A bedtime story read by a parent is something that many adults remember fondly from their childhoods. As part of a nighttime practice, parents often read their children bedtime stories to help them go asleep and improve their language skills.
Bedtime stories aren’t just for kids anymore, thank goodness! There are a plethora of free bedtime story apps for grownups that can be streamed or downloaded to your phone. In order to have a good night’s sleep, you’ve undoubtedly already worked on making your bedroom a peaceful haven. Find out how to make your bedtime ritual more sleep-inducing by reading stories to your children before they go to bed.
No research has been done on the positive effects of listening to recorded bedtime stories on an adult’s ability to sleep. Bedtime stories for adults are something that I tried out for myself to see what worked best for me. The most popular paid and free bedtime story applications for adults were tested by me and here are my findings.
Calm – Sleep Meditations for Kids
Calm has recordings of bedtime stories ranging in duration from 25 to 40 minutes, allowing you to fall asleep before the narrative is over. Many people read their work, including well-known actors like Matthew McConaughey. It’s unclear how many stories Calm has, but a quick look through the app reveals that at least 100 are offered.
Calm’s bedtime stories come in a range of genres, including:
- Stories That Make You Snooze
- Recognized Singers (stories read by celebrities)
- Children’s Bedtime Stories
- Earth Day Celebrations
- Imaginary Tales for Sleeping
- Real-Life Bedtime Tales
- Narratives on the Natural World
- Narratives for a Power Nap
- Stories that Make You Feel Stunned
It’s possible to listen to the narrator’s Calm bedtime stories, which is helpful if you prefer the sound of a certain person’s voice. I was instantly soothed by the soothing voice of vegan social media celebrity Tabitha Brown, whose familiar deep voice I follow. The music that plays in the backdrop of most stories, including hers, is usually soft and meditative.
I found it difficult to focus on the story’s specifics or plot while listening to Calm sleep stories. After pushing play, I fell asleep within five to ten minutes and couldn’t get back to sleep after that. It was also good to have access to a wide variety of meditation recordings during the day.
There are many ways to use Calm on your mobile or tablet device. Calm’s features can be accessed from a browser by those who prefer to use a computer or an incompatible device.
Creating an account or signing in using your email or Facebook account is required to get the seven-day free trial offered by Calm. There is a yearly subscription fee of $70 for Calm once the free trial expires. If you don’t want to pay, cancel the app before the free trial period ends! Even if you decide to cancel your subscription, you’ll still have access to a few free extras, such as a limited number of bedtime stories.
Moshi – Sleep Apps for Kids
The abundance of vibrant colors and cartoon characters quickly make it clear that Moshi is a children’s tale app. There’s no prohibition against adults listening to children’s stories, of course!
The stories in the app are divided into two categories: day stories and night stories. The length of a nighttime story varies from 15 to 30 minutes. Even if you haven’t heard of most of the people who are narrating the stories, there are some notable exceptions, such as Goldie Hawn and Patrick Stewart. These are the main categories of stories that are told at night:
- A Sleepless Night
- Morning Cries
- Fans of fairy tales
- Lovers of the Wilderness
- Miniaturized Audiences
- Ancillary Audiences
- Everyone in the Family
- The Most Favored
- Journeys into the Moshiphonic
- Alexander, Phillippa
- The Narrator Is Female.
- Will Huggins is the author of this article.
- a man narrates the tale.
- The Guest Narrator.
“YoYo’s Sunset Chill Out Lounge” was one of the stories I tested out in the “Older Listeners” category. Despite the fact that the Moshi bedtime stories are read slowly and accompanied by calming music and sounds, I didn’t find them particularly peaceful. The narrators’ voices weren’t as deep or as crisp as those in other apps, but I was still able to drift off to sleep while listening. In my opinion, Moshi is more suited for children than adults.
Moshi is compatible with Apple, Android, and Kindle Fire tablets and smartphones. It’s a terrific choice for families because you can use it on three separate devices with only one subscription.
Moshi, like Calm, offers a free seven-day trial that requires you to sign up for an account. Thereafter, you can pay $60 each year, or $13 per month, to keep using the app for an additional year. If you simply want to enjoy the free trial for seven days, make careful to cancel your subscription before it charges your credit card.
