Four album covers from Miles Davis, Mac Ayres, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, and Bruno Major next to large text that says ‘Sleep Better’

A Playlist to Help You Sleep Better

By Joshua Paez
Music Journalist

Some nights, it may be difficult to get good sleep. In a previous article, I wrote about a couple of scientific studies of the effects of listening to calming music at bedtime. Their results suggested that listening to music at bedtime can improve sleep quality. To follow up that article, I created a playlist with smooth and calming songs for you to sleep to. The songs included in the playlist are great for listening to at night because their slow tempos and soothing melodies make for a relaxing experience. I’ll break down my favorite songs from the playlist and hopefully they’ll make their way onto yours.

The first song on the playlist is by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane’s “In a Sentimental Mood” which was written in 1935 and has become a popular jazz standard. The piano’s intro vamp might sound familiar if you’ve listened to Mac Miller’s “Diablo”, which samples that beginning phrase. The original track is a beautiful conversation between piano and trumpet that you can get lost in as you drift off to sleep.

The second song is called “Easy” by Mac Ayres which was released in 2017. At the beginning of the song, you are warmly greeted by an electric piano playing some buttery extended chords. Briefly after, Ayres’ smooth voice enters and slowly lulls you as some lo-fi drums swing and make you dream of a romantic relationship. This song’s theme is bittersweet but in the most relaxing way possible.

The fifth song on the playlist is probably one of the most sampled jazz classics in the lo-fi hip-hop genre which is Wes Montgomery’s cover of “In Your Own Sweet Way” by Dave Brubeck. The famous phrase is smoothly and elegantly played from Montgomery’s electric guitar and accompanied by piano. The slow tempo and warm chord tones will surely help anyone sleep.

The second to last song on the playlist is Jacob Collier’s “Time Alone With You” featuring Daniel Caesar. Collier is famous for his complex use of groove and harmony, and in this song can be characterized by its heavy swing and spacious background vocals. There are parts in the song with high energy, but those moments are smooth that I had to include it in the playlist. Hopefully by the time that you listen to this song, you are already asleep.

The general formula or guideline I used in creating this playlist included songs that had slow tempos and soothing melodies. A majority of these songs come from jazz, R&B, and soul which personally help me relax. Hopefully you find these songs relaxing and get a good night’s sleep.

Featured Image by Joshua Paez

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