Many of us struggle to get a restful night’s sleep, with a plethora of reasons keeping us up at night. For some people, it could be aches and pains, while others might be kept awake with stress, anxiety or an over-active mind.
While some simple solutions such as investing in supportive new pillows or ensuring your room is properly ventilated can work wonders for your sleep, if your brain can’t switch off then you’ll still find it difficult to catch those forty winks.
However, the growing trend of listening to sleep podcasts is being hailed as a revelation by many sleep-deprived listeners, who find listening to these niche shows helps them finally get some deep, restorative sleep.
What are sleep podcasts?
Put simply, sleep podcasts are designed to help listeners fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. They usually aim to create a calming atmosphere that listeners can absorb without having to focus too hard on the details of what is being discussed.
There are many types of sleep podcasts available across all major podcast platforms. These include guided meditations, bedtime stories, ambient sounds such as rainfall and other types of ASMR, and factual discussions about the science behind sleep.
The top podcasts for better sleep
We wanted to find out which sleep podcasts are the most popular, so we conducted a study looking at some of the most prominent podcasts and evaluated them across several metrics. Here are the top ten.
1 - Sleep With Me Podcast Score: 8.77
The top sleep podcast in our study is Sleep With Me, which scored an impressive 8.77/10. Sleep With Me is hosted by Drew Ackerman, who discusses a different topic in each episode in a very informal and conversational manner. Ackerman’s tone of voice and tempo, coupled with topics that are not controversial or overly thought-provoking allow your brain to wind down and prevents you from overthinking while trying to fall asleep.
2 - Nothing Much Happens Podcast Score: 8.35
The second most popular sleep podcast in our study is Nothing Much Happens, scoring 8.35/10. The Noting Much Happens podcast provides listeners with bedtime stories for adults in which, you guessed it, not a lot happens. Written and read by Kathryn Nicolai, these stories are soft, cosy and delivered in a quiet soothing voice that encourages you to quietly drift off into peaceful slumber.
3 - Get Sleepy Podcast Score: 8.23
In third place is another bedtime story podcast, Get Sleepy, which scored 8.23/10. Get Sleepy features stories that aim to both relax and entertain you so you can feel comfortable and unwind before sleep. Expect ambient music and the soft tones of lead presenter Tom Jones (not the Welsh music legend).
The sleep podcasts with the most subscribers
Having looked at the top podcasts overall, we also wanted to find out which are the best in certain categories. Here we pay particular attention to the number of subscribers, revealing the most subscribed sleep podcasts currently available.
1 - Sleep With Me Castbox Subscribers: 200,587
The sleep podcast with the most subscribers on Castbox is Sleep With Me, with over 200,000 people subscribed to the show. This huge following indicates just how popular it has become, suggesting that it really does help its listeners fall asleep more easily.
2 - Tracks to Relax Castbox Subscribers: 50,389
Tracks to Relax is the second most-subscribed sleep podcast in our study with 50,389 subscribers on Castbox. While this podcast’s name sounds fairly self-explanatory, Tracks to Relax features four distinct varieties of sleep-inducing content including guided sleep meditations, bedtime stories, ambient sleep sounds, and empowering self-care sessions.
3 - Deep Energy Castbox Subscribers: 33,977
In third place with 33,977 subscribers is the Deep Energy podcast, created by musician Jim Butler. The Deep Energy podcast offers a mix of ambient and new age music designed to help you fall asleep or to accompany other calming activities such as meditation, yoga and reiki.
The most-listened-to sleep podcasts
Another interesting metric is the number of listens that each podcast receives. The more a podcast is listened to, the more likely it is to have people coming back to catch another episode, suggesting that they really do help listeners get better sleep.
1 - Sleep With Me Castbox Listens: 4,468,854
By far the most listened-to sleep podcast is Sleep With Me, which had recorded 4.47 million listens at the time of our study. This incredible number of listens is proof of the podcast’s popularity and ability to encourage listeners to return time and again.
2 - Deep Energy Castbox Listens: 1,422,278
Deep Energy is our second most listened-to podcast with 1.42 million listens. The mix of ambient and new age music has proven a hit with listeners who are after a non-verbal accompaniment to their relaxing activities and sleep routine.
3 - Tracks to Relax Castbox Listens: 1,207,249
In third place with 1.21 million listens is Tracks to Relax, showing that their diverse offering of calming and affirming content resonates with their audience, driving them to come back for more.
The longest-running sleep podcasts
It’s also interesting to see how many episodes of each podcast have been made. Those with a greater number of episodes demonstrate that they have staying power, suggesting they have a regular audience and know how to produce great content. These are the sleep podcasts with the highest number of episodes on Castbox.
1 - Deep Energy Episodes on Castbox: 943
The sleep podcast with the most episodes is Deep Energy, the go-to podcast for relaxing ambient music. With as many as 943 individual episodes on Castbox, the Deep Energy podcast has enough content to keep you soothed and relaxed for the foreseeable future.
2 - Sleep and Relax ASMR Episodes on Castbox: 589
In second place, with 589 episodes on Castbox, is the Sleep and Relax ASMR podcast. This show features a variety of different styles of ASMR, from the ambient street noise of a Dutch city, to the sound of a pacific waterfall, or even the host slowly reading Lady Gaga’s Wikipedia page.
3 - Snoozecast Episodes on Castbox: 525
The sleep podcast with the third-highest number of episodes is Snoozecast, a podcast specifically designed to help you fall asleep. Snoozecast is a story-based podcast with categories including fiction, folk-tales, poetry, children’s stories, and Snoozecast original works. Delivered in a calm and deliberate manner to the accompaniment of ambient music, Snoozecast creates the perfect atmosphere to lull a weary listener into a deep sleep.
Our full index of podcasts for better sleep
Here is the full ranking of all 35 sleep podcasts in our study. With podcasts covering a wide range of topics and sub-genres, there’s something here for everyone. There are even some sleep podcasts designed around our favourite TV shows such as Game of Drones and The Office ASMR!
We wanted to find out which sleep podcasts are the most popular. To do this we looked at several different metrics that could be used to indicate popularity and combined them into a single overall score.
Before collecting the data, we first had to identify the leading sleep podcasts to include in our study. Using sources such as TimeOut and GQ, among others, we were able to collate a list of the sleep podcasts that have got people talking.
Next, we collected each podcast’s rating out of 5 from Chartable. As this rating is based on listener reviews, it provides an insight into how well each podcast’s audience enjoys the show. We then paired this with data from Castbox, including the number of listens, subscribers and episodes on the platform.
Lastly, we also collected search data for each show using Google Keyword Planner to reveal which sleep podcasts are the most searched for online. However, not all shows received any searches, with the podcasts in question being removed from the study’s final list.
All of these factors were combined into a single “Podcast Score” which allowed us to rank the podcasts from the most popular to the least, revealing the top podcasts to help listeners fall asleep.