These Podcasts Will Lull You Right To Sleep

Current sleep wisdom suggests that you eliminate distractions from the bedroom for a better night's snooze — but some of us need a little diversion to quiet our busy minds.

While research has found that music can help lull us to sleep, you might prefer listening to a podcast instead, especially if you're in the habit of going to bed with Parks and Recreation reruns playing in the background. It's just like falling asleep in front of the TV, without the stimulating glare of the screen. And, luckily, there are plenty of sleep-friendly 'casts to choose from.

There are shows that recreate the feeling of being read to sleep, ones that consist of ASMR-heavy conversations, and others still that are intentionally boring (a 2017 study published in Nature Communications found that our brains might be wired to put us to sleep when we aren't properly stimulated, aka bored).

Ahead, we've rounded up our favorite podcasts to listen to right before bed or all through the night (hopefully we remember to set up a podcast timer). And, if you find that music is more your thing, check out our sleep playlist, too.

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In Our Time

Nothing against this well-researched, finely structured podcast, but In Our Time often sounds like an exact replica of those class lectures you slept through in high school. Every episode goes deep on an academic topic and, unless you subscribe to one of its subject-specific feeds, you're in a mixed bag. One night, host Melvyn Bragg and his panel of experts might be discussing the life and work of Emily Dickinson, the next night they're tackling migration patterns of different birds.

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The Writer's Voice: Fiction From The Magazine

If it isn't already, falling asleep to a piece of New Yorker-approved fiction should be included in the official the definition of "adulting." This show is a great choice if you'd like a little more variety in your sleep-inducing podcasts, since every episode features a different author reading their work out loud. For example, if you missed its viral moment back in December 2017, you can hear Kristen Roupenian read her story, "Cat Person."
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