning out while listening to something isn’t your thing, one of the many podcasts about sleep can empower you with tools to tweak your PM regimen, so it’s more conducive to the rest you need and deserve.
Not sure which ones are worth a listen? Here, 10 sleep-adjacent podcasts to check out if you’re struggling with sleep.
If you’re feeling nostalgic for a bedtime story, check out Get Sleepy—a twice-weekly podcast designed to lull you to sleep with soothing meditations and stories. Each episode is created by an experienced team of writers, voice-over artists, and meditation and sleep experts, so you can rest assured (pun intended) you’re hearing from the best.
If you’re a fan of white noise, we’ve got the perfect podcast for you. Created by someone who used to suffer from insomnia, this 30-minute podcast uses calming soundscapes like crackling campfires, rainy days, and tropical rainforests to help listeners drift off. You can also check out one of the many sleep meditation playlists curated by the podcast on Spotify.
Sleep With Me, another insomnia-inspired podcast, consists of 60-minute episodes that tell funny, meandering bedtime stories meant to bore you to sleep. The host, Drew Ackerman, says the podcast is inspired by late-night comedy radio—the only thing that helped him doze off during bouts of sleeplessness. He also hosts Game of Drones, a Game of Thrones recap show he created to help people fall asleep.
In 2019, the mattress brand Casper launched its own podcast with a curated collection of sleep sounds, meditations, and cozy bedtime stories. Each episode is about an hour long and features big names in podcasting, including Kathryn Nicolai, host of Nothing Much Happens: Bedtime Stories for Grownups. Tune in on Spotify or YouTube.
Venture through caverns, beaches, and butterfly meadows with these sleep meditations, which guide listeners through calming exercises and visualizations meant to induce sleep. Depending on how long it usually takes you to fall asleep, you can choose from a library of quick, ten-minute meditations to hour-long episodes.
Since 2016, the Sleep Whispers podcast has been recording episodes in hushed whispers to help listeners fall asleep. Whether you learn boring history or recipes or listen to a curious bedtime story, the goal is to slow down your thoughts and quiet your mind to sleep. New episodes release each week, or you can check out the hundreds of existing episodes to find something you like.
Kathryn Nicolai, the host of this well-known sleep podcast, uses her years of experience as a yoga and meditation instructor to “seamlessly blend storytelling with brain training techniques that build better sleep habits over time.” As the name suggests, the stories you’ll hear in this podcast aren’t exactly exciting, but that’s the point. More of a reader? Check out the host’s book of the same name.
Getting better sleep starts with learning about it. America’s sleep doctor, Michael Breus, recently launched a podcast that shares tips, tools, and hacks for sleep based on cutting-edge sleep research. He also interviews medical experts about common sleep challenges and how they work with patients to solve them—and at the end, he answers listener questions about sleep.
If you want to learn even more about the latest in sleep science, check out Talking Sleep, a podcast by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Hosted by Dr. Seema Khosla, the medical director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep, explores issues related to common sleep disorders, interviewing sleep doctors, researchers, and other clinicians that help people get better sleep.
In conversations led by an Australian health psychologist and sleep physician, Sleep Talk explores evidence-based information on sleep disorders and other everyday sleep issues in monthly episodes. Along with interviewing experts in the field of sleep and discussing recent research that could transform your sleep routine, the hosts share sleep tips on their site, ranging from recently published research to highlights from sleep conferences they’ve attended.