Child sleeping with headphones on

Sounds To Help You Sleep

One of the practices that has recently become noticed in the medical community, and by media outlets like ABC News as well, is Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response or ASMR. Essentially, ASMR is a recording of sounds to help you sleep. People who have trouble falling asleep because their mind is racing or have other insomnia issues can benefit from ASMR because it instantly relaxes the mind and body and helps you fall asleep fast.

What Are Sounds to Help You Sleep?

The exact sounds that are used vary, depending upon which audio file you listen to. However, they can often consist of common sounds like brushing, pouring, shaking or tapping sounds. ASMR is completely different than meditation music, or nature, water or rain sounds that you can find for insomnia, and experts are seeing much better results with sleepers who have had difficulty falling asleep using other kinds of sounds.

These sounds to help you sleep aren’t only for insomniacs either. They can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression and panic disorders as well. However, most people have reported the best success when trying to fall asleep, especially for those who normally have trouble turning their brain off long enough to relax and drift off.

Child sleeping with headphones on
image credit: Daniel E Bruce

Why Sounds Help You Sleep Better

There are many reasons that people use meditation music, ASMR or nature sounds to help them fall asleep. For one thing, using this type of therapy for insomnia is perfectly safe and comes with no side effects. Health experts have weighed in on this issue as ASMR and other techniques have been covered in the media and there are no side effects to using sounds to help you sleep.

However, another reason that people choose to use this method is that the other solutions that are out there are not appealing, or are impractical. For example, a common recommendation for insomniacs is to have a glass of wine before bed. Many people do not drink alcohol as a rule, and would prefer to find a different way to fall asleep.

This is much the same for many of the over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids that are on the market. Used in moderation, most sleep aids are perfectly safe. However, long term use can lead to a dependence upon the drug and an inability to fall asleep without it.

What Sounds Are Most Effective?

This is a highly debated topic, even among those who produce audio and video to help you sleep. The exact sounds vary depending upon whether you prefer nature sounds, ASMR noises or meditation music. However, here are some of the sounds that people have found effective in the past.

Brushing, tapping, clicking, shaking or pouring sounds such as from rice. These sounds are what make up ASMR recordings the majority of the time.
Calming natural sounds like birds in the forest, water flowing, thunderstorms and the sound of rain on various surfaces.
Meditation instrumental music that varies in style and instruments, but is consistently calming and relaxing.