35 Best Songs About Sleep & Falling Asleep of All Time

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Written By Will Fenton

Founder of MidderMusic. From numerous bands to stints working in music shops, read more about me on the 'Here's My Story' page!

We don’t have to tell you how important a good night’s sleep is.

But apart from that, sleep is also associated with dreams and serenity, especially in music.

For today’s article, we gathered the best songs about sleep and falling asleep. We also included some tracks for those of you who have trouble sleeping.

And we covered different styles and genres, so everyone can find something for themselves!

1. “Golden Slumbers” by The Beatles

Side two of the album Abbey Road by the Beatles is comprised of a medley of eight shorter songs that last for 16 minutes. The sixth one is “Golden Slumbers.”

The poem “Cradle Song” by Thomas Dekker, which was composed in the 17th century and was included in the drama Patient Grissel, was the source of the song’s inspiration.

Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes is the title of W.J. Henderson’s poem, which was published in 1885.

McCartney fell in love with the lyrics of the song after discovering them in the piano book belonging to his step-sister Ruth. Because he was unable to read music, he composed his own accompaniment to the piece.

Since Paul’s mother had passed away when Paul was a little child and his father had remarried, Paul had gone to visit his father at his house and found the experience to be extremely sentimental and sad: “once there was a way to get back homeward.”

2. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens

This song, which originally appeared on an album with the same name, was given an English translation and published by the doo-wop group in 1961.

It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and generated millions of dollars in revenue through film licencing and cover versions.

Solomon Linda, a South African singer, was the first to record this ballad in the Zulu language in the 1930s. He gave it the moniker “Mbube,” which translates to “lion.”

The song has been recorded by a wide variety of artists, and it has become an enduring component of popular culture in films such as The Lion King.

3. “I Go To Sleep” by The Pretenders

This timeless song is yet another one that focuses on dreamland. The narrator paints a happy picture of the condition that one is in when they are dreaming. Because the narrator and her lover are able to spend time together there.

Her favorite time to stay awake is throughout the night since she is able to get a good night’s rest when she is reminded that her significant other is close by.

This song has been covered by a wide variety of performers. It was initially recorded in 1965 by a band known as “The Applejacks”.

4. “A Pillow of Winds” by Pink Floyd

A Pillow of Winds,” which can be found on Pink Floyd’s album Meddle from 1971, is a breathtakingly beautiful acoustic piece that features dreamy slide guitar and fretless bass.

The words of this song discuss a number of different slumbering states.

The narrator is nestled up cozy with his love by his side in what the author refers to as a “cloud of eiderdown.” Eiderdown refers to a type of duvet that is stuffed with bird feathers.

When he drifts off to sleep, the candle goes out, and as it does, “the book falls to the floor” (such a wonderful sentence!).

As soon as he opens his eyes in the morning, he makes an effort to “behold the dream,” but “the dream is gone” (for more on dreams, check out our list of songs about dreams).

5. “I Guess I Should Go To Sleep” by Jack White

In “I Guess I Should Go To Sleep”, the protagonist sees sleep as a temporary escape from his life. Sleep is his hideaway, and he is evidently going through some tough times.

Jack White released the song in 2012 on his debut studio album “Blunderbuss”.

So, it’s one of the first tunes the singer of The White Stripes recorded after deciding to go solo.

6. “Insomnia” by Daya

In “Insomnia,” a song that was released in 2019, the narrator talks about how she can’t sleep because she can’t stop thinking about someone that she loves.

This song has a cheerful tempo, yet the lyrics discuss the difficulties the narrator has in sleeping alone and how her mind works when she’s asleep.

“Insomnia” is clearly a more in-depth tune, despite the fact that it seems like it was made as a dance club anthem.

7. “How Do You Sleep?” by Sam Smith

This dance-pop song from 2019 is about a lover who is curious about how his spouse can sleep at night knowing that they are being unfaithful to them.

Sam describes how close he came to losing himself in the pursuit of discovering what illicit activities his partner had been partaking in.

He finds out by looking through their phone without their knowledge.

8. “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” by Bon Jovi

This song is about living the rock and roll lifestyle, which involves staying up all night and going to parties. A life that Jon Bon Jovi has lived and had lots of experience with.

The primary phrase of the song, “I’ll live when I’m alive, I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” depicts the sentiment of rockstars around the turn of the century very well.

In memory of everyone who didn’t make it through the rock life, this is a memorial to them all.

Approximately one minute into the music video, you’ll be able to make out the grave of Jim Morrison from the band the Doors.

9. “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” by Nirvana

This version of a song originally performed by Leadbelly (also known as “In the Pines” or “My Girl”) is considered to be one of the first songs ever written about sleeping.

