Best audiobooks to sleep for tired – but hungry – readers

Do you want to read in bed but you don’t have the strength to do it? Put your headphones on, close your eyes and have fun before catching some Zs.

Selecting the best audiobooks to sleep is not an easy task. If the book is too interesting, there is a risk that your ears will remain attentive all night, without achieving the initial objective. If it's too boring, the moment before you fall asleep may become unbearable. The solution, as in almost everything in life, lies in balance.

What is easy is to realize how useful audiobooks are for sleeping. Think of it as the next step to listening to music – to discover the best music for sleeping, read this post with our selection. Audiobooks don't usually have sudden changes in volume or pitch, don't generate the uncontrollable urge to start singing and can be “read” with the light off – unlike traditional books.

But none of this is new. Don't you remember when you were a kid how you used to drift off when your parents read you a story? This is just the nerdy, techy version of that. If it worked then, why not now?

One more thing before we continue. If for a moment you thought that listening to books in your sleep would make you learn the content of those books without having to study, we're sorry to say there's no scientific study to prove it. But if you want to try it, it won't do you any harm either.

Audiobooks to listen to while sleeping & how to choose them

As we told you at the beginning, it's not easy to choose the best audiobooks for sleeping, but there are two very important factors to consider when choosing one.

The topic

As with "traditional" books, it's the topic that makes us choose one book or another. But when it comes to sleep, choosing a book with a topic we're passionate about isn't always a good idea: it can lead you to pay too much attention. The moment before bed should be a space for disconnection, for emptying the mind of the worries of everyday life. You've probably had interesting stories on TV, so it's time to relax. That's why it's common to choose books that we've read before or that we know part of the plot about: since it's a familiar story, we don't need to pay so much attention – that’s how kids’ stories work. History books are also usually great audiobooks to sleep in, because they typically don't have that driving force that creative nonfiction and fiction carry.

The narrator

When it comes to audio books, the voice matters. Very much so. The narrator can turn the most boring stories into exciting ones if he or she is good; if they are bad, they can ruin even the great classics of literature. If we are looking for sleep, the best narrators will be those with a comforting voice. If the chosen book has few characters, the monotony in the voice can be a great help to close your eyes.

Best audiobooks to help you sleep

Letter to my daughter by Maya Angelou, narrated by Maya Angelour

This book is composed of a series of essays in which the American author shares her wisdom with girls around the world through stories to an imaginary daughter. Her deep voice and the way the different parts are constructed are ideal for sleeping.

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, narrated by Stephen Fry

You probably already know the story – who doesn't? –, but hearing it again in the voice of the British comic is a new and refreshing experience. Plus, Fry has already lent his voice to the video games in the saga, so you might be familiar with it.

The shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, narrated by Daniel Philpott

Set in the city of Barcelona in 1945, this story of love, mystery and magical realism creates a dreamy atmosphere capable of taking you somewhere else – and putting you to sleep. If you enjoy it, know that it is the first part of a trilogy.

The English patient by Michael Ondaatje, narrated by Ralph Fiennes

This audiobook lasts almost eight and a half hours, enough to put you to sleep for many nights. The story, about four characters after the Second World War, takes on an even more interesting feel in the soothing voice of Fiennes.

Bedtime stories for stressed out adults by Lucy Mangan, narrated by Lucy Mangan

Remember what we used to say about the stories our parents read to us before bed? This is the grown-up version. Little pieces read for the sole purpose of sleeping happily after a hard day's work.

Have you already chosen some of our best audiobooks to sleep? Then all you need to do is turn off the lights, unplug your mobile phone and cover your eyes with an OSTRICHPILLOW Loop to get a total blackout experience and make the immersion in literature complete. You'll be asleep before you know it.

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Photo by Raul Petri on Unsplash
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