You know the feeling: You're in bed by 11, ready to catch a solid eight hours before the alarm snaps you awake. But instead of heavy eyelids, you're staring straight at the ceiling, too energized to lie still. Sound familiar? Next time, fire up some sleep music on Spotify as you're going through your bedtime routine—specifically, songs that have between 60 and 80 beats per minute, the ideal number to reach relaxation zone, says the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.
"Fast-tempo, loud music will activate the nervous system and interfere with sleep," says Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, vice chairman of the board for the National Sleep Foundation. "By contrast, slower tempo, soft, melodious music will likely facilitate sleep and relaxation—hence, the lullaby." Plus, soothing music can improve the quality of your sleep once you nod off, say a study in Holistic Nursing Practice.
Here we've rounded up 11 sleep music songs that hit that sweet spot for seriously sweet dreams. One word of caution: "If a particular song, be it soft and slow, produces an exciting memory, all bets are off," Hirshkowitz says. So If any of these remind you of your ex, skip it.
- Fleetwood Mac: "Landslide"
- Bon Iver: "Skinny Love"
- Walk the Moon: "Iscariot"
- Iron & Wine: "The Trapeze Swinger"
- The xx: "Missing"
- Enya: "Only Time"
- Beach House: "Wishes"
- Of Monsters and Men: "Love Love Love"
- Ed Sheeran: "I See Fire"
- Andrew Bird: "Rising Water"
- Sufjan Stevens: "Blue Bucket of Gold"