These songs about sleep are perfect whether you love your sleep or are a frustrated insomniac. Get inspired or get lulled into falling asleep.
Sleep, a vital function that is unfortunately undervalued in today’s world. However, sleep is so important, these artists decided to incorporate the idea of sleep and rest into their music. Keep reading to find out more about the best songs about sleep and the inspiration behind them.
1. “How Do You Sleep?” by Sam Smith
In this mournful tune, Sam Smith laments the fracture a relationship is causing. They ask “How do you sleep when you lie to me?”, suggesting that the subject that the song is discussing is doing things behind the narrator’s back. While this song is definitely the perfect breakup tune, its woeful tempo is catchy and makes for great radio.
2. “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by The Beastie Boys
New York City-based hip hop group, The Beastie Boys describe a long and tiring tour in this song, implying that they won’t quit or rest until they reach their hometown of Brooklyn. Slayer guitarist Kerry King plays the guitar riffs in this rap-rock anthem, making it the perfect closer for The Beastie Boys’ concerts.
3. “Sleeping on the Blacktop” by Colter Wall
Canadian singer Colter Wall released this moody Americana tune in 2015. Featured in the film Hell or High Water, this song appears to have the narrator running from his troubles while covering topics like drug addiction and poverty.
The term “sleeping on the blacktop” is usually used when referring to vagrants or drifters, which means the narrator is most likely bouncing from town to town.
4. “Insomnia” by Daya
Released in 2019, “Insomnia” describes the lack of sleep that the narrator experiences from missing someone that she loved. While set to an upbeat pace, this song documents the struggles that the narrator faces sleeping without someone and how her mind runs at night. Though it’s meant to sound like a dance club anthem, “Insomnia” is definitely a deeper track.
5. “Talking In Your Sleep” by The Romantic
This catchy 1983 track has been covered by the likes of The Weeknd. The tune is pretty self-explanatory. The narrator is sleeping next to his lover and hears the “secrets” that she keeps because she is unknowingly talking in her sleep. Even though this song has a groovy rhythm, you can detect the narrator’s pain throughout.
6. “Golden Slumbers” by The Beatles
Penned by Beatles member Paul McCartney, this 1969 cut is based on the poem/lullaby “Cradle Song” by Thomas Dekker. Essentially, the narrator is singing a lullaby to an unknown subject, trying to get them to go to sleep by promising them that good dreams await them.
7. “Daysleeper” by R.E.M.
R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe was inspired to write this tune after seeing a sign that said “Daysleeper” on someone’s door in a New York City apartment building. Stipe says it was around 4 p.m. and he made an effort to be as quiet as he could in order to not wake the third shift worker up.
8. “I’m Only Sleeping” by The Beatles
Yep! Another Beatles tune about sleep! From their Revolver album, this 1966 tune gathers inspiration from John Lennon’s love of staying in bed all day. Pretty simple, right? Jokingly, his friend Maureen Cleave called John Lennon “the laziest person in England”, which makes this dreamy tune all the more fitting.
9. “You Can Sleep While I Drive” by Melissa Etheridge
This 80s song talks about Etheridge’s desire to get out of town and encouraging her lover to join her on the adventure. Etheridge discusses passing through cities like New Orleans and Nashville but insisting that her lover can sleep while she does all the cross country driving.
10. “Asleep” by The Smiths
Known for their moody songs, The Smiths take a melancholy approach to the concept of sleep in “Asleep”. The narrator requests to be sung to sleep, after insisting that he’s tired and wants to go to bed. However, this song has a much deeper meaning than the sole desire to go to bed. It is implied through the lyrics regarding not wanting to wake up that the narrator wants to die. He requests that someone sing to him to help comfort him as he passes away.
While many tunes seem to be related to dreaming, sleep is just as much of an important theme in music. After all, you cannot properly dream without getting a good eight hours of sleep.