Listening to podcasts while sleeping is only bad if they interfere with your sleep.
There are many podcasts that can soothe and even put you to sleep. Other podcasts are much better to listen to while wide awake, such as news and true crime podcasts. Have a read on how to listen to podcasts while driving.
Listening to Stories While You’re Sleeping
In a study produced by Edison Research in 2019, more than 50 percent of 6,000 people surveyed in the US said they listen to podcasts before bed to relax. And with so many podcasts focused on sleeping and relaxing, that doesn’t come as a surprise. Many podcasts feature sleep stories, or stories that are pleasant but not distracting, soothing and somewhat dull, all in an effort to help put the listener to sleep. These operate like a goodnight story told by your parents when you were a kid, or a lullaby of sorts.
Related: What To Do While Listening To A Podcast
Best Podcasts to Fall Asleep To
But not everyone is listening to that type of podcast while getting some shut eye. The type of podcast you listen to as you drift off can mean the difference between a restful night’s sleep or a tired and bleary eyed morning. According to Dr. Erin Hanlong of the University of Chicago, your brain starts to review the information compiled throughout the day: the events that took place, whether happy or sad, the news, what you ate all gets sorted. This contributes to the restfulness or lack thereof when you are falling asleep. This phase of sleep is called slow-wave sleep.
In order to get a restful night’s sleep, you want to make it easy for your brain to fall asleep, too. If you listen to something that keeps you on the edge of your seat, like a true crime or comedy podcast, your brain can get reactivated, which will make it harder for you to fall asleep. However, if you do turn to a sleep-specific podcast, whether it’s lullaby music, white noise, or sleepy stories, you will be able to shut your brain down to prepare for REM sleep.
Effects of Listening to Podcasts While Sleeping
REM sleep is the most important phase of sleep, as it helps you to process what you experienced through the day in order to use that information to your benefit later. Multiple studies have shown that when deprived of REM sleep, you are deprived of memory formation. This is because REM sleep generates new brain cells. If you want to stave off diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, it’s best to get as much REM sleep as possible.
So, to answer the question, “Is it bad to listen to podcasts while sleeping?” yes and no. If a podcast helps you to fall asleep faster or does not interfere with falling asleep, then no, it’s not bad to listen. But if a podcast keeps you up or activates your brain, thereby keeping it from falling asleep, it can be harmful. So turn off those true crime murder shows before you hit the sack, and turn on some sleep stories instead!
Falling asleep to a podcast may be a good or bad thing, depending on the content. Just make sure to set a soothing podcast as your alarm or you’ll wake up with a scare!
Alternatively you can check when is the best time to listen to podcast.