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Discover the Best Sounds to Fall Asleep To

Calming sound is one of the most effective sensory cues for slowing down your brain waves to enable you to fall asleep quickly and easily. It helps your body and mind relax and also masks any distracting noises in your immediate environment.

Various sounds can help you drift off to sleep quickly, ranging from white or colored noise to calming music, and from binaural beats to nature sounds. This article explores some of the best sounds to fall asleep to.

White Noise

White noise can help you sleep by drowning out the background noise in your bedroom and also by giving your brain a point of focus. This enables your brain waves to slow down to a lower frequency characterized by deep sleep states.

There are various ways you can use white noise to sleep. If there is an air conditioner or fan near you, you can leave them on through the night.

As you’re falling asleep, focus on listening to the static-like sounds they produce. Alternatively, you can buy a white noise machine or play this sound from a white noise app.

Pink Noise

Pink noise is another colored noise that can help you relax. Like white noise, it filters out disruptive ambient sounds to enable you to fall asleep faster and sleep better.

However, unlike white noise, pink noise is deeper and has lower sound frequencies, making it gentler and more soothing. If white noise is too loud or high-pitched, you might enjoy pink noise instead.

Pink noise is commonly  heard in nature, like rainfall or waterfall sounds. But it can also be audio-engineered. One study showed that pink noise helps to prolong the deep sleep phase.

You can use apps like Rx Noise, you can play pink noise tracks on YouTube, or you can buy a pink noise machine.

Brown Noise

Brown noise is also known as red noise or Brownian noise. It includes frequencies even lower than pink noise while diminishing the higher frequencies heard in pink and white noise. The overall effect is that brown noise sounds a bit rougher and stronger than pink or white noise.

It is deep and rumbling, similar to the sound of a river current or thunder. It helps to mask other sounds in the environment and can be used as sound therapy to induce relaxation. The low frequencies of brown noise have a soothing quality that helps improve sleep. Like pink noise, brown noise can help you to stay in the deep sleep stage longer.

Natural Sounds

Nature sounds such as the wind blowing, rainfall, leaves rattling, ocean waves, fire crackling, river currents, and birds singing help your body relax and reduce anxiety, enabling you to sleep better.

A study by researchers at the University of Sussex showed that natural sounds help put the brain and body in a restful state. The brain perceives the rhythmic sounds as non-threatening, creating a calming effect. Natural sounds can also help to mask distracting ambient noises in your immediate environment.

You can find natural sounds for sleep on various sleeping apps, such as the Sleep Cycle app, or on YouTube. Search for “relaxing natural sounds for sleep” and create a playlist of your favorite sounds.

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats can directly stimulate calming brain wave frequencies by creating an auditory illusion. While wearing headphones, you’ll hear two slightly different tones in each ear, which produces dissonance.

The brain tries to compensate for the dissonance by creating a third tone: the binaural beat. The frequency of this binaural beat is calculated as the difference between the two differing tones, and it’s the single tone your brain actually perceives hearing. 

Binaural beats that produce low frequency tones can help facilitate better sleep.. For instance, binaural beats at 3Hz induce delta frequency waves in the brain, helping you fall asleep quickly and deeply.

Binaural beats are best listened to through headphones to enjoy the full effect of the different frequencies. Do not play higher-frequency binaural beats as they will stimulate alpha and beta waves in the brain, making it difficult to sleep.

Since sleeping with headphones or earbuds in your ears is not recommended, use binaural beats to stimulate calming brain waves before bed.

Then, remove the headphones when you start to feel drowsy. You can continue to listen to other calming sounds through a sleep pillow speaker or stereo, or you can use other relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises and visualizations, to fall asleep.

Classical Music

Classical music is another excellent choice for sounds to fall asleep to. It has a relaxing and soothing effect on both the body and mind.

There is a wide variety of classical music you can listen to for sleep, including pieces by famous composers such as Wolfgang Mozart, Claude Debussy, Eric Satie, Johann Sebastian Bach, Gabriel Faure, and Ludwig Van Beethoven, among others.

The best classical music for sleeping is calming, slow, and has minimal dynamics. Experiment with different pieces and create a playlist of your favorite classical music.

Play it for at least 30 minutes before bedtime. According to the Sleep Foundation, listening to music 45 minutes before you sleep can help you to fall asleep faster.

Once again, do not use headphones; rather, use a pillow speaker or a Bluetooth speaker. Set the volume low, so the music doesn’t startle you even if it continues playing after you fall asleep.

For the best results, listen to the same playlist each night. Your brain will associate the soothing music with sleep, enabling you to fall asleep faster.

Guided Sleep Hypnosis

Guided sleep hypnosis is a form of hypnotherapy that helps people fall asleep easily and achieve deeper, more restful sleep. It usually takes the form of a guided meditation recording with calming background noise or music.

The meditation instructor guides you through a series of relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, counting down, and visualizations to help your mind calm down and your body relax. Additionally, hypnosis helps reduce stress and anxiety, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.

It’s important to choose guided sleep hypnosis from a reputable source and ensure that a trained hypnotherapist has created the recording.

Aside from improving your sleep quality, guided sleep hypnosis improves mindfulness and enhances overall well-being.

Delta Wave Music

Delta wave music is ideal for helping you to fall asleep fast. It helps to activate delta brainwaves, which are associated with deep relaxation and deep sleep.

There is a wide variety of delta wave music online, ranging from soft and soothing melodies to more complex compositions that include nature sounds, binaural beats, and colored noise. Try out different types to discover which ones work the best for you.


Soothing sounds are very powerful for helping you sleep well, and they are even more effective when combined with good sleep hygiene practices.

Create a comfortable sleep environment and establish a regular sleep routine. Then utilize music and calming sounds to elicit deep relaxation, slow brain wave frequencies, and a feeling of tranquility.

You’ll sleep better and discover many physical, emotional, and mental benefits to your health and well-being.


  • Gia Snyder

    Gia is a yoga & meditation teacher, spiritual teacher, energy healer, and musician. She has a Bachelor's degree from San Diego State University in Kinesiology with a minor in Psychology. She also studied at YogaWell Institute and received a Hatha Yoga Teacher Certification. Visit LinkedIn page.

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