This Song Is the Only Thing That Helps Me Fall Asleep When I’m Feeling Overwhelmed


High angle shot of a beautiful young woman sleeping in her bed at home during the night

Sleep has always been — and always will be — a top priority of mine. I depend on sleep (and coffee) to help me function throughout the day, and if I don’t get enough, my productivity suffers. But sometimes stress and anxiety get in the way of my slumber, and I find myself lying awake in the wee hours of the morning. Usually, I can pinpoint the source of my anxiety and restlessness. However, it’s not always so simple.

In today’s climate, there are plenty of reasons to feel overwhelmed. I try my best to turn off my brain once my head hits the pillow, but that’s not always possible. If other remedies like reading, using a weighted blanket, or adding extra pillows don’t work, there’s always one trick I can rely on to help me fall asleep: listening to music. In fact, there’s one specific song I play on repeat.

I’m unsure when “To Build a Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra, featuring Patrick Watson, officially became my magic sleeping spell — but over time, I found myself gravitating to this song, and it eventually became a habit.

It’s six minutes and 10 seconds of pure orchestra perfection. Watson’s soothing voice, playing over a backdrop of piano chords, instantly puts me at ease and helps me reset my breathing and heart rate. While the song builds, I allow myself to breathe in anything that may be stressing me out, and then as the tempo slows, with my eyes closed, I release those anxieties.

I repeat this trick a few times, and by the end, I feel a lot more relaxed, and in a way, vulnerable. If you often struggle to fall sleep, too, I recommend you find a song that has a similarly meditative effect on you. Borrow mine, if you like!

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