Music for sleep — albums to help you get a good night's rest

Music for sleep. Female lying in bed listening to music on AirPods
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The best music for sleep can help you nod off and get a restful night's shuteye so you're ready for the new day. 

We all know about the health benefits a good night's sleep can bring and the effect waking up feeling refreshed has on our wellbeing. This week, we're supporting Sleep Awareness Week and World Sleep Day (March 18) with some listening suggestions curated to relax the mind to help you reach the land of nod more easily.

For something as critical as our need for a restful night's sleep, the onset of sleep can sometimes be illusive and difficult to come about naturally. Whether we realise it or not, music is an effective tool that can quickly quieten and relax a busy mind by distracting the brain with chilled vibes to help you drift off.

The best music for sleep  

Every album in our list of the best music for sleep should put you in a relaxed mood, but you'll be even more likely to drift off if you're also wearing a pair of the best headphones for sleeping.

You'll find some of our favorite options below — but just be sure to listen to the whole album on them when you're awake, too, as every entry here deserves to be appreciated in its entirety. Here are our choices.

If you're still having trouble sleeping, check out these 5 plants that could help you sleep better too. 

76:14 by Global Communication

The album sleeve for 76:14 by Global Communication

(Image credit: Spotify)

The most well-known and widely acclaimed project of influential, prolific dance producers Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton, Global Communication is the duo's outlet for ambient techno and house explorations. This largely beat-free album entitled 76:14 was a notable high point in the house movement back in 1994, and a perfect example of ambient synthesiser music to help you drift off.

Sleep by Max Richter 

The album sleeve for Sleep by Max Richter

(Image credit: Spotify)

Sleep is an eight-and-a-half hour concept album based around the neuroscience of sleep by composer Max Richter. It was released in 2015, accompanied by a one-hour version with variations, From Sleep, and later remixed as Sleep Remixes.

Ambient 1: Music for Airports by Brian Eno

The album sleeve for Music for Airports by Brian Eno

(Image credit: Spotify)

Conceived in 1978, Ambient 1: Music for Airports is the sixth studio album by Brian Eno. The album has four 10-minute tracks of of atmospheric instrumental music. Sounding more like a movie soundtrack, this experimental album was widely regarded as being ahead of its time and pointed to what electronic music would sound like just a few years later.

Orphée by Jóhann Jóhannsson

The album sleeve for Orphee by Johann Johannsson

(Image credit: Spotify)

Oscar nominated for his life-affirming score for 'The Theory of Everything' and the more ominous music from the movie 'Sicario', Orphée is a little like a soundtrack that washes over you, mixing choral with aching strings in an intimate and spine-tingling production to help you slip away into blissful meditation.

Seven Days Walking (Day 3) by Ludovico Einaudi

The sleeve art for the album Seven Days Walking Day 3 by Ludovico Einaudi

(Image credit: Spotify)

The third album in a collection of seven is our favorite. Both delicate and haunting, 'Day 3' takes you on a journey that is contemplative and entrancing, with elegant orchestral arrangements and occasional complex turns. 

Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.