Falling asleep is a magical experience. This is why so many musicians have written songs about sleeping.
It might be challenging to go to sleep when your mind is too busy or you’re not feeling ready for bed. Before you go to bed, put on some music to help you relax and drift off to sleep. Listening to sleep-related tunes will give you a one-way ticket to sleepy-town.
Getting a quality night of sleep is essential for good health. It increases your energy, concentration, reaction times, and muscular health. As well as maintaining a great mood!
This list has my top suggestions for the best songs about sleep!
- 1. Insomnia – Faithless
- 2. I’m Only Sleeping – The Beatles
- 3. Enter Sandman – Metallica
- 4. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
- 5. I Go To Sleep – The Pretenders
- 6. Sleep when I’m Dead – Bon Jovi
- 7. Don’t Wake Me Up – Chris Brown
- 8. I Guess I Should Go To Sleep – Jack White
- 9. Asleep – The Smiths
- 10. Last Dream – Swedish Death Candy
- 11. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith
- 12. Insomnia – Daya
- 13. How Do You Sleep? – Sam Smith
- 14. Golden Slumbers – The Beatles
- 15. Fireflies – Owl City
- 16. Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana
- 17. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham
- 18. Sweet Dreams – Eurythmics
- 19. Liminal Sleep (Album) – Sigur Rós
- 20. Dreaming – Blondie
- 21. Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
- 22. Daysleeper – R.E.M.
- 23. Sleeper on the Blacktop – Colter Wall
- 24. No Sleep Till Brooklyn – The Beastie Boys
- Now it’s time to drift off!
1. Insomnia – Faithless
Insomnia by Faithless is one of my favorite songs about sleep (or in this case, the lack of it.) This RnB/house track is about the enemy of sleep – insomnia. A common sleep disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep.
The narrator talks about their experience of insomnia. “Gettin’ stressed, makin’ excess mess in darkness”. This lyric sums up the meaning of the song well. The character finds inspiration in the night and gets creative when they should be in bed.
The band has talked about the background of the song. At the time they wrote it they were all deprived of sleep due to their jet-lagged touring lifestyle. This classic 90’s song resonated with the club scene. And it makes the perfect soundtrack for sleepless nights.
2. I’m Only Sleeping – The Beatles
Maybe you’re in a dream, or you’re waking up. This song is about dreams and sleep.
The narrator is asking not to be woken up since it will ruin his day. The song depicts a beautiful slumber. Even when he wasn’t sleeping, John Lennon, the song’s co-writer, liked to remain in bed. Lennon said this song was about him dreaming away his life.
Published in 1966, this psychedelic rock song has seen a wide range of cover versions. Time Out named it the twelfth greatest Beatles song on their list.
3. Enter Sandman – Metallica
Metallica’s self-titled album, often known as The Black Album, opens with the song “Enter Sandman”. This song about sleep serves as the album’s first single.
The original song by James Hetfield was about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This occurs when a baby dies unexpectedly. Their producer Bob Rock persuaded him to rewrite it so that it had less of a darker meaning, to be more relatable.
As a result, Enter Sandman is about dreams and other strange occurrences that occur at night. It is Metallica’s most-played song by a long shot.
An old children’s prayer “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” is sung around 3:26 into the track.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord, my soul to keep
If I die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take
4. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
You can interpret dreams with a range of possible meanings, based on their symbolism. This song is a kind of homage to the absurdity and wonder of dreams.
When Stevie Nicks began writing this song, she was thinking about an old childhood friend who had a habit of having bizarre dreams. The lyrics touch on her wondering if there was some kind of message hidden within them.
5. I Go To Sleep – The Pretenders
This classic tune is another one about dreamland. The narrator describes the state of dreaming as a joyful place. Since the narrator can spend time with her boyfriend there.
It is at night that she loves to be awake since she can sleep peacefully knowing that her beloved is nearby.
Many musicians have covered this song. It was originally recorded by “The Applejacks” in 1965, and this Pretenders version is also a cover.
On the Netherlands Singles Chart, it ranked ninth. It peaked at No. 7 on the UK Singles Chart.
6. Sleep when I’m Dead – Bon Jovi
Despite being a mainstay of concerts since its 1992 release, this song about sleep had more popularity outside of the United States – where it never really took off.
This song is about rock and roll life, staying up and partying all night. A life that Jon Bon Jovi had experienced plenty of.
