12 Nights of Podcasts for Escapism and Sleep

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As we spend more and more time near our beds, along with the stress of a new semester and stricter COVID-19 containment measures being placed upon us, falling asleep can become a nightmare all on its own. Nonetheless, getting a good night’s sleep remains vital to keeping our overall well-being stable. 

I turn to podcasts to help me get all my ZZZs. 

Personally, I find bedtime to be stressful with everything going on in the world. From the minimal daytime activities that physically tire me out to the constant stream of headlines running laps around my mind, when it’s finally time to sleep I feel exhausted and energized at the same time. So, as I try to escape reality and enter dreamland, I turn to podcasts to help me get all my ZZZs. 

So, I have compiled a list of soothing voices, stories, and conversations to help you fall deep into your pod and cast away into your dreams! 

For when you’re feeling philosophical..

Podcast: On Being with Krista Tippet  — “Jericho Brown: Small Truths and Other Surprises” 

On Being is one of my all time favourite bedtime listens. Tippet’s voice is calm and quiet, but her guests are always interesting. In this conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jericho Brown, the two discuss the importance of witnessing the human experience and opening ourselves up to surprises. 

Podcast: BoBo and Flex — “Is It Ethical To Lie to Kids?” 

This cross-continental podcast is hosted by two true queens. Their friendly back-and-forth creates a safe space to relax your mind and just listen. With that being said, the hosts are very engaging, so this may be an episode for a night when you need a while to wind down, or when you’ll have time to pick it back up in the morning. 

For when you’re in the mood for some relaxing — but interesting — interviews…

Podcast: The Zane Lowe Interview Series — Episode: “Tyler the Creator” 

Zane Lowe and Tyler the Creator sound so relaxed in their speech. Generally, Lowe is a wizard at getting artists to open up about their process and to discuss their most profound thoughts, and this episode is no different. All I can say is: enjoy the musical genius and lovely human that is Tyler the Creator. 

Podcast: NPR’s How I Built This — Episode: “Tatcha: Vicky Tsai” 

“How I Built This” is hosted by Guy Raz. While almost any one of his interviews acts as a good bedtime tale, I thought I would highlight his interview with female entrepreneur Vicky Tsai, creator of Tatcha. She shows that hard work pays off, a reminder we can all use when we’re laying in bed questioning why we chose to study at McGill in the first place. 

Podcast: Invisible 99% — Episode: “Invisible Women”

Talking about design can quickly become a form of mediation. In this episode, host Roman Mars interviews Caroline Criado Perez, author of Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, to learn more about how women are often neglected in the world of design. The revelations in this episode are interesting and important, so I’d recommend picking this one back up in the morning if you fall asleep before it ends. 

When you’re simply looking for stories of People and Places… 

Podcast: The Memory Palace:  — Episode: “A Park

A meditative description of a park and its history by host Nate DiMeo. 

Podcast: This American Life  — Episode: “The Kindness of Strangers” 

 What would this list of podcast recommendations be without mention of This American Life? This episode is just some wholesome content to remind you that people are indeed good. 

Podcast: Modern Love Episode: “When Cupid is A Prying Journalist”

Every episode of this WBUR Chicago podcast tells the story of a contemporary and unlikely love story. This story about true and young love is told by one of my favourite voices, Susan Kelechi Watson. 

Podcast: The Daily Episode: “A Bit of Relief: Tea and Toast”

Michael Barbaro’s daily news podcast can be stressful at the best of times, so this episode is a nice change of pace. It includes two stories about a good cup of tea and a good piece of toast, food items that bring two different New Yorkers joy during the early days of the pandemic. 

When you want to fall asleep to poetry… 

The following three episodes are just nice voices reading nice poems. Simple and pleasant.  Enjoy. 

Podcast: Poetry Unbound  — Episode: “Roger Robinson: A Portable Paradise”

Podcast: Bedtime with Babish Episode: “The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe”  (A spookier bedtime listen!)

Podcast: Interesting People Reading Poetry Episode: “Counselor Sheryl Paul Reads Walt Whitman”

Sweet dreaming.

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