Headspace – Sleep Meditations for Kids
Sleepcasts, which Headspace calls “sleepcasts” in addition to their guided meditations, are also available on the popular app. Each sleepcast is 45 minutes long and consists of a short story. Over 50 sleep casts are available in the app
The narrator’s voice is combined with natural noises such as rain or wind to create Headspace sleep casts. When using Headspace, you may regulate the level of the ambient sounds separately from how loud or quiet the narration is. This means that you can choose to have the background sound as loud or as quiet as the narration itself, or even completely silent.
A couple sleepcasts I attempted had ambient noises that I found annoying. Other programs’ background sounds, such as Calm, sound crisper and more realistic. Just hearing the voice put me at ease and helped hasten my sleep, whereas listening to both the story and ambient noises did the opposite.
At the beginning of some Headspace sleepcasts, it feels more like you’re listening to a guided meditation than a story. In these sleepcasts, the narrator gives you instructions on how to relax and breathe before they begin telling a narrative. They may also ask you to think back on your day or focus on certain parts of your body.
In both the Apple and Google Play stores, you can download Headspace for free, and it works with any device that supports it.
The sleepcasts are only available in the paid edition of Headspace. You must sign up for a free seven- or fourteen-day trial of Headspace Plus in order to listen to sleepcasts. Depending on when the trial finishes, you’ll be charged $70 annually or $13 each month. If you don’t want to be billed after the trial period, make sure you unsubscribe.
Even though BetterSleep, formerly known as Relax Melodies, is largely recognized for its extensive music library and ability for you to construct your own ambient songs and soundscapes, the program also includes bedtime stories. The majority of the stories in BetterSleep last between 30 and 60 minutes. The software also allows users to create playlists that include a variety of stories or a mix of both audio and video content. Playlists often last for at least two hours.
Similarly to Headspace, BetterSleep’s stories have both narrative and background sounds that may be adjusted independently of one another. To my disappointment, I found the “Starship-28” stories less calming than other sleep apps. Even if I’m not a fan of science fiction or fantasy, some people may appreciate the variety that BetterSleep provides. There are mermaids, dragons, pirates, and druidesses galore in this app’s bedtime stories, all of which take place under the sea.
Both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store include BetterSleep.
Two bedtime stories are included in the BetterSleep free trial. A seven-day trial is required to access the full collection of more than 80 stories. It costs $60 a year to subscribe to the service after the free trial period has expired. If you’re hoping to get this program at a good price, keep an eye out for sales that occur from time to time.
In contrast to meditation apps that include bedtime tales, the Slumber app focuses solely on sleep. In total, there are four options:
- Meditations to Help You Sleep
- Sounds of Relaxation
- Peaceful Narratives
- fables for young readers
In this category, you’ll find stories for grownups who want to relax before going to sleep. Stories range from 15 minutes to an hour, and the tracks can be looped, so they keep playing even when you stop listening. The following anthologies include slumber tales:
- Personal Narratives from the Jewelers
- Assistive Listening and Associated Triggers
- Trains and ships
- Stitches of Story
- Tales from the Road
- Meditations to Help You Fall Asleep
- The Conundrum of Hypnosis
- Narratives on the Natural World
- Inferno of the Dragon
- Innocent Nighttime Stories
- Dreams with Dan Jones: a podcast
- Storytelling for the Fall
- The Winter Collection is available now.
Slumber’s train-themed stories were soothing to listen to. Slumber allows you to choose the noises that accompany a bedtime reading. Noises like “Snow storm” and “Crickets” were too distracting for my liking, as was the white noise of “Snow storm.” On the other side, “Fire” and “Rustling leaves” gave me a sense of calm.
An initial seven-day trial of Slumber is available for both iOS and Android users. Payment choices after the trial include $8 per month, $40 annually, or $250 for unlimited access. Don’t forget to unsubscribe from the service if you don’t want to be charged.
Sleepiest is a bedtime story software that will appeal to bookworms and other bookworm-type sleepers, in particular. There are over 110 stories to choose from, including classics like Sherlock, Robin Hood, and Doctor Doolittle as well as more contemporary works by authors like Jane Austen and Emily Bront.
