The 15 sounds that can help you drift off to sleep – and the best ones to wake up to

A SLEEP expert has discovered which sounds help you fall asleep – and which ones are best for you to wake up to.

Hannah Shore, sleep knowledge and research manager at Silentnight, said ocean waves, a crackling fire and the distant hum of a fan are among the 15 sounds that help people fall asleep the most.

Hannah Shore, sleep knowledge and research manager at Silentnight, has revealed which sounds help you fall asleep


Hannah Shore, sleep knowledge and research manager at Silentnight, has revealed which sounds help you fall asleepPhoto credit: Getty

On the other hand, when you hear a piece of toast being cut or a kettle boiling, they are most likely to open and give a gentle shine.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that half like listening to white noise to fall asleep or wake up.

The study, commissioned by Premier Inn, found that 26 per cent heard them every evening, with the sound of rain (40 per cent), music (34 per cent) and the sound of a fan (24 per cent) among the most popular options.

The hotel chain has launched Nod-Flix, an ASMR channel where guests can play their optimal video and sound landscape as they fall asleep.

Ms Shore said: “Depending on the person, seeing or hearing something calming before bed can be part of our sleep process.”

“Different noises trigger different reactions from our subconscious while we sleep. So what might be reassuring to one person may not be the case to another.”

“If you share a bed or a room, be considerate and invest in a pair of headphones. Or why not try a sound that you both find calming?”

The study also found that 27 percent would not be able to sleep properly if they shared a room with other people and were unable to hear their white noise.

More than half (58 percent) usually hear these sounds on their phone, while 34 percent turn them on via an app.

But 15 percent even have a sound machine.

The sound of wind (21 percent), audio books (16 percent) and the purring of a cat (seven percent) also made it onto the list of noises and noises that people like to fall asleep to.

It also found that half of adults surveyed felt their sleep fluctuated depending on the season.

And 57 percent believe they sleep best in the fall or winter, compared to just seven percent who sleep best in the summer months.

Respondents were shown a series of hotel-style ASMR-like videos from the Nod Flix channel, from a kettle boiling to dragging a suitcase across the hard floor.

The most relaxing thing was the sound of bacon sizzling, followed by the sound of running water from the shower.

The study, conducted via, also found that the sound of a vacuum was surprisingly the least calming.

Ms Shore said: “Some people don’t find it as easy to switch off as others and noise is a great way to help with that.”

“Some people prefer complete silence, while for others silence means paying attention to all the little noises. In a hotel, that could be people walking down the hallway, closing doors, the elevator.”

“Others may find that they need their brain to focus on something else.

“In these cases, the sounds they can focus on need to include something like the slow rhythm of soothing music, the repetition of the waves on the beach, or even the noise of the television.”

“This can allow the mind to unwind from the day and therefore fall asleep, which we hope the Nod Flix channel achieves for many.”

The 15 best sounds to listen to while falling asleep

According to a study among Brits, the most popular sounds to fall asleep include:

1. Rain sounds

2. Music

3. Sea sounds

4. The sound of a fan

5. The sound of your favorite TV show/streaming service

6. Wind noise

7. Podcasts

8. Audiobooks

9. Jungle/forest/forest sounds

10. Fireplace noises

11. Static noises

12. City atmosphere

13. Animal sounds

14. A purring cat

15. The sound of a vacuum cleaner

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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