It’s estimated that up to 500 million people worldwide meditate. That’s more than 6% of the world’s population!
Sleep meditation is a go-to for many because it’s accessible to most, it doesn’t cost very much (and is often free) and it’s science-backed, proving it works. Making it one of the best sleep audio options available.
Many studies have found that meditation can have a positive impact on stress and anxiety levels. Having stress and anxiety is closely linked to sleepless nights as a result of racing thoughts and an overactive mind at night. So, by reducing stress and anxiety levels, sleep meditation can really boost the quality of sleep you’re getting each night. It also helps to physically, as well as mentally, relax your body and mind.
In addition, you can choose between guided or non-guided meditation, so if you want to be walked through your sleep meditation experience, guided meditation can make it seem effortless. Likewise, if you want an unguided experience, there are many sleep meditations out there that also offer this.
We’ve picked some of the best sleep meditations for you to enjoy at home. Give them a go and see which you prefer.
What is meditation for sleep?
Sleep meditation is a method used to help relax your body and mind whilst calming any racing thoughts you may have before bed. By focusing on your breathing and your body, sleep meditations help distract you from any sleep-disturbing thoughts and encourage a better night’s sleep.
How sleep meditation works
Meditation works by distracting you from focusing on negative or disruptive thoughts and instead focusing on the body and breath. Ultimately this leads to a calmer state before you head to bed and try to fall asleep.
People listen to meditations for many reasons, including to help them sleep and to reduce anxiety and stress. It’s an accessible method that most of us can tap into.
The benefits have been proven to be really positive. One study highlights how meditation programs can help to reduce psychological stress, which can be a lead cause in being unable to fall asleep or having disturbed sleep.
A meta-analysis that identified randomised clinical trials, found that there was a positive link between sleep quality improvements and mindfulness meditation. Many other studies suggest that meditation can help to diminish factors contributing to sleep disturbance.
Best guided sleep meditation
- Sleep Meditation - Rain by The Yoga Bunny
- Sleep Meditation by Tara Brach
- Guided Meditation Body Scan by One Mind Dharma
- Full Body Scan by Kokoon
- Guided Breathing Meditation Exercises for Sleep by The Honest Guys
- Floating Amongst the Stars by Jason Stephenson
- Meditation for sleep part 1 by Headspace
- Deep Sleep Meditation with Affirmations by PowerThoughts Meditation Club
- Guided Meditation For Sleep Problems And Insomnia by Freebirds Meditation
- Guided Meditation For Sleep & Relaxation by BoHo Beautiful Yoga
Length: 15 mins
What is it: This Spotify audio is a 15-minute guided sleep meditation by a woman called Bunok and it’s designed to help you fall asleep when you’re feeling anxious or uneasy. It focuses on helping you reach a state of deep relaxation.
Why should I listen to it: It’s the perfect length, especially if you haven’t got long to tune into sleep meditation. The audios are free and ad-free too. It’s also accessible via Spotify, Bunok’s website or YouTube. Bunok’s audios are featured in many top best sleep meditation articles online and she’s well-liked by meditators all over the world. Choose this meditation if you want the science-backed sounds of nature to send you to sleep.
Length: 15 mins
What is it: Tara Brach is an American psychologist and a promoter of meditation. Her 15-minute sleep meditation YouTube video has nearly half a million views and high ratings. Many of her listeners have described how she has changed their lives and sleeping habits for the better, thanks to her sleep meditation guidance.
Why should I listen to it: This YouTube video is focused on improving the listener’s sleep. The techniques used are accessible by all and pretty effortless too. Tara Brach is a well-known player in the field of meditation with an array of audios you can get your teeth stuck into. If you want to calm an active mind and get to sleep more easily, then give this audio a try.
Length: 16.5 mins
What is it: This YouTube video uses a mindful body scanning technique to help you relax and let go for a better night’s sleep. The audio focuses on the entire body - section by section - allowing you to notice any tension and helping you to release it as you go through the body scan process.
Why should I listen to it: This is a great technique to learn via guided audio. Not only can you use it as part of your bedtime routine, but it’s a handy technique to practise when you’re feeling stressed or tense throughout the day. All you need is a spare 5 to 15 minutes to reset and relax your mind and body. To quote one listener “I rarely make it past my elbow then I wake up with my headphones on sometime later”. Tempted?
Length: 17 mins
What is it: This Spotify track is a 17-minute long full-body scan, which uses a mindful body scanning technique to encourage relaxation and quality sleep. The track asks the listener to focus their attention on their body and how it’s feeling, which in turn distracts their mind from any wandering thoughts. The technique is perfect if your aim is to calm a restless body and relax a racing mind.