The main lyric of “I’ll live when I’m alive, I’ll sleep when I’m dead” perfectly captures the mood of rockstars at the end of the century.
It’s an homage to all those who didn’t make it through the rock life. You can even see Jim Morrison’s grave in the music video around 1 minute in.
7. Don’t Wake Me Up – Chris Brown
An ex-girlfriend has left him and most likely died, and this song reflects his intense longing for her.
When he wakes up, he’s still in love with her. The only place he can genuinely be happy is in his dreams, where his brain makes him think they are still together.
In other words, he doesn’t want anybody to wake him up, so he keeps saying, “Don’t wake me up”. He wants to remain in a dream world with his love forever.
It’s hard for him to tell the difference between reality and his dreams. The delusion in his mind makes it difficult for him to distinguish between the two.
Is he still in his sleep or has he woken up?
8. I Guess I Should Go To Sleep – Jack White
The narrator of this 2012 indie song uses sleep as a haven to hide since he can’t achieve what he wants. He feels like he’s not making the most of his life, and sleeps to avoid heartbreak.
He describes strolling along a dead-end street to illustrate his lack of progress. Afterward, he sinks into a deep sleep.
Catchy, swinging blues create the overall theme of this song. Which is of course Jack White’s musical forte.
9. Asleep – The Smiths
Released in 1986, this song about sleep is a plea from the narrator, who is desperate to fall asleep. It’s quite a gloomy track but nonetheless revolves around the topic of sleep.
The singer expresses his desire to die. Stating that he would rather not wake up in the morning and see the sunrise. He wants to sleep forever (typical Morrissey).
The song implies that he wishes to die to exit this life and enter a new place.
The melodic content is sweet and relaxing, which might help you drift off to sleep. Although don’t listen to the lyrics too closely or you might have a nightmare!
10. Last Dream – Swedish Death Candy
‘I can’t escape my last dream,’ I’m sure this is something we can all resonate with. Whether you struggle to wake up in the morning or go to sleep at night. Or even get followed by the content of your dreams throughout the day.
The lyrics of this psychedelic rock song describe the warped experience of dreams. With images of mirrors and hourglasses in impossible scenarios. It was recorded by Swedish Death Candy, an emerging band with a range of influences.
The music is compelling for all you dreamers out there, and the music video is killer too.
11. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith
This is, without a doubt, one of the most heartfelt melodies ever written. The singer would rather give up his sleep to watch her dream. He wonders what she is imagining, as the 1998 country song explains. He’s determined not to miss a single second of their precious time together. This power ballad is one of the best songs about dreaming ever written.
It was nominated for a bunch of awards when released, including the Grammy Awards song of the year in 1999.
12. Insomnia – Daya
Released as a single in 2019, this song was a chart-topper all over the world. Particularly in Scandinavian countries.
The protagonist of this song about sleep tells us how a day might feel like an entire week. Specifically when your partner isn’t there to keep you up at night.
Curtains are pulled back and people twirl and sway. Anxiety-induced sleeplessness causes the narrator to reach under the covers in search of their beloved. But their efforts are in vain since they can find no sign of their lover.
The writer also said the song is about coming out and taking control of your life.
13. How Do You Sleep? – Sam Smith
The narrator of this famous pop song from 2019 is embarrassed by the jealous, nosy person he has become. He has to confront these feelings when he finds out his partner is unfaithful.
The song is questioning how his unfaithful partner sleeps at night, knowing what she is doing to him.
In his grief, he investigates his partner’s phone records. Phoning the contacts he doesn’t recognize to find out who they are.
The man must choose between loving himself and loathing himself for feeling this way. He wants to stay with his spouse but is unsure if it’s a good idea.
Moreover, he inquires about how he and his partner can sleep at night while living a life of lies. People in this situation have lost all faith in their partners and are ready to move on.
14. Golden Slumbers – The Beatles
As a youngster, there are some moments that you will never be able to recreate after you reach adulthood. This classic Beatles song captures this bittersweet feeling of nostalgia.
When you hear the song it brings back memories of lullabies and childhood. Elizabethan poet Thomas Dekker wrote the ballad that inspired the song’s lyrics.
It has remained one of the most popular Beatles songs since its release in 1969. Many musicians have covered it, such as Ben Folds and Dua Lipa.
