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  • Writer's pictureSynthia

Lullabies for Adults: A guide for soundtracks that will put you to sleep

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

A growing number of people have been grappling with sleep issues, often finding themselves tossing and turning, struggling to drift off into a peaceful slumber. Some people have discovered that listening to audio, whether a story, a documentary, or a meditation, can be helpful in calming their mind and getting some rest. This guide is dedicated to those in search of auditory serenity, offering a curated list of places where one begin in finding audio that's worked for others.


YouTube Sleep Stories

YouTube is a treasure trove of sleep stories designed to lull listeners into a restful state. Although some may find these stories a bit repetitive over time, the sheer variety available ensures there's always something new to explore. From enchanting fairy tales to soothing nature narratives, these stories are often accompanied by gentle background music or calming soundscapes, creating an ideal environment for relaxation and sleep. Simply going to YouTube and searching "sleep stories" will get you started.


However, it's worth venturing beyond the obvious choices. The platform is also home to countless creators who specialize in crafting unique, less conventional sleep stories. These might include improvised tales, ASMR, softly spoken readings of classic literature, or even guided dream journeys. The key is to experiment with different channels and styles until you find the one that resonates with you the most.


YouTube Documentaries

YouTube's extensive collection of documentaries are a separate category from sleep stories but present an unexpected but excellent source of sleep-friendly audio. The platform is adept at recommending similar content based on your viewing history, making it easier to find documentaries that suit your interests. Whether it's the mysteries of ancient civilizations or the wonders of the natural world, these documentaries can provide a captivating yet soothing backdrop for sleep.


In particular, look for documentaries with narrators who have a calm, steady delivery. Their voices can become a rhythmic lullaby that guides you into sleep. Additionally, many documentaries feature ambient sounds and music that further enhance the soothing experience. It's a perfect way to combine learning with relaxation.


Streaming Services Documentaries

Streaming giants like Netflix have upped the ante with high-quality documentaries that are not only visually stunning but also aurally soothing. Shows like "Our Planet" or those narrated by the legendary David Attenborough are perfect examples. These documentaries combine mesmerizing visuals with Attenborough's iconic, calming narration, providing an auditory experience that's both enriching and relaxing.


Furthermore, streaming services often offer a wide array of documentary genres, from history to science, nature, and beyond. This variety means you can select content that aligns with your interests, making the listening experience more personalized and engaging. Remember, the goal is to find a narrative that's interesting enough to distract from daily stresses but calming enough to ease you into sleep.


Purchased Content

Investing in high-quality audio content, such as purchasing documentaries or series like "Planet Earth" and "Wild China," can be a worthwhile venture for those serious about enhancing their bedtime routine. These productions are often crafted with exceptional care, featuring not only captivating narratives but also meticulously designed soundscapes that can transport you to different worlds as you drift off to sleep.


The advantage of purchased content is the absence of ads and interruptions, ensuring a seamless and immersive listening experience. Additionally, owning these series means you can return to your favorite episodes whenever you wish, creating a familiar and comforting bedtime ritual. Of course, the challenge (as it is with many items on this list) is that after awhile the content will become repetitive but buying a series can mean months of good sleep.


Audible Sleep Stories

Audible, primarily known for its vast selection of audiobooks, also offers a delightful collection of sleep stories. Titles like "The Tea Shop" and "Chinese Fables" stand out for their gentle narratives and soothing narration. These stories are crafted with the specific intention of helping listeners relax and fall asleep, making them a valuable resource for those struggling with sleeplessness.


The diversity of Audible's sleep stories is a significant draw. Whether you prefer tales steeped in mythology, serene nature descriptions, or simple, calming narratives, there's likely a sleep story on Audible that will meet your needs. The platform's user-friendly interface also makes it easy to navigate and find new stories to add to your nightly routine.


CalmAlma App

CalmAlma is a relatively new addition to the sleep aid app market, but it's quickly making a name for itself with its innovative approach. This app offers a wide range of content, from historical narratives to Yoga Nidra meditations, and it smartly learns from your listening habits to create personalized content. This feature ensures the app remains fresh and engaging, alleviating the frustration of constantly searching for new material.


What sets CalmAlma apart is its commitment to personalization. The app not only learns from your listening patterns but also allows you to tailor your experience based on your preferences and needs. Whether you're in the mood for a guided meditation, a historical lecture, or a peaceful nature soundscape, CalmAlma adapts to provide you with the most suitable content for your relaxation and sleep.


Well-Known Sleep Apps

Popular sleep apps like Calm, Headspace, and Pzizz have become household names in the world of digital sleep aids. These apps offer a variety of features, from guided meditations and sleep stories to relaxing music and soundscapes.


The strength of these apps lies in their user-friendly design and the quality of their content. Many of them offer customizable settings, allowing you to tailor the experience to your preferences, whether that's adjusting the duration of a meditation session or selecting specific sounds to accompany your sleep stories. It's worth exploring different apps to find the one that best fits your needs.


Unfortunately, many users may find the content becomes somewhat formulaic over time. Many users report that after only a couple weeks their mind figures out the patterns used to construct these sleep sessions and their ability to promote sleep diminishes. This can be particularly disappointing as these apps can be incredibly effective in the short term, making their lost effectiveness all the more stark. This is a major part of why CalmAlma was created.


Podcast services

For those seeking more variety in their sleep-inducing audio arsenal, consider exploring podcasts dedicated to sleep and relaxation. Many podcasts are now specifically designed to help listeners unwind and fall asleep, featuring everything from soft-spoken readings of classic literature to ambient soundscapes and sleep-focused meditations.


Platforms like Spotify and Apple Music offer an extensive range of playlists and albums designed to create a tranquil environment conducive to sleep. Look for tracks featuring natural sounds like rain, ocean waves, or forest ambience, or opt for slow, rhythmic music that can help slow down your thoughts and ease you into restfulness.


In conclusion, the quest for the perfect sleep soundtrack is a personal journey, one that might require some experimentation to find what truly works for you. Whether it's the familiar voice of a beloved narrator, the soothing tones of a meditation guide, or the ambient sounds of nature, there's a world of audio content out there waiting to help you achieve a peaceful night's sleep.


Of course, as part of the CalmAlma team I highly recommend you give the app a try. We've incorporated elements of all these different sources in such a way that the app will learn whichever of these tools works best for you personally, and ensure you get the best possible sleeping experience while keeping it fresh and novel.

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