Press Play: 9 Mellow Spotify Playlists That Will Lull You to Sleep

More people than ever are struggling to fall asleep at night. Clinical psychologist Michael Gradisar says that many people find it difficult to "switch off" when they get into bed.

"[W]hen they try to fall asleep at night, they worry about things that happen during the day and things they still need to do," he says. "This concurs with research showing that evening is one of the peak times when people ruminate."

We've all been there. There are healthy ways to improve our sleep, and there are less than health ways. By relying on that evening wine (or two), or a prescription medication that is only intended for short term use, we open ourselves up to other health issues – and don't necessarily guarantee ourselves better quality sleep. Alternatively, strategic eating habits, no caffeine in the PM, a warm bath, and a bedtime ritual that you actually look forward to every day are all healthy ways to allow yourself good quality shut-eye. When you fall asleep naturally and with ease, you're more likely to experience all the right phases of sleep at the right frequency and duration.

Another way to fall asleep faster and more naturally is with music. Music has been scientifically proven to help people with both short-term and chronic sleep problems. A Danish study recently found that music may even aid the recovery of intensive care patients who are most in need of the restorative properties of sleep, according to the ABC.

The right music can help to slow breathing, ease muscle tension, lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce cortisol, and trigger the release of serotonin and oxytocin – creating the perfect storm for a good night's rest.

So, while rain sounds and meditation mantras work for some, others might find that music is the answer to falling asleep at night. So tonight, dim the lights, burn some incense, and press play on one of these mellow playlists that will lull you to sleep.

Mellow jazz

Slow jazz has been proven to inhibit the production of norepinephrine, which is one of the main neurotransmitters involved in arousal. Less arousal plus easier sleep – you do the math.

Songs by Sufjan Stevens

If you can handle the emotions of it all (remember, the song over the closing scene of Call Me By Your Name was a Sufan Stevens original), this playlist will create just the right mood for a good night.

A playlist by Sufjan Stevens

If the sameness of a single-artist playlist doesn't do it for you, here's a little something that Sufjan prepared earlier. The eclectic mix means your bedtime ritual soundtrack feels different from night to night.

Vinyasa flow

Music intended for yoga is a sure bet for facilitating a relaxing and soothing atmosphere. Make the most of it and do a little sleep-inducing yoga while you're at it.

Bon Iver etc.

Even if you're not a fan, the warm and soothing sound of frontman Justin Vernon's voice will take you to where you need to be for a robust sleep. This playlist includes Bon Iver and a selection of songs from Vernon's other projects.

Ambient sounds 

Sometimes the situation calls for songs with no words. Switch off with this ambient playlist.

 

Airport lounge songs

Think of your noisy thoughts like a busy airport and press play on this playlist designed to soothe the weary traveller within.

Soul lounge

Get yourself into a good groove with this late-night playlist by British DJ Bonobo, aka Simon Green.

Chill throwbacks

Go back in time with this playlist of classic tunes from the '50s and '60s. If you've been listening to modern music all day, these throwbacks will provide welcome respite.

 

Wind down at the end of the day with a relaxing podcast. Just woke up? Boost your mood with an upbeat playlist.

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