The 11 Best Songs to Add to Your Sleep Playlist (According to Science)

We swear a good bedtime playlist helps us get better sleep. In fact, research from the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences shows that listening to music can significantly reduce the severity of insomnia and improve sleep quality. Choosing the right music before bed can even help you fall asleep, which makes a solid bedtime playlist a seriously powerful part of any nighttime routine. Now, thanks to playlist mining tools from Spotify, we're able to identify the top songs people turn to for a better night's sleep.

If you need more reasons to refresh your bedtime playlist, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) says that "slow, soothing music" can lower your heart rate, reduce anxiety, and distract from stressful thoughts that may otherwise disturb sleep. Harvard Medical School adds that relaxing music can also ease pain, lower blood pressure, and slow your breathing rate. As far as the science behind music and sleep quality, the results may vary based on the person, with one study finding that low suggestible participants benefited more from listening to relaxing music. Still, there are many objective benefits that make a good sleep playlist worthwhile, and there's a wide range of bedtime songs people already love.

To determine the exact songs you should add to your own sleep playlist, experts from Bed Kingdom analyzed nearly 10,000 different Spotify playlists, using the Playlist Miner tool to pick out keywords like "sleep," "bedtime," and "tired." The results include many of today's top artists, along with some classic tracks and even a few viral songs from TikTok. Although this queue is full of modern picks, each song is slow-paced and even whimsical to help you unwind before bed. That said, only listen to artists like Mitski and Sufjan Stevens if you have the emotional capacity to do so (they're not for the faint of heart).

Songs For Your Sleep Playlist

Based on data from thousands of sleep-related playlists, these are the top 11 songs researchers suggest adding to your own bedtime playlist. Listen to the most popular picks below, and read on for the full Spotify playlist.

"Apocalypse" by Cigarettes After Sex

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This dreamy 2017 hit is the number one track on people's bedtime playlists for a reason. It popped up on various sleep-themed playlists 623 times with over 1 billion Spotify streams, thanks to its sad-yet-peaceful vibe.

"Sparks" by Coldplay

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Everything about this classic Coldplay song gives us nighttime energy. In fact, across the wider bedtime song ranking, Coldplay appeared a total of six times. Out of all their sleep songs, "Sparks" takes the number one spot, with emotional lyrics and a rhythm made for slow-dancing in the moonlight.

"Je te laisserai des mots" by Patrick Watson

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This French song is about love and longing, literally translated to "I'll Leave You Words." The bittersweet piano melody went viral on TikTok, and people still can't stop listening. "This song makes me understand that you don't necessarily need language to understand emotion," one commenter wrote on YouTube.

"The Night We Met" by Lord Huron

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This nostalgic 2015 track is like listening to a modern-day lullaby. Expect heartfelt storytelling, powerful vocals, and a slow-paced melody to help ease into bedtime.

"My Love Mine All Mine" by Mitski

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At its core, this is a song about love. "I grew up moving around, nothing felt permanent, I wasn't from anywhere, everything was temporary, and nothing felt like it was mine," Mitski said of the song in an October interview with Genius. "Suddenly I realized, 'Oh, but I have this thing in me that is actually, fully mine.'" The calming track moves slowly and sweetly, making it a popular pick for bedtime.

"Fourth of July" by Sufjan Stevens

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From Sufjan Stevens's "Carrie & Lowell" album, this song carries heavy themes of loss, grief, and healing, wrapping the lyrics in gentle vocals and a soothing melody. If you need a good cry before bed, look no further.

"Romantic Homicide" by d4vd

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This emotional track went viral on TikTok, but the slow beats and calming ambience make it a steadfast hit for bedtime playlists everywhere.

"i was all over her" by salvia palth

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YouTube commenters call this melancholy guitar melody "soothing and sad at the same time." But you know . . . in a good way. "I absolutely love music like this. I just sit in the dark and it's me and my thoughts plus this playing in the background. Beautiful," one commenter wrote.

"Sunsetz" by Cigarettes After Sex

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Cigarettes After Sex makes another appearance in the top 11 bedtime songs, and we can't say we're surprised. This one is particularly ethereal, with a smoky sounding melody that'll lull you right to sleep.

"rises the moon" by Liana Flores

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As far as bedtime songs go, this one hits the nail squarely on the head, with Liana Flores singing softly to comforting guitar music. "This song is like a warm hug from someone that understands you," one YouTube commenter wrote.

"Daddy Issues" by The Neighbourhood

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What would a bedtime playlist be without The Neighbourhood? People gravitate toward this 2015 track for its relaxing melody and emotional lyrics.

Check out the PS Fitness Spotify account for more playlists.

Chandler Plante is an assistant editor for POPSUGAR Health & Fitness. Previously, she worked as an editorial assistant for People magazine and contributed to Ladygunn, Millie, and Bustle Digital Group. In her free time, she overshares on the internet, creating content about chronic illness, beauty, and disability.