Its origins may be traced back to at least the 1880s.

At the end of their stellar performance at the MTV Unplugged concert in 1993, they closed with this somber, slow, and acoustic piece (MTV asked them for an encore but Cobain refused on the grounds he thought the whole band sounded terrible).

Cobain delivered an outstanding vocal performance, particularly towards the climax of the song when his screams sound almost animalistic.

“Unearthly, like a werewolf, unbelievable,” is how Neil Young described it.

10. “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by The Beastie Boys

The 1980s saw the birth of the hip-hop ensemble known as The Beastie Boys.

They are one of the most important groups in hip-hop.

One of their popular tracks is titled “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” and it was included in the band’s first studio album, which was issued in 1986.

This song is about them being so enthusiastic about their upcoming shows and tours that it prevented them from being able to sleep at night.

11. “Insomnia” by Faithless

That feeling when you’re laying in bed and you’re tired but you simply can’t fall asleep for hours… It’s normal if that happens occasionally, but insomnia is not something you should take lightly.

Nevertheless, this curious state of mind inspired one of the most iconic electro house songs ever recorded.

Faithless released “Insomnia” in 1995, and the song eventually became the band’s signature song.

But of course, we don’t recommend listening to“Insomnia” before going to sleep.

12. “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd

Another song inspired by insomnia is The Weeknd’s chart-topping hit “Blinding Lights”.

The song talks about a man who suffers from insomnia and wanders Las Vegas at night.

Perhaps walking down The Strip full of flashing (and blinding) lights isn’t a good way to prepare yourself for sleep… But everyone has their own ways.

13. “Asleep” by Sleeping At Last

Is there a more suitable name for the band for this list than Sleeping At Last?

Additionally, their song “Asleep” is a calm, dreamy song about sleeping.

Although it’s also quite emotional, this song will certainly help you process your thoughts and relax your mind before going to bed.

14. “Sleep On The Floor” by The Lumineers

The Lumineers released the song “Sleep On The Floor” on their studio album “Cleopatra” in 2016.

They are known for making sweet and sentimental indie music that will make you curl up with a blanket and a good book. And “Sleep On The Floor” is no different.

15. “Sleep” by My Chemical Romance

Another sleep-themed song was released on My Chemical Romance’s album “The Black Parade” in 2006.

In fact, the song is about a man who struggles with night terrors. And the whole story behind the song is based on the group’s staying at a haunted historic estate.

So, this probably isn’t the best lullaby.

16. “Liminal Sleep” by Sigur Rós

If you’re searching for something to calm you down or help you fall asleep more quickly, perhaps you can give a chance to this extraordinary mixtape and Sigur Ros.

This phenomenal Icelandic band is known for making ambient post-rock music, but they also released a playlist called ‘Liminal Sleep’.

It’s an ambient mixtape curated by the members of the band.

So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, try listening to their liminal sleep playlist, and let us know the results.

17. “Lullaby” by Low

This post-rock tune by Low is a different kind of lullaby.

The song was released back in 1994, and it’s still one of their most notable tracks. If you like post-rock, this might very well be your soothing music for falling asleep.

It’s all about finding what works for you.

18. “Lullaby” by The Cure

Without a doubt, this is the most popular lullaby song in the world of music. It was released in 1989 on the band’s studio album “Disintegration”.

“Lullaby is based on a recurring nightmare Robert Smith had as a child. In the dream, he was eaten by a giant spider. So, the song is actually about the fear of going to sleep.

Either way, the song has a lullaby-ish quality to it. Or at least that’s what the song’s title made us believe.

19. “Enter Sandman” by Metallica

Did you know that “Enter Sandman” is a song about sleep?

Well, if you’ve watched the music video, you know it is.

Anyway, Metallica’s signature song was inspired by the Sandman, a mythical character in European folklore who puts people to sleep and gives them dreams.

It can obviously give them nightmares too.

20. “Fireflies” by Owl City

It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep

‘Cause everything is never as it seems (when I fall asleep)…

Do you remember this dreamy tune by Owl City from 2009?

In “Fireflies”, a man struggles with insomnia and eventually falls asleep and experiences lucid dreams.

21. “Paradise” by Coldplay

Another sweet song about sleep and dreams is Coldplay’s “Paradise”.

The song tells a story of a girl who expected the world but it got away from her, so she fell asleep and dreamed of paradise.

It would be amazing if people would dream of paradise every time they closed their eyes. Or perhaps in that case we wouldn’t do anything but sleep all the time?

22. “Go To Sleep” by Radiohead

Radiohead released “Go To Sleep” on their sixth studio album “Hail to the Thief” in 2003.