Between 20 and 30 minutes in duration, I’ve seen Sleepiest stories that ranged from 13 to 42 minutes long. As I was feeling nostalgic, I listened to stories from my youth, such as The Secret Garden and The Velveteen Rabbit. While listening to the stories, I was able to fall asleep easily because of the narrator’s British accent and pleasant tone.
Other bedtime tale applications lack features like the option to set a timer to turn off the sound or an alarm to wake you up once the story has ended. The most intriguing aspect of the program is that it tracks your sleep statistics, which isn’t common in sleep apps of this type.
There is currently no Android version of Sleepiest available. Create an account and sign up for a seven-day free trial of Sleepiest to get started. It costs $50 per year or $10 per month after seven days. If you don’t want to be charged, unsubscribe as soon as possible.
Sleep Cycle, like Sleepiest, is a sleep tracker with enhanced features including alarms and sleep tracking. To find bedtime stories in Sleep Cycle, you’ll first need to know that it’s a sleep-tracking app. To begin, you’ll need to answer a few questions, such as when you want to go to bed and wake up. It’s not possible to skip this step and jump right into the story.
The bedtime stories fall under the category of “Sleep Aid,” which includes music, soundscapes, and guided meditations that assist you go asleep at a predetermined time. From 23 minutes to an hour and a half, Sleep Cycle has 13 stories to choose from.
“The forest” was a wonderfully soothing read for me. The narrator’s Scandinavian accent and soft, hushed voice immediately put me to sleep. Although the narration was presented as a story, it seemed more like a description of a forest combined with a meditation guide than an actual story. This tape has a relaxing impact because of the soft, unobtrusive background sounds.
Both Apple and Android devices can use Sleep Cycle.
The Sleep Aid function, which incorporates stories, is only available in the premium edition of Sleep Cycle, which is available for a fee. A seven-day free trial is available on Sleep Cycle. It costs $30 a year or $7 a month to upgrade to a premium subscription after the free trial period finishes.
Nighty Night – Sleep Stories for Kids
One of our favorite applications for small toddlers is Nighty Night. Several farm animals are depicted in the app’s bedtime story for toddlers. The calming narrator’s soothing voice, the simple tale, and the unexpected things animals do as they fall asleep make Nighty Night! appealing.
Android, iOS, and iPad
Relax & Sleep Well
The narration is what makes Relax & Sleep Well’s bedtime stories for grownups stand out from the crowd. Known as one of the world’s foremost authorities on hypnosis, Glenn Harrold has worked with thousands of clients over the course of his career to help them alter their habits and improve their quality of sleep. It’s like a free hypnosis session, with recorded meditations that put you to sleep while also teaching your brain to relax before you go to sleep.. Four free hypnosis sessions let you see if the app works for you, but additional sessions cost money.
Android, iOS, and iPad
Daniel Tiger Day and Night – Sleep Apps for Kids
Preparation for sleep is based on a set schedule. You can help your child build the habit of getting ready for bed and for school in the morning by using this sleep app from PBS Kids! Before going to bed, your child can join Daniel Tiger as he bathes, brushes his teeth, and chooses his pajamas with the help of songs and games. As your child helps Daniel soar through the clouds, you may read them a soothing bedtime story.
Android, iOS, and iPad
Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds – Sleep Music for Kids
Basically, this software does it all. Whether it’s soothing music for children or soothing nature sounds, you have complete control over the music playing in the background. There are recordings of people leading others in meditation. These are some simple breathing exercises that you and your children can both perform together. A bedtime story is even included in the collection. Timer and snooze functions are available. In-app purchases are available for a fee.
Bedtime Music Lullaby Songs – Sleep Music for Kids
Using this software, you may put your youngster to sleep with soothing classical music. Classical works by Mendelssohn, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Bizet are on the menu. So, things that you won’t mind hearing as well. It’s also totally free.
Lullaby Songs For Sleep – Sleep Music for Kids
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and other popular lullabies are included in this app. A variety of soothing sounds, such as ocean waves or birds singing, can all be selected for a specific time period, as can the volume level. With in-app purchases, it’s free.
