In the midst of a pandemic, sleep has never been more important—or more elusive. Studies have shown that a full night’s sleep is one of the best defenses in protecting your immune system. But since the spread of COVID-19 began, people around the world are going to bed later and sleeping worse; tales of terrifying and vivid dreams have flooded social media.
To combat sleeplessness, people are turning to all sorts of techniques, including anti-insomnia medication, aromatherapies, electronic curfews, sleep coaches and meditation. But another unlikely sedative has also seen a spike in usage around bedtime: music. While sleep music used to be confined to the fringes of culture—whether at avant-garde all-night concerts or New Age meditation sessions—the field has crept into the mainstream over the past decade. Ambient artists are collaborating with music therapists; apps are churning out hours of new content; sleep streams have surged in popularity on