The lyrics of the song could be interpreted in different ways (not so surprising for a Radiohead song), but “Go To Sleep” could presumably be about a man who is afraid to go to sleep. Or, it’s about the freedom we get once we fall asleep.

Or it’s about something else entirely.

23. “Sleep To Dream” by Fiona Apple

Taken from Fiona Apple’s 1996 studio album “Tidal”, “Sleep To Dream” is a subtle, captivating song with lyrics about sleep and dreaming.

But the song could also be about self-respect, inner strength to stand up for yourself, and being realistic (keep your feet on the ground).

24. “Dreams” by Nuages

Let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream…

The speech at the beginning of this song will make you think about your life but it will also ease you into a different state of mind.

“Dreams” by Nuages is a truly unique song, and you should definitely put it on your falling asleep playlist. It will take your mind somewhere else… If you let it.

25. “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

Another song about dreams is this all-time classic by Fleetwood Mac. In fact, this is undeniably one of the most popular songs about dreams.

“Dreams” was released in 1977 on the band’s album “Rumours”, and it was a big hit back in the day. It was also ranked among the ten best songs of all time.

Lyrically, the song is about a failed relationship, and that’s why the chorus sounds beautiful and sad at the same time.

But if you let the melody of the song take over, it could very well be about falling asleep and dreaming about something wonderful…

26. “Sweet Dreams” by Beyoncé

Well, dreams are an inevitable part of sleeping, and music about sleep is related to dreams quite often. And Beyoncé wrote one of the most catchy pop songs about dreams.

“Sweet Dreams” is a part of her studio album “I am… Sasha Fierce” released in 2008.

27. “One More Sleep” by Leona Lewis

Are you a person that starts listening to Christmas songs in September? If yes, this one’s for you.

In “One More Sleep”, Leona Lewis is really anxious about waiting for Christmas. She talks about that night before Christmas.

Well, that was certainly a sleepless night when we were kids.

28. “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” by Alicia Keys

Another reason that can cause sleepless nights is a broken heart.

In “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart”, Alicia is trying to find a way to make it without her special someone. But she can still feel that person in her bed.

The song is taken from the singer’s fourth studio album “The Element Of Freedom” released in 2004, and it was a big hit when it came out.

29. “I’m Still Sleeping” by The Beatles

This soothing song about sleeping was released on The Beatles’ 1966 album “Yesterday and Today”.

And we like the lyrics:

Everybody seems to think I’m lazy

I don’t mind, I think they’re crazy

Runnin’ everywhere at such a speed

‘Til they find there’s no need (there’s no need).

30. “When You Sleep” by My Bloody Valentine

“When You Sleep” is a track from the 1991 album “Loveless” by My Bloody Valentine. 

This sleep-related song sounds quite woozy and repetitive, which is not a surprise for this English-Irish band.

So “When You Sleep” maybe isn’t the best choice for a lullaby, but it’s interesting enough to give it a listen.

31. “Sleep All Day” by Jason Mraz

There are times when you simply want to sleep all day.

If you can’t afford to sleep all day, Jason Mraz’s “Sleep All Day” can at least help you daydream. It’s a sweet, feel-good tune.

32. “Asleep” by The Smiths

Many people believe that the meaning behind “Asleep” by The Smiths is related to suicide.

And although the song talks about loneliness and even sorrow, it actually has a different atmosphere.

It sounds gentle and melancholic, and the verse ‘sing me to sleep’ really feels like a lullaby.

33. “I Don’t Like To Sleep Alone” by Paul Anka

Marry me

Well, let me live with you

Nothing’s wrong when love is right…

“I Don’t Like To Sleep Alone” is a typical love song. It’s a part of Paul Anka’s 1975 studio album “Times Of Your Life”.

Oldie but goldie.

34. “Sweet Dreams” by BØRNS

If you need a song that will wish you good night, this one is for you.

BØRNS is known for making uplifting indie pop tunes, but “Sweet Dreams” sounds more captivating and, well, dreamy.

35. “Lullaby Love” by Roo Panes

Sit back, relax, and let this mesmerizing lullaby music overwhelm you.

Roo Panes released “Lullaby Love” in 2015, and it’s still one of his most beautiful tracks.

It’s your lullaby love that keeps me from trouble

It’s your lullaby love that’s keeping me level

It’s your lullaby love that keeps me awake.

Songs About Sleep – Final Thoughts

Hopefully, we helped you discover many songs for your sleep playlist.

Our list is quite versatile though, and some of these songs about sleep are far from lullaby material. But they are related to sleeping and dreaming in one way or another.

But if you’re searching for music that will help you fall asleep, we suggest listening to calm, ambient music or sounds.

Alternatively, simply listen to the relaxing music you like – you’ll find yourself in the realm of dreams before you know it.

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