Can’t sleep? Try this out
By Carlos Bilan, Staff Writer
Not all music is exclusively meant to be listened to while awake; there is also some that is perfect for falling asleep to! As a college student desperately trying to practice good sleeping habits, my goodnight playlist is one of my saving graces.
I play my playlist with my iPhone placed on my study desk a few metres away from my bed. You can use speakers, but make sure there’s no bass, because if it’s too loud it will keep you awake.
Here are a couple different types of music that will work well for a goodnight playlist.
Piano pieces. If you ask me what’s my favourite instrument, I’d say the piano—especially when it comes to relaxing music. There’s a feeling of intimacy, delicacy, and peacefulness when you listen to solo piano pieces, whether classical or modern. For a modern selection, the South Korean composer and pianist Yiruma will do you no wrong with his beautiful discography. When picking classical music, go for the solo piano pieces, since an orchestra could get you jumping off your bed during the loud parts. “Fur Elise” and “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven are definitely classical essentials for any goodnight playlist.
Folk music. The intricate plucking of guitar strings accompanied by gentle vocals is an ideal combination to put your mind at ease. Folk paragon Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie and Lowell, Michigan, and Seven Swans showcase several songs that will be perfect for your goodnight playlist, thanks to their mellow arrangements. Another folk music icon is Bon Iver, whose debut album For Emma, Forever Ago consists of a number of serene songs. And don’t forget Julie Byrne, whose album Not Even Happiness is filled with perfectly tranquil songs.
Disney music. While it’s true that not all music from Disney is ideal for falling asleep, you can get lullaby versions of them, or cherry pick the really soft ones.
“When She Loved Me” by Sarah McLachlan is one of those softies. I mean, Jesse’s backstory from Toy Story 2? That scene still makes me feel emotional to this day. “Wherever You Are” from the underrated Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin is another gem that’s guaranteed to lull you to sleep.
Game music. If you’re a gamer, can you think of music from games that make you feel at peace? Well, if not, then I definitely recommend music from Final Fantasy. I’m an avid fan of the Final Fantasy series and seriously, the original soundtrack of the games still amazes me to this day.
Nobuo Uematsu has composed a number of pieces that fit the bill. “To Zanarkand” from Final Fantasy X is great, and will definitely make you feel sentimental—especially if you have played the game. “Melodies of Life” and “Frontier Village Dali” from Final Fantasy IX are also wonderful tunes to carry you to dream land.
Pop and indie music. There are mainstream and indie artists who have also released tunes which fit the bill. A pop music example is “Everytime” by Britney Spears, which really sounds like a lullaby. Many songs by the indie songstress Lana Del Rey are ideal to listen to before sleeping. “Terrence Loves You” from Honeymoon and “Old Money” from Ultraviolence are a few quiet songs perfect for falling asleep to.
Of course, these are all only suggestions. Just pick songs that make you feel relaxed and at peace. Generally, about 30 songs is long enough. You want to make sure that playlist will shut off on its own. Never put it on repeat. The key is to help you fall asleep, but once you are asleep your brain needs to rest and having music on could be distracting to it—even if you’re not consciously aware of it.