Baby Shusher – Sleep Apps for Babies
This app is for you if you don’t want White Noise to be your Spotify Wrapped song of the year. White noise, especially being shushed, has a positive effect on infants. When a baby starts sobbing, this sleep app will go lung-for-lung to match the volume, and parents may record their own shushes. Another benefit of a Baby Shusher is that it does not make white noise like a fatigued parent does.
Sleep Hero – Sleep Apps for Babies
Get the Sleep Hero app instead of singing horrible lullabies to your kids. Pre-recorded sounds are available, or you can contribute your own stories, nursery rhymes, and more. The sleep app responds to your baby’s cries by playing the music you’ve selected. However, if they grow tired of hearing the same songs over and over again, you’ll feel the need to produce a follow-up album to satisfy their curiosity. In any case, the debut is always the best.
Sleepy Sounds – Sleep Apps for Babies
When was the last time you saw a laser show with Pink Floyd in your local zoological garden? It’s possible that this sleep app will bring up old memories for you. Also included with Sleepy Sounds is an animated mobile that will brighten up your child’s room as they sleep. Sleep music may or may not line up with The Wizard of Oz.
Surfing On A Cloud: Meditation – Sleep Meditations for Kids
This software, aimed at children ages 10 and under, encourages them to practice meditation and mindfulness before going to sleep. Children can learn mindfulness by imagining the colors and flavors of fruit in the form of guided meditations by Naya the Dream Fairy and audio storybook readings. It’s free.
Calm Meditation And Sleep Stories – Sleep Meditations for Kids
You can listen to Matthew McConaughey’s sleep story about the mysteries of space and time in Wonder with this app. Sold. For children, there are kid-oriented meditations. Along with gentle piano melodies from Disney classics including Aladdin, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast & Moana & Mulan. In-app purchases are available for a fee.
Novel Effect – Sleep Stories for Kids
Music in the background of narration is a well-known book improvement. So, put in as much work as you can. To paraphrase Don LaFontaine, this sleep software features music and sound effects created specifically for use in conjunction with specific children’s books. To begin reading, simply select a title from the app’s library. It will start playing music based on where you are in the story, thanks to its voice recognition algorithms. Where the Wild Things Are, Cat in the Hat, and Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day are just a few of the titles available through the app.
White Noise Lite App – Bedtime Stories for Adults
If you can’t get to sleep using the white noises provided by most machines, this software is for you. Using this app, you may create your own unique sleep soundtrack by selecting from a variety of calming sounds. The program includes a library of 40+ pre-recorded sounds, as well as an option to create your own. Use it at night to help you sleep, or while you’re working to help your brain focus during those times when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.
The White Noise Lite App is a free download from the iTunes App Store or Google Play store.
Sleep With Me Podcast – Bedtime Stories for Adults
“Bedtime stories for grownups to help them fall asleep in the dark night” is how this app describes its purpose: giving us adults a story to read before we go to sleep. In each Sleep With Me episode, host Drew Ackerman will take you through a long, muted, and tangent-filled story that was inspired by his own childhood insomnia. Before the 60-minute episode is up, his calming monotone voice will have you drifting off to sleep. It’s okay if you’re still awake; just don’t stress out about it. More than 940 episodes of Sleep With Me can be found in the show’s back catalogue.
How do bedtime stories work?
The narrators of bedtime stories on apps are typically picked for their gentle voices and unobtrusive delivery styles.
A senior psychology lecturer at Monash University, Dr Melinda Jackson explains that listening to stories like these before going to sleep has the same effect as playing white noise, rain, or breaking waves in the background.
That “voice in the background, but you’re not paying too much attention to what they are saying, and that may be pleasant,” she says.
People who suffer from excessive mental chatter may benefit from a distraction from their own thoughts.
How to use bedtime story apps correctly?
You should see your doctor if you use bedtime apps to fall asleep every night, advises Sleep Health Foundation chairwoman Prof. Dorothy Bruck.
If you’ve developed a habit of relying on a sleep aid to get to sleep, you may find it difficult to do so on your own in the future.
This is akin to the way a baby would play with its dummy. Due to a lack of relaxation skills, they require a dummy to sleep, wake up in the night, and can’t get back to sleep without it.
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