Sleep is an occasional or chronic challenge for everyone I know, including me. Luckily, we are mere clicks away from support through sleep and meditation podcasts. I prefer voiceless tones and atmosphere, but my meditation practices have led me to appreciate the storytelling and soothing voice genres of sleep sounds too.

1) Daily Mantra. This is my favorite “soothing drone” voice. Sanskrit mantras were the first vocal sounds created to affect the mind and body at a vibrational level. You don’t have to understand the language to absorb the benefits. Listen along to clear your mind to prepare for meditation or sleep.

2) Tracks To Relax. These guided meditations remind me of my favorite type of restorative meditation, Yoga Nidra. Where your guide in Yoga Nidra would emphasize remaining “awake and aware,” these guides remind you that you’re welcome to sleep at any time.

3) Sleep With Me. I love its emphasis on creating a safe space and companionship, and the suggestion to “let the words bounce off your eardrums” rather than listen intently. Confession: I have no idea what happens in a single episode. The storytelling has a sedative effect like a school class right after lunch. Here, I can release the struggle to keep my eyes open.

4) Hearts of Space. Before there were podcasts, Hearts of Space would be on public radio after I left a yoga class. I would float home on the soothing, ambient tones, barely convince myself to shower, and pour myself into bed for some of the best sleep I’ve ever had. Now online, its Ambient/Downtempo category is a full sleep library for subscribers.

5) Get Sleepy. The format of these episodes is perfect for winding down. You get a brief relaxation meditation, followed by a bedtime story and some soothing tones. With multiple hosts and voice actors, it’s worth trying a few episodes to see if you have a favorite.

6) Sleep Meditation Podcast. Choose from an assemblage of nature sounds like Heavy Wind and Thunder, Beach Waves, and white noise options to relax you.

7) Dark Ambient 2.0. I need a dark room or a sleep mask to get to sleep, and this is what darkness sounds like. The soft, flowing instrumentals and light vocals create a comforting, dark atmosphere.

8) Sleep Whispers. Gentle “whispered ramblings,” stories, and trivia in a curious podcast that includes occasional soothing music and white noise. Other whispered sleep and meditation podcastss creep me out. This one draws me into inner stillness.

9) Nothing Much Happens: Bedtime Stories For Grownups. One of those nights I couldn’t stop pacing the floor, let alone get still to sleep, this one slowed me down. The voice, pacing, close mic, and story craft made my jaw unclench and my eyes relax. Finally, I stood still, and that was a start.

10) Sleep and Relax ASMR. I miss traveling! These sonic streetscapes from around the world help my thoughts meander away from stress and frustration.