As of writing, I have not had a good, full night of sleep in two days. The fact that the weather has been sub-freezing has not helped, either. There is naught that I desire more at the present moment other than pillow, blankie, and, of course, bed.
I also have a wide variety of music that I listen to regularly before bed to get me into the mood for being cozy and ready for bed. However, I don’t listen to music when actually asleep for fear of what it could do to my psyche, and also because I feel like it’d be weird to wear earbuds to bed, and also because I don’t own any earbuds.
Today, I dare to ask the theoretical question: what if I did listen to this while asleep? What would that do to myself while dreaming? Would it even work at all?
Celer – “Plays Liberace”
This album, to me, is the most quintessential out of this list. I listened to it because a friend recommended it as a very good sleep album, and he was absolutely right. Very long ambient like this is a great pick to sleep to, and “Plays Liberace” does its job exceptionally well. It’s droning, but changes just enough to not be boring and slowly lull you into sleep.
However, in its potency, “Plays Liberace” also doesn’t really give any unique vibes to comment on what it would do to me if it was the soundtrack to me being in bed. I doubt I would have any dreams under this album, but man, I would be so rested.
Basic Channel – “Quadrant Dub”
Basic Channel is legendary in dub techno, and of their work “Quadrant Dub” is a verified classic. This blog isn’t about how good this album is though. It’s about being very tired, and I need to analyze it on those merits.
I usually listen to “Quadrant Dub” at night because it is definitely nocturnal, and it’s not fast paced in any sense, but it doesn’t quite fit the requirements I usually have for a sleep album. As with most dub techno, the two tracks are long and focus heavily on a slow build and swapping out of elements, but there’s just something missing.
It’s probably how beat-driven it is – even though almost everything else is sleepytime material, “Quadrant Dub” is still danceable, which unfortunately docks a lot of points.
If I were to sleep to this album, however, I think the dreams would be mostly normal, but the type where you can barely remember what actually happened in them and all the events smear together. Maybe a few months later I have weird deja vu about it, and then a while on get confused on if it actually happened or not.
nimu – “Picture in Picture”
I showed a track from this album to my dad once and he asked what it was so that he could add it to his sleep playlist, which I think means that it is a very good addition to this article.
The sleepiness of this album is more in soundscape – it’s sparse, but with a huge amount of echo to give the true nighttime feel. The contrast of surreal synths with more recognizable instruments only adds to the dreaminess.
If it were any less relaxing it might even be a little scary, but fortunately for me at my absolute most tired, “Picture in Picture” is incredibly chill. Out of all the albums on this list, this is probably the one I would be most likely to actually sleep to.
As for how my sleep would be, I think it would be very restful, but with some really weird dreams, in the “you perfectly accept this and then get really confused when you wake up” way. It wouldn’t even be a good story to tell everyone about, and instead just make me tempted to look up one of those dream interpretation guides.
After writing the bulk of the rest of this article, I actually did get a good amount of sleep. Not ideal, but better than the days before.
Rather than reflecting on why I may not have been as rested as I would like to be lately (dehydration, screen time, caffeine intake, anxiety, etc.) I will instead thank this article for getting me through my time of struggle. Sleep is important, and I am glad to have gotten it.