Goodnight Grooves: A Sleepytime Playlist

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Why is Going to Sleep so Hard?

Going to sleep is one of the most pleasurable things about everyday life for some of us but getting there takes alot work. First of all, you have to get through the day and all of its troubles. Then you have to make dinner and take care of household duties and finally after some well- deserved leisure activities- you finally go to bed. But wait! You cannot fall asleep.

And for alot of us that has to do with a myriad of things, when in all honesty it has to do with three main issues- the inability to disconnect, our roving brains, and the constant sense of never being through with the day.

But thankfully there is something we can do to relax our troubles away. Along with a few tips, this hub will give you some good tunes to fall asleep to.


Start Unplugging and Unwinding

One thing about our world being constantly connected is that it makes getting a restful night's sleep even more challenging. It used to be falling asleep meant cutting off the television. Now, it means cutting off the tube, shutting down the computer, disconnecting the iPad, silencing the phone and getting our brains into sleep mode.

In fact recent studies have shown that a blue light effect has been noticeable in people who use technology such as laptops and iPads too soon before sleeping. The stimulation from the light actually makes senses more alert instead of relaxing them. Conversely, the light from the television does not have the same effect. Either way, technology before bed has some negative effects.

Other pre-bed activities that need to be saved for more active hours include eating large meals. Eating dinner and large snacks too close to bed puts your digestion at an impasse. Digestion typically takes one to two hours and eating an hour or less before going to sleep is a bad idea. I speak from experience. In college, my friends and I had a late meal of burgers and fries. And about an hour later, I went to sleep and it felt like I had a whale hibernating in my stomach. Nevertheless it took me a good three hours before I finally fell asleep. It was a lesson well-learned.

Exercising is another activity you may want to think about doing earlier rather than later. It takes the body a while to cool down and rest. So ideally, you should exercise a couple of hours before bed like after work or before the day begins like early morning to get the most out of your work out.

Generally what you should do before bed is anything that you did not do during the bulk of the day. For example, making a list of things that need to be done tomorrow so your brain can clear itself.

Preparation is Key

In order to sleep well, you have to enable yourself to sleep well and that means taking the necessary precautions.

Soft Lighting: Bright lighting is symbolic of alertness. Notice how schools employ bright lights to keep kids awake all day? That's exactly what you do not want when getting ready for bed. Try to use dim lighting beginning after dinner and see if it makes you relax.

Soft Noise: By this I mean do not observe or participate in anything particularly loud. I am sensitive to sound and that usually means anything louder than someone talking indoors excites me to think something else is going on.

Light Snack: While some people claim it is good not to eat at all before bedtime, other studies say a light snack of carbohydrates helps the body prepare for rest. Some of us cannot go hungry and sleep but others are different. It' is all about what works for you.

Herbal Tea: There are several types of tea containing relaxing ingredients (i.e. chamomile) that help you relax. A sip of something hot and warm an hour or less before bed helps you rest.

Light Reading: If you have a magazine you like to flip through or a novel that is not too detailed, pre-bedtime is a good time to indulge in it.

Sweet Melodies for Sweet Dreams

These are songs that I personally enjoy listening to all day long but realize they can help soothe you to sleep as well. Everyone's taste in music is obviously different but in general it's best to listen to something soothing with minimal percussion and low bpm as not to get you too excited.

If you have an MP3 player, you can make your own playlist and be ready to go come bedtime. You can choose whatever you like but here are some suggestions based on my experience.

One on One Hall and Oates: If you are a Hall and Oates fan, this song does not disappoint at all. It's a nice slow jam that is very sensual. And it includes numbers so it might make you subconsciously count as well :).

A Dream DeBarge: Some of you may not recognize the song, but it has been sampled throughout the years by several artists in urban music. But as a work on its own, it completely holds up as a musical fairy tale.

Can't Hide Love Earth, Wind & Fire: Earth, Wind & Fire essentially mastered the art of creating memorably classic slow jams and this one is no exemption. My favorite part of the song is at the end where you can forget about singing words and hum along.

Still in Love New Edition: New Edition is one of my favorite all time boy bands and this song is among one of their most overlooked in my opinion. Love songs in general are a great way to end the day to me and this one is definitely worth a listen.

Open Arms Journey: This has to be among one of the best 80s ballads and for obvious reason, it's soaring. While many people, including Mariah Carey have covered this- nothing compares to Steve Perry singing and hitting those notes.

Dreamin' Vanessa Williams: Vanessa Williams needs to make a major musical comeback. Her voice is awesome and she really did a good job of putting out solid hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And this song is no joke, she really proves herself on this sweet ballad.

For the Good Times Al Green: Al Green sings everything perfectly without effort. And this song definitely has his mark on it even though it was originally sung by singer/actor Kris Kristofferson.

Baby Baby Baby TLC: This is not the first song with baby in the title and not the last. Nonetheless, TLC will sing you to sleep in this steady groove.

In My Room The Beach Boys: The Beach Boys are the masters of modern harmony and thankfully no modern technology has been able to duplicate the glorious sound of voices melding together. This is one of their most delightful songs to relax to.

Everytime I Close My Eyes Babyface: For someone with a childish nickname, he knew how to craft some very real love songs. Look for Mariah Carey on the background vocals.

Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart Alicia Keys: Alicia Keys could have her own whole list of lullabies but since this one has sleep in the title, I use it.

Let It Be The Beatles: I always like to think of this being the Beatles' version of a spiritual. Even though it was written after Paul McCartney had a dream about his mother who had passed when he was fourteen after battling cancer, it holds a lot of meaning. But it's a good way to release the day and rest.

Anything for You Gloria Estefan: Even though some consider this a stalker song, it has a nice melody to rock you to sleep.

Dreaming with a Broken Heart John Mayer: For all his failures in being a big mouth in real life, he does a pretty good job of making it up on record. This song is sweet and sad all at once.

In Too Deep Genesis: Phil Collins voice to me is magic. And this song sounds like a modern lullaby.

Come Back to Me Janet Jackson: This is one of my personal favorite Janet Jackson songs ever. Her soft vocals and longing tone make this song a great goodnight groove.

Two Occasions The Deele: Using the contrast of day and night is nothing new but this song is probably most famous for the hook than anything (see Mariah Carey's We Belong Together).

Eternal Flame The Bangles: A sweetly lush ballad by one of the all time great girl bands.

Lady in My Life Michael Jackson: Another song where the sample is more famous than the song (it was famously sampled in LL Cool J and Boyz II Men's Hey Lover in 1996) but the original is pretty awesome.

Run to You Whitney Houston: Whitney Houston could sing anything and this song is further proof of that.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight (Sugar Bear) Elton John: Even though this is talking about someone nearly overdosing, I I love the rhythm and melody of this song.

Take a Bow Madonna: This is without question my favorite Madonna ballad of all time. Simple, bittersweet, and haunting- pure gold.

Take It From Here Justin Timberlake: For serious fans of this song, we call it number four from Justified- one listen and you will know why. It is just that beautiful.

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Comments 46 comments

Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

So very true about it being able to fall asleep. I sometimes do get insomnia and your techniques sound truly helpful and loved the list of music too to help relax. Have voted up, shared and tweeted too!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a great playlist of songs...many of which I listen to religiously. Perry's voice is one of the great all-time in rock music.

As for sleeping, I just don't have a problem, but I love your checklist and suggestions.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Janine for commenting and sharing! And I wish you the best in combating your insomnia!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks billybuc- I'm glad you like the playlist. And Perry's voice is definitely a treasure in and of itself!


nmdonders profile image

nmdonders 4 years ago

I love this list of music and I think you have really good taste :) I haven't heard some of these songs in a long time. Great job on this.


jennzie profile image

jennzie 4 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

Great suggestions to relax and help you sleep! I can have trouble sleeping (and just simply relaxing), so this was helpful.


cfjots profile image

cfjots 4 years ago from Conway, SC

Great article. You covered all the bases and the insomniac will have some much needed relief reading your article. I like your song choices too.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thank you so much nmdonders for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thank you so much jenzie. I understand because it is hard to unwind sometimes :).


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thank you cfjots!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Interesting hub Alecia. Great song list but to be honest, it's rare for me not to be able to sleep. I always read before I drop off, that seems to do the trick most nights.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Jools, I don't have a hard time going to sleep either. But I know some people have conditions and health concerns that prevent them from resting as easily.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

This is really great advice for anyone having problems sleeping. I am lucky I don't really have too much trouble sleeping unless I have caffeine after 6 PM. Even then, if I've had a long day, I can still usually go to sleep. But relaxing music is still a nice idea no matter what... it helps create peaceful dreams. Voted up and shared!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Jeannie! I agree good music helps with nice dreams.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Wow, what a list of songs! Great job. I'm a night owl, so I generally just stay up until I'm sleepy. I have tried warm tea or milk before, though. Nice hub!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Victoria Lynn! I love warm tea before bed as well :).


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

I get my sleepytime tea and read a book to go to sleep. These are great songs if I still can't nod off. The Beach Boys song would put me to sleep anytime, but I still love it. Interesting hub!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks so much Glimmer Twin Fan- that song is really great!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Alecia, I found out late in life that eating a big meal a couple of hours before bedtime as not a good thing. I now drink herbal tea and it is much wiser. Your list of songs is updated for the generation of sleepless nights we sometimes experience. Good choices! Voted interesting and useful.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi teaches12345,

I like my nighttime cup of tea as well. And I'm glad you enjoyed the playlist. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

very nice check list and suggestions, very useful hub.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks girishpuri!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

Great music list and love all the suggestions for helping at bedtime. I usually don't have much problem getting to sleep but if I do and all else fails, Benedryl does the trick. Great hub, Alecia :)


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

HI Jamie! I think Benadryl can knock anyone out. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Mmmmm, Alecia,

Starting my morning with a little Mr Justin Timberlake so how can I go wrong? Love your necessary inclusion of Phil Collins and Elton John on your amazing list.

Here here for good sleep... Voted UP and ABI. Hugs, Maria


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

I like this! I like that you recognise that what works for one person may not for others, such as with the bedtime snack. I also like your music suggestions because my teenage daughter wants music on, but often can't get to sleep, so now I can give her some suggestions!

Regarding the blue light from computers - this same daughter discovered a program you can download that changes the colour of screen to suit the time of day so it's no longer blue after dark. I've tried it for a while, but I also think working at the computer is simply too over-stimulating and it's best to switch off an hour before bed. (At least for me!)

A very useful hub.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thank you Maria! A day that starts with JT is always great- now if he can go back to giving us some tunes... I agree Elton and Phil are necessary gents for this occasion.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Melovy,

I can relate to what your daughter is going through. In high school, I had a hard time going to sleep and sometimes music was better than anything.

I heard about that application for blue light screens but like you said it is challenging still since it is easy to lose track of time and get lost in it. So I'm like you- I try to power down at least thirty minutes before going to sleep.

Thank you so much for coming by and commenting. I am glad you found this useful.


prospectboy profile image

prospectboy 4 years ago from Texas

Hey there Alecia. Nice article. I've found that I don't even like going to sleep as I've gotten older. I always feel like there is something I have to do. I usually keep my mp3 next to my bed, and I listen to music on most nights. However, some nights when I'm extremely tired I can easily crash out. I'm familiar with a lot of the songs you mentioned in this hub. I agree with you all the way, but "Take Its from Here" by Justin Timberlake, and "Lady In My Life" by Michael Jackson are two of the songs that I listen to before going to sleep regularly. Love both of those songs. Anyway, great hub here. Voted up, useful, awesome, and shared on Hubpages and Twitter.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks prospectboy for coming by and sharing. I'm glad you could benefit from this hub!


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Cool ways of getting to sleep, Alecia!! I love all the songs...and I love especially the light reading suggestion, which is what I do before I go to bed! Thanks for the share, which I share as well.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thank you Michelle coming by and sharing :)!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Another enjoyable hub from you on music....seems the older I get the harder it is for me to fall asleep....so I will taking the advice you offered in the hub. As well as checking out some of the songs you listed...I never really thought of Let It Be being a song to go to sleep with...but now that I think about I can see it....voted up and interesting and awesome.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Cogerson! I think falling asleep is an art form in its own way which is why you can never be too prepared or too ready. I'm glad this hub may be able to help you :).


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World

Good hub here with some nice tunes Alecia!

I used to suffer from sleepless nights almost every other night and it was turning me into a manic depressive. Being a HSP, even music wouldn't help me, just keep me awake even longer! haha

I even tried those special sleep cds but sometimes even they would keep me awake!! It was all about those 'troubles' that kept me up all night.

Now, however, I sleep when I wish. It is merely a choice. I can be sitting on a bus (don't like driving) and decide that it is sleepy time. 1 minute later I'l be sleeping, head lolling forward and everything! haha

Thanks for this useful hub, Alecia. I hope to see you soon.

Have a great day. Peace. :)


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thank you Richawriter! Sleeplessness never seems to be a universal issue with a universal cause. I'm glad you found relief! Have a great day :).


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I don't recognize many songs on your list, however I want to give a try. Let It Be by The Beatles is also one of my favorite songs. Thanks for the sleep-well tips.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

I think you'll enjoy these songs, Vinaya. Let It Be is a great tune. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I may need this one tonight Alecia! I will remember about the soft tunes, including the Madonna one you suggest.


DanaTeresa profile image

DanaTeresa 3 years ago from Ohio

You have some really great tips - I have always had trouble sleeping and I can say that most of these have worked for me at one time or another. Great song selections too. Soft music is a huge help for me. I have a tough time just all of a sudden trying to sleep, music eases me into it.... nice job!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

Great article with such good suggestions and I have tried a few of them. They work but sometimes I have trouble staying asleep toward morning. I like your song list and music is nice before going to bed rather than watching some crazy TV show right before bed. Voted up+++


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Christy,

I hope you can use the tips. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Dana,

I'm glad you have found a way to go to sleep. Music always helps me relax as well. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Pamela,

I understand what you're saying- watching shows like Criminal Minds and CSI doesn't help me relax, sometimes they overstimulate me. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Good evening Alecia - I adore In my Room by the Beach Boys, that is my theme song.

I can tell that you are quite a music lover with both knowledge and passion of this popular entertainment and I generally never play anything too loud or fast before bedtime - often silence is nice but perhaps some soothing light jazz. And in the morning I always start my day with light classical music and the rule of thumb (unless the party is still going, lol) no Led Zeppelin or Sly and the Family Stone before 12 noon, lol.

Thank you for this handy reference list and I will use it as a bookmark.

Sending warm wishes to you from lake erie time ontario canada 8:29pm from Colin and his cats

Have you ever listened to Terence Trent D'Arby from the 80's?

Or my favorite funk band - Defunkt.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi epigramman,

I have listened to Terrence Trent D'Arby- I know he changed his name in the 1990s and is not in the spotlight as much but what he did in the 1980s was pretty interesting.

Thank you so much for coming by and commenting!

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