Which Classical Pieces Put You To Sleep?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

An image from the WNYC clock your sleep project.

Do you fall asleep or wake up to classical music? Our sister station WNYC is collecting information on people's sleep habits through a new crowdsourcing project called Clock Your Sleep.

"Sleep is really important to your health, which is something you probably already know," says WNYC Data News editor John Keefe. "But it's hard to actually get more sleep. And missing out on sleep has real consequences it turns out."  

What could help us all sleep better? While classical music has plenty of stirring, pulse-raising moments, we'd also like to think that it can help.

Let us know in the comments below what pieces put you to sleep — in a good way — and join the WNYC sleep project to see how much sleep you and others in the New York City area are getting each night.


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Comments [16]

When Nimet was on every night, the music she played was really too interesting to sleep to. I complimented her once on keeping me up all night. I remember especially her playing different language versions of one of the blockbuster musicals (either Fiddler on the Roof or My Fair Lady). I used to use WPAT-AM to fall asleep to, but that was a L O N G time ago.

Jun. 12 2014 11:59 PM
Michael Leonard Novia

Bach's cello suits by Edgar Meyer. He's only done the first three (of six)and he plays them on his bass. It is so different. It takes me to the core of all things good. Then, while there, I fall asleep. "Yes," is the answer to your questions.

Apr. 24 2014 10:39 AM
Madison from Manhattan

What puts me to sleep? Most anything by Phillip Glass!

Apr. 21 2014 09:13 AM
Janet from Toronto

Erik Satie's Gymnopedies do it for me. Relaxing right in to sleep.

Apr. 19 2014 11:25 PM
David from Flushing

I attended a performance of Pelléas et Mélisande by C. Debussy at the Met and found half the house asleep towards the end. That production featured scenes that slowly faded in and out.

Apr. 18 2014 06:10 AM

Falling asleep to any simple spoken-word podcast is generally easy. As for the morning, I've set my smartphone to play the piece from Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg that begins with burst of chorus vocals singing "Wach auf!" (WAKE UP)!

Apr. 16 2014 12:32 PM
Sarah from Bronx

I always find Mozart's A Little Night Music puts me in the mood for some shuteye in a very good way. It just so sweet and soft that I just rest my eyes.

Apr. 15 2014 05:12 PM
NYC Girl from NYC

Wow, I also often play the Rachmaninoff Vespers to fall asleep! I also listen to some sleep meditations on Youtube. I'm a night owl and have difficulty quieting my mind at night in order to fall asleep, so I rely on external stuff to do that for me.

Apr. 12 2014 08:17 PM
Jared from Greenwich CT

I agree with molesh about the music being too interesting. In bed late at night though I often like to listen to a substantial work, such as a Myaskovsky symphony or briefer works such as Masses of Palestrina or Gesualdo.
Early music is typically quite "relaxing" I find, and that can part of the appeal during the late hours. However, like a sprawling Russian symphony or any other works really I find myself listening with a hyper-sensitive ear in the dark w out distractions! I will add that I do specifically listen to music for flute & harp (esp. the French impressionist school, or earlier perhaps Spohr and his contemporaries) if I'm really sleepy, works that I adore and find ethereal anyhow. Happily I last 45 mins or so! Oh and works for solo viola da gamba makes for wonderful late listening I find!!

Apr. 11 2014 10:50 PM

Alas, my "latest-and-greatest" TWC remote does not have a timer. But I sometimes fall asleep to Classical Arts Showcase on CUNY-TV. Even if it stays on after I've fallen asleep, I'm OK with that. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to opera/ballet/classical music -- it's like a dream come true. Literally.


Apr. 11 2014 08:22 PM

I like to fall asleep while listening to Beethoven Cello Sonatas.

Apr. 11 2014 07:37 PM
kelley loftus

I have been known to drop off during Chopin's Nocturnes...but never from boredom.

Apr. 11 2014 12:05 PM

I generally find classical music too interesting to use it as a sleep aid and seldom fall asleep with WQXR, except very late at night with Nimet, if I am up that late. I do however recall falling asleep at the opera during Tristan und Isolde, Eugene Onegin and Arabella.

Apr. 11 2014 12:02 PM
Karen from Boston, MA

I like to relax with Rachmaninoff's "Vespers". Usually I fall asleep in the recliner with my cat.

Apr. 10 2014 06:13 PM

I don't deliberately use music to fall asleep, but sometimes I drift off while listening to WQXR or a CD.
My most vivid memory of music and sleep, however, took place years ago, when my husband and I attended the Philharmonic. Mahler's Ninth was on the program, to my delight. However, my husband kept falling asleep during it...and he snores! So I was kept busy gently poking him awake. Not my most enjoyable concert! And we discovered the next day that some of my pokes actually produced bruises.

Apr. 10 2014 05:31 PM
Ruth Slater from New Rochelle

I dislike New Sounds on WNYC and often at that hour WQXR is quirky, just when I want ti ll asleep

I have come to like Q in the earlier hour. He has gotten getter;

Apr. 10 2014 05:08 PM

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