It’s midnight, and you’ve been tossing and turning for hours, unable to sleep. When this happens to us, we find that listening to a playlist of sleeping tunes helps us get into that wonderful REM stage.
It can’t simply be any ballad, though. Soft vocals, muted production, and straightforward lyrics are required. It’s the stuff that dreams are built of.
Here are some pieces of music to help you drift off. If you suffer insomnia and need a one-way ticket to slumberland, try this playlist:
1. Norah Jones, “Don’t Know Why”
Jones’ soft, sleepy ballad rocketed to the top of the charts in 2002, and it’s still going strong over two decades later.
Her vocals are silky smooth, and the piano accompaniment is equally so. What’s the result? A slow tune that transports you to the first five minutes of a hot bubble bath.
2. Eden, “Rock + Roll”
Eden is a largely unknown singer, even though his music is among the best. Eden isn’t well-known in the music industry, yet he’s one of the best composers. We know, and this song is a perfect example. Also, the lyrics.
3. Gavin Mikhail, “ Iridescent”
We know the Linkin Park song didn’t need to be covered, but this rendition is just as lovely, and Gavin’s voice soothes you. This is a flawless cover, featuring Linkin Park’s superb songwriting.
4. Charli XCX and Carly Rae Jepsen, “Backseat”
Charli and Carly are known for their upbeat party jams, so, ironically, their only collaboration is this sad slow jam. “Backseat” is the perfect zone-out track: ambient and techno, with a steady beat.
You’ll sink right into your REM cycle despite the hefty synths and Auto-Tuned casing.
5. Gregory Alan Isakov, “San Luis”
If we could, we’d forcibly present Gregory Alan Isakov to the world. You might fall asleep listening to this tune without even realizing it.
6. Gert Taberner, “In Need”
This song is the epitome of how songs should be composed. No matter what mood you’re in, you’ll enjoy listening to this music.
7. Kacey Musgraves, “Oh, What a World”
Any song from Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour album would be appropriate for this list (except “High Horse”), but my personal favorite is “Oh, What a World,” a dreamy country ballad with electronic tinges and twinkly sound.
It’s the audio equivalent of a restless night’s sleep.
8. Michael Kiwanuka, “Cold Little Heart”
This song teaches patience as it builds up to the point when you feel like you’re on top of the world musically. This song can take you somewhere else.
9. Frou Frou, “Let Go”
Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth were a dream-pop combo known as Frou Frou for a limited period.
“Let Go,” a synth-pop melody with beautiful orchestral influences, was their best song (which you no likely heard on the soundtracks for The Holiday and Garden State).
It’s very stunning, and one of the most soothing sounds you’ll ever hear.
10. The 1975, “Be My Mistake”
We’re continuously torn between listening to this song when we’re sad and listening to it when we want to be sad. In any case, this song is as lovely as the band The 1975.
11. Damien Rice, “9 Crimes”
We can’t build a list of music to listen to while sleeping without including Damien Rice, can we? This song is fantastic; the vocals are flawless, and the violin in the background adds to the song’s appeal.
12. Fiona Apple, “Cosmonauts”
Listen to Fiona Apple’s sweet and raspy voice if you’ve got love on your mind and can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep.
As you’re caught up in Apple’s impassioned voice mixed in with the pulsing percussion, your pulse rate will slightly rise before settling into a relaxing rhythm as the music finishes with gentle whispers that open the door to dreams.
13. Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams”
Dreams is a calm and groovy track that is perfect for unwinding and getting a good night’s sleep. Fleetwood Mac’s breezy harmonies are the ideal backdrop for a relaxed mind and plenty of z’s.
14. Corinne Bailey Rae, “Trouble Sleeping”
Corinne Bailey Rae’s sweet-sounding voice combined with piano and saxophone will have you dreaming of fresh love and beginnings and waking up smiling.
15. Noah Cyrus (feat. Miley Cyrus), “I Got So High I Saw Jesus”
Noah Cyrus’ wispy voice blends well with sister Miley’s sultry one in a song that will have you humming along as you slowly drift off to sleep.
16. Caroline Polachek, “Door”
Allow Caroline Polachek’s crystal-like vocals to guide you into your best night’s sleep of the year.
The music is like a portal to a fantasy world, with futuristic noises and slightly robotic voices blended throughout.
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