Why should I listen to it: Kokoon’s content is inspired by CBT practice. With a focus on getting a better night’s sleep, our full-body scan audio doesn’t stray from its mission of improving your sleep.
Length: 17 mins
What is it: The Honest Guys have a seamless track record for creating quality sleep content that improves bedtime routines. And this YouTube video/audio is no exception. You’ll find a soothing voice gently guiding you through a body scan using breathwork along the way.
Why should I listen to it: They’ve got over 1.3 million YouTube subscribers, with 5* ratings across the board.
Length: 1 hour
What is it: This is a hour-long guided sleep meditation which focuses on saying goodbye to racing thoughts and hello to a relaxing night’s sleep. The audio encourages the listener to imagine being in space, floating amongst galaxies and to start letting go of any distracting thoughts along the way. There’s an interlude of space music too, which listeners have commented on as being relaxing and unique.
Why should I listen to it: With over 14.5 million views/listens, this is one of the most listened to sleep meditations on the web. Take a minute to check out the comments and you’ll see the wonders this audio has worked for those struggling to sleep. It’s a little longer than other sleep meditations, but you’ll probably nod off before the end if the comments are anything to go by.
Length: 12 mins
What is it: This 12-minute audio has been created by HeadSpace to help change your relationship with sleep. They suggest doing this exercise during the day as well as in bed so you can calm your mind during the day or at night. Throughout the audio, you’ll be asked to scan your body in detail to see how it’s feeling whilst being aware of your breath, which in turn will help you switch off and worry less.
Why should I listen to it: Headspace is used by more than 30 million people worldwide and they have a lot of science-backed content to help you relax, wind down and get to sleep. This audio is a freebie, so you can listen to it without paying, to see if you like the way they do things.
Length: 1 hr 44 mins
What is it: This audio starts with guided meditation then later focuses on empowering affirmations. It then ends with binaural beats to help you drift off into a deep sleep. It focuses on calming and empowering the mind and body.
Why should I listen to it: It has over 1.6 million views so far and the feedback is 5* rated. It includes an extra element with the addition of affirmations, which is why the audio is so long. So whilst you sleep, the audio will continue playing positive affirmations to boost your self-esteem and help you to overcome your fears.
Length: 43 mins
What is it: This audio focuses on deep breathing, relaxing the body and counting down to refocus the mind.
Why should I listen to it: It has over 3.2 million views so far with some incredible feedback. Many people who claim to suffer from insomnia have said how the video has helped them fall asleep and they listen to it frequently. The audio is peaceful and soothing and a perfect way to scare away racing thoughts.
Length: 12 mins
What is it: This audio features soothing sounds of rainfall alongside guided meditation to help you fall asleep swiftly. There’s also calming music to accompany the guided audio and rainfall.
Why should I listen to it: Sounds of nature and music have both been linked to positive changes in sleep and a better overall sleep experience. Juliana Spicoluk who features in the audio has trained in meditation and that’s one of the reasons the video has more than 1.3 million views. The audio is perfect if you like the sounds of nature and calming music to send you off to sleep.
How to use sleep meditation audio
Sleep meditation audio is most effective when you can get the following things right.
- Find the right audio for you.
- Optimise your environment.
- Find the right time to listen.
- Listen to your audio as often as you can.
- Use the MyKokoon app.
1. Find the right audio for you
There are so many different types of sleep meditation audio out there, so finding the right one for you can be a hurdle. However, we’ve hopefully made it a little easier with our list of 10 of the best audios that you can slowly work your way through to see which you prefer.
2. Optimise your environment
Listen to meditation audio with headphones that mask external disturbance. Kokoon’s Nightbuds are noise-masking and the perfect choice if you want the ultimate undisturbed sleep meditation experience.
3. Find the right time to listen
Try to listen to the meditation when you’ve got some peace and quiet in the house. It can often be the case that listening to the audio in bed is the only time you can find peace and quiet, so if that’s the case then take advantage and listen away.
4. Listen to your audio as often as you can
Once you’ve found the sleep meditation audio that helps you to fall asleep, make sure you listen to it as often as you can. Consistency is the key here to boost the chances of a positive outcome.
5. Use the MyKokoon app
Listen to your favourite sleep meditation audio alongside the MyKokoon app, so when you do start to fall asleep, the app will play white noise to mask disturbances.
Get started with meditation for sleep
Not sure where to start? Pick one of our best sleep meditations from this article and listen whilst in bed tonight. Why not start with one of our top tracks called Full Body Scan and see where sleep meditation will take you.