What I Listen To To Fall Asleep

I know it’s weird, but I have to listen to something to fall asleep.
I wish I didn’t need this crutch, but I’ve been doing this since forever.

My brain is just too hyperactive, it seems. That’s probably why I can’t nap, either. And I’m super noise sensitive so hearing someone move or breathe (or just a watch ticking somewhere) will keep me awake.
But I don’t even want to be a crybaby about it – I also just love to listen to interesting stuff. Hearing is my favorite sense, by far.

Maybe you’re in a similar boat, maybe not so much – but I wanted to share what I listen to since I’ve become somewhat of a “connaisseur” in picking the right audio to get me to fall asleep – because it’s quite complicated for me.

What I listen to can’t be too engaging – I can’t listen to crime stuff where people get slaughtered or comedy podcasts where people start laughing randomly.

But it can’t be too boring either. There are good podcasts to just fall asleep to, like Sleepy or Nothing Much happens. But as the name says, nothing much happens in those, it’s a bit like kid’s stories. I guess some people like it this way, but my brain gets bored.

ASMR is great, sure – but lately I haven’t used it for falling asleep that much, for a similar reason: It’s just not that interesting. It’s either just random sounds on videos called “called “99% of you will feel asleep to this”, or the roleplays are too predictable (for the most poart).

So, what is it that I listen to for fallign asleep? Podcasts, mostly. I’ll keep it short: Here’s what I’ve been listening to to fall asleep:  So, what is it that I listen to for fallign asleep?
Podcasts, mostly.

I’ll keep it short: Here’s what I’ve been listening to to fall asleep: 

1. Lets Find Out ASMR
He’s on YouTube and Spotify, and he solves my main gripe with ASMR: He talks quietly and softly, but instead of random trigger assortments, he talks about fascinating topics like space exploration or mysterious books – recommended! 

2. The New Yorker: Fiction
I’ve only recently discovered this, but it’s nice: great authors like Margaret Atwood discuss and read their own (short) stories. And the ones I listened to all had pleasant, relaxing voices (not sure if that’s a coincidence) 

3. The Dark Horse with Bret Weinstein & Heather Heying
They’re married, they’re evolutionary biologists (who lost their jobs as tenured professors  – long story, but interesting and alarming).I’m not sure why, but they hit the sweet spot for me: They talk quite calmly, both are super smart, clear thinkers, and they mostly talk about biology which I’m pleasantly ignorant about (recently there’s been a lot about Covid and politics too, but that’s ok). I find their relationship wholesome, and sometimes they argue like an old couple which is quite funny.

Bret’s brother Eric Weinstein has also made a name for himself with his podcast (the Portal) – he also has a pleasant voice and interesting, contrarian views, but he hasn’t posted much recently and I suspect that he’s a bit paranoid and ego-driven 

4. Sam Harris: Making Sense
The podcast was called Waking Up before (which is now the name of his Meditation app, I think). I feel like it’s a bit intentional, but he has an incredibly stoic and hypnotic voice. I like the episodes where he talks alone most. It’s been a lot about politics recently, but he has tons of interesting guests too, like neuroscientists or journalists. He’s very smart, and he crafts his sentences beautifully as he speaks, which I admire. Full episodes are behind a paywall though 

5. Lex Fridman
The son of Russian immigrants, he’s an AI researcher at Stanford. He has access to amazing guests such as Elon Musk or Roger Penrose – mostly scientists, programmers, but also everyday people. To me, it’s just the right amount of nerd-talk. He sounds a bit like he’s slurring, but he prepares well and isn’t afraid to ask dumb questions. And he has a good heart, I think

6. Joe Rogan ExperienceYeah, this can be hit or miss, some guests are loud and annoying. But Joe is remarkably calm in his interviews, he has great guests (sometimes), and he doesn’t try to crack jokes all the time (he’s not even that funny in my opinion). But he’s much smarter than he gets credit for (and not really a right-wing meathead as his critics like to say). He knows when to shut up and let his guests talk. This is how some of my favorite podcasts happened, like the one with Naval Ravikant or Francis Ngannou. 

Some honorary mentions: Tim Ferriss Show (but it’s almost a bit too information-dense for me to falls asleep), Bill Burr’s Monday Morning monologues, Savage Lovecast, a few German ones (Fest & Flauschig or King of Nerds which I’ve just recently discovered). 

Sometimes I’ll listen to audiobooks too, but they can’t be too dramatic either (I’ve listened to Yuval Noah Harari on Audible, for example). 

I’ve tried to get into fiction and fantasy audiobooks, but here’s my problem: I don’t always pay attention to the words I listen to. I need the background hum of talking to fall asleep, I need something to tire my thinking brain just enough for sleep to occur.

But when I wake up, I only remember fragments of what I listened to the night before, at best.

😴 What might help you find calm

Intentional ASMR Picks:

Unintentional ASMR Picks: