Why Adult Bedtime Stories Can Help You Fall Asleep

If you’re having trouble falling back asleep after the 3am feed, try taking a cue from your kiddo’s bedtime routine and read a story—or, rather, listen to one. And for even better results, listen to a bedtime story that’s been specifically created to help adults unwind both body and mind, making sleep easier to embrace.

If you haven’t heard of adult audio bedtime stories, you’ve been missing out on a powerful tool that can help you nod off in no time. With millions of people using them every month, it’s a safe bet that adult bedtime stories are here to stay. But why, exactly, do they work so well?

One reason is because audio bedtime stories are more in tune with how your body naturally switches off. As your body powers down your senses so you can sleep, your sense of hearing is the last one to turn off (it’s also the first sense to turn back on when you wake). When you’re listening to audio in bed with your eyes closed, it helps your body shut down the rest of your senses more easily so you can accept sleep sooner.

Audio bedtime stories can also help you fall asleep faster because they don’t require the use of your eyes. This can be particularly beneficial if you find that your eyes are extra fatigued in the evening from staring at a screen all day. By listening to a story rather than reading one, your eyes are able to relax more easily.

Another reason why bedtime stories are so effective is their ability to help you beat the sleep paradox. If you’ve ever found yourself awake at night after the 3am feed desperately trying to fall asleep but becoming more awake, you’ve experienced the sleep paradox. You see, the paradox of sleep is that it comes when you’re not trying. By taking your attention away from thinking about sleeping and replacing it with a soothing story, your mind is able to let go and surrender itself to sleep.

Bedtime stories can also conjure up positive childhood memories of being read to by a warm, soothing voice before bed. When you listen, you can be transported back to one of the most relaxing and least stressful times in your life—all good things to feel when you’re in need of some shut-eye.

We partnered with the experts at the Breethe meditation app to bring you free audio bedtime stories designed to help lull you to sleep quickly. If you haven’t tried them yet, we highly recommend you press play on one tonight. You can find and stream them all here. Sweet dreams.