Relaxing sounds for sleeping

Audio for sleep can be a particularly personal experience. Some prefer the dulcet tones of the their favourite broadcasters, others lean more towards the sound of Mother Nature. Whatever your preference; we hope to tickle your ear drums with this months round up of our top five sleep sounds.

History of the World by Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr’s History of the World covers 70,000 years of world history ranging from the beginning of human civilisation to the Middle Ages and Viking exploration and pillage right through to the twentieth century. The television show was noted for its elaborate Hollywood re-enactments but the audio alone provides enough dramatic music and sound effects for you to recreate the scenes in your imagination.

Marr’s gentle, bassy tones are animated enough to engage your brain and switch you off from the days thoughts and worries but still within the BBC vocal style guidelines to help gently guide you into a deep, deep slumber. The perfect audio accompaniment for history buffs and casual listeners alike.

Weightless by Macaroni Union

Described by some as being ‘the most relaxing tune ever’, Macaroni Union collaborated with the British Academy of Sound Therapy to create this eight minute track. According to scientists the music was able to reduce anxiety by 65% and brought the test subjects resting pulse rates to 35% of their usual resting rate. The low tones are designed to induce a trance like state which is exactly what we found.

The gentle thud of the bass and gradual crescendos of the synth strings immediately begin to transport you into a state of calm. As the music progresses, lighter notes and tones begin to make the odd, brief but repeated appearance which is when we found the trance like state begin to appear. Your mind and body totally disengage from the rest of the world. Have this one on loop and you will soon be drifting off into a trippy, slightly alternative universe for the next eight hours.

3. Go the F*** to Sleep read by Samuel L Jackson.

If you like your stories short, sweet and read by a celebrity, this is the perfect pick. Written in the classic style of a children’s bedtime story; the gentle iambic trimeter and vivid descriptions help set the perfect bedtime reading tone. Punctuated with the brutal but beautiful honesty any parent may feel at bedtime makes it the rather perfect adults bedtime story.

At just 4 minutes long Samuel L Jackson guiding you through with his cool, gravelly but tender tones. Accompanied by the music box tinkling of a small piano, you are immediately taken back to the days of bedtime stories and lullabies. There really is no reason for you not to go the f*** to sleep after this one.

Whale music by Whales

Arguably one of the most relaxing and effective sleep sounds; it is claimed to induce one into a state of deep sleep. Background music that allows for the mind to wander; blocking out outside disturbances and sending one into a state of utter relaxation.

The gentle crashing of the waves helps to transport you to the cool, calming shores of your favourite beach while the occasional soft, almost pan-pipe like howl of the whales carries you into your whimsical, safe, sleep place. A sure fire winner to send most off into a long, deep, restorative state of slumber.

Shh/Peaceful — Miles Davis

Famous for dividing the jazz and rock music critics with their reactions to its rather experimental approach to structure and electronic stance, this is one of our curve balls. Shh/Peaceful from the In a Silent Way EP is not quite the peaceful lullaby we have looked at with some of the other recommendations. Instead this is for those who want to completely disconnect and have something else entirely to focus on; using it more as a distraction than a calming piece of audio.

There is no melody; instead solos and grooves layered on top of each other create a completely hypnotic piece gradually winding into a pit of silence. The gentle shimmer of the cymbals eases one in and provides the underlying support for the soft jazz undertones accompanied by a heady mix of a tinkling piano, augmented organ and almost sitar like guitar eventually giving over to Davis’ slow, mysterious and eerily calming trumpet solo. It really is a dreamy piece of music.

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