15. Fireflies – Owl City
This is a 2009 song about sleeping and insomnia. The protagonist who has been suffering from insomnia eventually falls asleep. He awakens to a lucid dream in which he sees 10,000 fireflies flashing.
These fireflies charm the narrator and their presence brighten his whole universe. This song has reached huge levels of popularity and is a classic song for sleeping.
16. Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana
There are several disturbing aspects to Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged song.
Cobain delivers a once-in-a-lifetime performance, fully embodying the dark agonizing lyrics. He would take his own life less than five months after this performance.
There are many possible lyrical interpretations of the song. It could be based on an Appalachian folk song. The song also has hints of being a murder ballad, based on a classic American folk song (In The Pines) with origins in the eighteenth century.
17. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham
The dance-pop song was a big smash after its release as a single in 1984. The inspiration originated from a message George had written to his parents. Begging them to wake him up before they left home.
The song depicts a couple dancing the night away while one of them is left in the bedroom. It’s a plea to be included in the next adventure. The energy of this song makes it terrific music to wake up to in the morning too!
Over two million copies of their first album were sold worldwide as a result. It was also used in a classic scene in the Ben Stiller film Zoolander!
18. Sweet Dreams – Eurythmics
Being vulnerable might lead to your aspirations being shattered, as the lyrics of this song suggest: if you have self-confidence and self-esteem, your aspirations will come true.
This song’s reference to “sweet dreams” is a metaphor for inner motivations. The drive in each of us in our journeys for personal growth and satisfaction.
As the song progresses, there is a constant yearning for happiness. The narrator is surrounded by individuals who are captivated by their “sweet dreams”. With a desire to live out their fantasies no matter where she is on the planet.
When it comes to achieving their goals, these desires seem to take one of two forms. People are either exploiting others or being exploited themselves.
However, “Sweet Dreams” offers a positive message at the end of the day. Listeners are encouraged to maintain a positive outlook and not give up on their dreams. The story of how this song was created is as interesting as the music itself.
19. Liminal Sleep (Album) – Sigur Rós
The threshold that hovers between realms is referred to as the liminal area. It’s that area before you fall asleep when your mind is half awake and half shutting down.
That never-ending quality inspires fantastic ambient music. When you simply need to drift into oblivion from the pangs of everyday living, this is the perfect song. It’s also worth noting the project is constantly evolving thanks to the band.
It’s a wonderful soundtrack for a peaceful night’s sleep. The Liminal Series is a magnificent composition that amazes and enchants me. Its newest release may well be the best music for sleeping yet. This is probably my number one choice for falling asleep.
20. Dreaming – Blondie
In this song, Debbie Harry sings about how she’s dreaming away too much and not wanting to face reality. When we think about sleep, we can easily think about using it as an escape.
You can escape reality for a short time and embark on a journey where everything is possible. If you’re willing to dream, this song about sleep is a great choice.
21. Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
This is a synthwave R&B soul song about a restless night without a loved one.
The song’s title is inspired by the song’s lyrics, which mention hitting the road and bright lights. The song’s dark undertone, according to The Weeknd, is inspired by drunk driving. (Which is never recommended!)
The single released in November of 2020 went on to become one of the most played songs of the decade so far.
It has been streamed over a billion times and smashed the Billboard Charts.
22. Daysleeper – R.E.M.
REM vocalist Michael Stipe found inspiration to create this song whilst living in an apartment in New York City. He spotted a door with the words “Daysleeper” written on it. A warning to the neighbors.
Stipe attempted to keep his voice low and his movements minimal every day to avoid waking his night shift working neighbor.
23. Sleeper on the Blacktop – Colter Wall
This folk tune was published by Wall in 2015. It is a representation of a nomadic existence. The narrator is hopping from town to town and sleeping wherever they find a place.
A version of this song was included in the film Hell or High Water, which was highly acclaimed.
24. No Sleep Till Brooklyn – The Beastie Boys
The life of an 80’s rockstar was one of pure hedonism and partying. This mix of heavy metal and hip-hop is all about that lifestyle. The iconic chorus line “No sleep till Brooklyn!” describes the debauched life of a rockstar.
Filled with descriptions of musical celebrities, this song is about not falling asleep because you’re too busy partying.
Now it’s time to drift off!
You’ve reached the end of the list of the best songs about sleep. Hopefully, these songs help you get to sleep or at least inspire you for the next time you lay down. Thanks for reading and sweet dreams!