The fireplace is lit, stockings are hung and the tree is decorated. The festive season is well and truly upon us. This month’s sleep sounds are both a celebration of this wonderful time of year and an opportunity for you to take some time to yourself. So go on, grab a blanket, nestle down and allow yourself a few minutes of peace. You’ve earned it.
In the pine forest by Tchaikovsky from The Nutcracker
True Christmas magic. Let Tchaikovsky sweep you away into an enchanted winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes and sugar plum fairies. From the moment the harps start to sing, you can feel yourself being transported. The sumptuous strings that follow wrap you up in a soft, delicate blanket of musical bliss keeping you safe and warm from the biting December winds and ensuring no amount of pre-holiday stress or excitement will interfere with your precious sleep.
Silent Night by Frank Xaber Gruber, performed by Worcester Cathedral Choir
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht was composed by Frank Xaver Gruber with lyrics by Joseph Mohr in 1818 in the small Austrian town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg and was first performed there at St Nicholas Church on Christmas Eve in 1818. In 2011 it was declared an ‘intangible cultural heritage’ by UNESCO. Worcester Cathedral Choir presents us with a raw, innocent yet dramatic version of this beautiful carol. Through the sole use of voice and the occasional organ interlude, this version is not short of atmosphere and beauty. Allow yourself to drift off into a truly peaceful night’s sleep. Pure Christmas perfection.
Winter Sleep by RelaxMyCat
Winter sleep was originally composed to help send felines into a deep, restorative slumber. The minor tones of a unified string section create the sense of a cold, dark winter night whilst still managing to hold a sense of warmth and comfort. There isn’t as much depth as the other choices in this month’s sleep sounds (it was originally composed for cats after all) but this is why it works so well. There is no thinking or involvement required, all you need to do is curl up, press play and let the gentle, repetitive tones work their sleep music magic.
Belle and Young Scrooge from the Christmas Carol Ballet by Carl Davis and John Longstaff, performed by the Northern Ballet Orchestra
Transporting one back to the Victorian cobbled streets on a cold December morning, this beautiful piece between Young Scrooge and the wife he might have had, Belle Fezzwig, really does melt even the coldest of hearts. The elegant strings and exquisite flute play out the two characters in a graceful, tender manner whisking even the most discerning of listeners away. Its fragility and charm relaxes you into the perfect state for sleep whilst still managing to subconsciously involve you in this captivating story of unrequited love. It really is the most splendid of bedtime listens.
’Twas the night before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, read by Jim Carter
A Christmas classic capturing one man’s sighting of St Nick’s arrival on Christmas Eve. The instantly recognisable rhythm and pattern of this well-loved poem provides you with that glorious sense of nostalgia and familiarity, a must during the festive period. Jim Carter’s rich, deep and warm yet lively tones brings this poem to life, leading you away from the worries of today and guiding you into safety and warmth. It is the perfect audio accompaniment to any festive slumber.
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”