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Fall Asleep Easily With Bedtime Stories for Adults
by BetterSleep
Oct 2 2020 • 3 min read
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Do you remember being a kid and begging for a story before bed? A good storybook is classic tool parents use to bond with their children in the evenings. The bedtime stories also help their children relax and drift off to dreamland.

What if the strategy works beyond childhood? Could listening to a bedtime story help you get to sleep? Bedtime stories, it turns out, are not just for kids. You can benefit too.

Spend just a few minutes before bed on tales with animals, a princess, a space journey, or anything else that takes you out of your daily routine. You will sleep better and feel better.

A Bedtime Story Isn’t Just for Children

While children embrace bedtime stories, adults tend to overlook what they used to enjoy as a child.

Most Adults Have Room for Improvement at Bedtime

Some adults never gave up bedtime stories but shifted their focus. Many people devote their bedtime attention to emails and work materials or complex nonfiction.

Some adults don’t read at all in bed but watch television instead. Many adults even fall asleep on the television.

Bedtime Stories for Adults - A Growing Trend

Bedtime stories for adults are a trending topic and show no sign of slowing down, probably because people have realized that a good story helps. It’s not as strange a habit as you might think.

More and more adults are taking back story time and now turn to reading novels or listening to stories read aloud.

Adults Appreciate Escapism Too

One of the great joys of reading is getting out of your ordinary life and escaping to another world. Whether it’s another country or a fantasy world from fables or a fairy tale, you also benefit from escapism as an adult.

Adults Need Help with Sleep

If listening to bedtime stories seems silly, consider that more than one-third of American adults don’t get enough quality sleep.

Please don’t knock on this trend until you try it. If you don’t sleep well, it’s worth trying.

The Benefits of Hearing Short Stories Before Sleeping

How does listening to a story improve sleep? Several factors come together to make this a winning strategy for a better night of sleep. The benefits of short bedtime stories are essentially the same for kids and adults.

Let Go of Stress

Reading reduces stress. According to studies, just six minutes of reading at any time of day lowers stress in your body and mind. This is probably because it is similar to a meditative action, something that focuses your mind on a single task or subject.

A reduction in stress helps you fall asleep sooner and sleep better. Stress is terrible for sleep because it is both physically and mentally stimulating.

Stress triggers the body’s fight or flight response, which is the opposite of conducive to sleep. Anything you can do to lower stress will improve your sleep.

Get Distracted

Stress stimulates the body for a response but also keeps the mind busy with thoughts that interfere with sleep. Many people find their brains swirling with anxious thoughts at night.

A story is a distraction from the thoughts that trouble you at bedtime. Work issues, family problems, and other things that cause anxiety can keep you up at night, but a story takes your mind elsewhere.

At a time in our lives when many people feel more distressed about the state of the world than ever; online story books and fantasy tales are desperately needed. They take you out of the present just long enough to fall asleep with happier thoughts.

Slow Down Your Brain

It’s not easy to wind down after a long day of thinking, working, making decisions, and solving problems. Your brain has been active all day; at night, you expect it to slow down, relax, and go to sleep.

This is easier said than done and a major reason many people struggle to sleep at night. Short bedtime stories provide the focus you need to slow down brain activity.

A bedtime story is something you don’t have to think too hard about. You just let the words fill your mind and tell you a story.

Get Sleepy

The act of reading makes you sleepy. This occurs through the relaxing qualities of the story and because of the sustained focus required to stay on the page and keep up with the story.

If you start reading in bed instead of looking at your phone or TV, your eyes will droop, and you will get drowsy. Before you know it, you’ll be asleep.

Feel Comforted

If, as a young girl or boy years ago, your mother and father read you short bedtime stories, you probably have fond memories of those times.

Memories are powerful. They can agitate you or soothe you. In the case of bedtime stories, you have warm, happy, and comforting memories. Listening to a story before bed can transport you back to those times, helping you feel safer and more able to fall asleep.

Rediscover the Joy of Reading

Remember when you had time to read? When you are curious about a book, you read it. For most adults, there isn’t enough time in the day.

Short bedtime stories represent an easy way to get back into reading. Rediscover the joy of a new story that transports you somewhere you’ve never been, creates magic, and takes you to the woods, the ocean, and beyond.

What Makes a Bedtime Story Optimal for Sleeping?

Of course, not just any story will do. If it makes you feel scared if you’re crying by the end of the tale, or if the story is so compelling you can’t put it down, this strategy can backfire. If the narrator’s voice irritates you, don’t bother.

Here’s what you need in a good bedtime story that will improve your sleep:

A Soothing Voice

Voice is one of the most critical factors in using short bedtime stories to fall asleep. It should be calm, soothing, and steady. Any sudden shifts in tone or volume could interrupt you as you drift off into a dream.

The choice of storytelling voice is also an individual one. What sounds soothing to someone else might grate on your nerves. Find a narrator you like and stick with them.

A Soothing Story

A calm voice can only do so much. While you might want a thriller for your vacation, for going to sleep, choose something written to be less stimulating.

The bedtime story should be on a topic that relaxes you and makes you feel calm and safe. Fables, fairy tales, tales of magic, and pleasant adventures or journeys are perfect.

Rather than a story that winds up to an exciting climax, a good bedtime story is written to wind you down.

This isn’t great for plot necessarily, but it will relax your brain into a state conducive to sleep.

Good bedtime stories don’t have a lot of action or conflict. Risks are low, and you follow characters through experiences that become more, not less, pleasant.

A Reasonable Length

Short bedtime stories are better for sleep. A longer story defeats the purpose. It could keep you up longer, wanting to hear how it ends.

Bedtime Stories with Mindfulness Elements

Mindfulness is a focus on the present moment and your sensations and thoughts right now. This kind of focus is conducive to relaxation and sleep.

Compelling bedtime stories have elements of mindfulness. They describe the setting and the story so you can imagine yourself there.

While listening to short bedtime stories like this, you will be immersed at the moment as you would during mindfulness meditation.

Bedtime Stories and Fairy Tales Collection for Adults on BetterSleep

Reading aloud or from a book or e-reader may not be ideal for you, so why not let your device read to you?

You might be able to find free bedtime stories online, but BetterSleep includes months of nightly stories read in soothing voices, some with accompanying music.

Our collection includes a lot of options for everyone. You can find short bedtime stories for kids and adults. The quality of our stories is high, and you can choose from different types of tales.

These include a fairy tale, a relaxing adventure, and fables that take you out of your current situation.

Pick your story, set it to play, and get lost in these carefully chosen tales. The wide variety of stories gives you several options:

Choose Your Length

If you want to get to sleep soon, choose a ten-minute tale. For a night when you’re struggling, try a longer story.

Select a Genre

All the stories are meant to distract and relax, but if you have a favorite type of story, choose between fantasy, mystery, a journey, or even soothing nonfiction.

Try Poetry

Maybe a structured story isn’t right for you. In that case, try a poetry session with peaceful music. The sleepy, dreamy words will set you on the right path.

The stories on BetterSleep are soothing. Avoid books or stories that are scary or otherwise stimulating. A good thriller or page-turner is fun, but it may keep you up longer.

Tips for Getting the Most out of Bedtime Stories

Short bedtime stories alone can be great tools for improving sleep. However, to get the most out of them, shape your entire bedtime routine around relaxation and good sleep hygiene:

Choose a Consistent Bedtime

This is one of the best things you can do for sleep. Going to sleep and waking at the same time every day trains your brain to get sleepy at night.

A reasonably strict bedtime schedule reinforces the circadian rhythm you want, allowing you to fall asleep without difficulty.

For the best results, stick to this schedule throughout the week and even on the weekends. The more consistent you are, the more your sleep will improve.

Make Bedtimes Stories Part of a Relaxing Routine

Along with a consistent schedule, create a consistent routine. Relaxing habits, repeated each night, will reinforce your sleep schedule.

Choose a relaxing activity, like a warm bath or a calming meditation. Follow this routine with a bedtime story as the final step to getting to sleep.

Create the Perfect Sleep Environment

Complete your nighttime routine and schedule with a perfectly soothing bedroom environment. The temperature should be excellent and the lights low or non-existent.

If outside noise is an issue, use white noise or other sleep sounds to drown them out.

Upgrade to a better mattress if necessary and buy supportive and comfortable pillows.

Aside from listening to short stories, the general rule for a good night’s sleep is not to use electronic devices in the bedroom. Avoid television and other types of screen time.

Exercise and Get Outside During the Day

What you do during the day also matters. Exercise promotes better sleep and overall health. If you can

Limit Food and Drinks Before Bed

A heavy meal or anything that might upset your stomach a few hours before sleep is highly disruptive. Eat a light meal a few hours before bed.

Drinks can be as problematic as certain foods. Avoid alcohol in the evening and caffeinated drinks in the afternoon.

Limit all fluid intake a couple of hours before bed to avoid using the bathroom at night.

When a Bedtime Story Isn’t Enough

Short stories and fables are excellent tools for insomnia, but they can’t replace medical treatment for people who need it.

Talk to your doctor if you practice good sleep hygiene and listen to soothing stories but still struggle to sleep.

Try BetterSleep for Short Stories

You don’t have to be a child to enjoy bedtime stories. Understanding how stories improve sleep has led to a trend in more bedtime stories for both kids and adults.

If you struggle to drift off at night, try picking up a book or the BetterSleep app for some short bedtime stories. The short stories are just the right length to prepare you to fall asleep.

A story can also help if you wake up in the middle of the night. Let the soothing story get you back into a sleepy state and give you sweet dreams.

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