The best bedtime stories for adults featured image

This page is the ultimate resource for the stories that will carry your imagination away from the troubles of the day.

I’ve found all the best podcasts, apps, and actual books, to lull you into a state of blissful ease so that you can fall asleep.

The Best Bedtime Story Podcasts

Podcasts are probably the best free source of bedtime stories for adults, so I’d start your search here.

These are also constantly being updated so there’s always a big catalog of material to try out.

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Get Sleepy

Get Sleepy has tons of narrated stories that are anywhere from 40-60 minutes long, complete with music and everything.

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Nothing Much Happens

Kathryn of Nothing Much Happens narrates 30-minute stories, where, nothing much happens… exactly the kind of stories we all need before bed.

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Boring Books for Bedtime

Listen to hour-long episodes that are sure to put you to sleep!

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Sleep With Me

At over one thousand episodes this comedy, bedtime story, and radio show combo podcast is a great one to try out.

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Sleep Cove

Relax using a combination of self-hypnosis and meditation mixed with sleep stories.

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“Doze off to classic stories with Sleepy. Each week, baritone host Otis Gray reads old books in a low, rhythmic tone to lull you into a deep slumber so you can have a fresh start the next day.”

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Send me to Sleep

More soothingly voiced sleep stories are to be had here.

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The Sleepy Bookshelf

“Fall asleep to classic works of fiction, adapted and narrated to help you relax. Each episode begins with a brief moment of relaxation followed by a quick summary of the prior episode. That way, you can fall asleep whenever you’re ready and always stay caught up. Explore our full library of over 30 audiobooks. There is something for everyone! Support our show as a premium member and get access to bonus episodes and ad-free listening.”

The Best Bedtime Story AudioBooks

The most important thing, I think, in a bedtime story, is that the narrator should have a very calming, soft, and soothing voice.

Therefore, the books in this list will focus on narration that is quite mellow.

  • Tip

Since the links in this article go to Audible, you can start a 30-day trial of Audible Plus to get your first book free and unlimited listening for many of these books!

book cover for nothing much happens

Nothing Much Happens: Cozy and Calming Stories to Soothe Your Mind and Help You Sleep

Narrator: Kathryn Nicolai

“You’ll also find 16 new stories never before featured on the podcast, along with whimsical illustrations, recipes, and meditations. Using her decades of experience as a meditation and yoga teacher, Kathryn Nicolai creates a world for you to slip into, one rich in sensory experience that quietly teaches mindfulness and self-compassion, soothes frayed nerves, and builds solid habits for nurturing sleep.”

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The Graveyard Book

Narrator: Neil Gaiman

“Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is the winner of the Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, the Hugo Award for best novel, the Locus Award for Young Adult novel, the American Bookseller Association’s “Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book”, a Horn Book Honor, and Audio Book of the Year.”

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Narrator: Neil Gaiman

“In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for 600 years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named. Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he’ll retrieve the star and bring it back for her. It is this promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life.”

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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Narrator: Charlie Mackesy

“Experience the world of a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves together in sometimes difficult terrain, sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries about vulnerability, kindness, hope, friendship and love.”

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At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Narrator: Bill Bryson

“Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposi­tion imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.”

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A Short History of Nearly Everything

Narrator: Bill Bryson

“Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us.”

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The Body: A Guide for Occupants

Narrator: Bill Bryson

“Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body – how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Bryson-esque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular.”

book cover for The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid- A Memoir

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir

Narrator: Bill Bryson

“Bill Bryson’s first travel book opened with the immortal line, “I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.” In this hilarious new memoir, he travels back to explore the kid he once was and the weird and wonderful world of 1950s America. He modestly claims that this is a book about not very much: about being small and getting much larger slowly. But for the rest of us, it is a laugh-out-loud book that will speak volumes – especially to anyone who has ever been young.”

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Sherlock Holmes

Narrator: Stephen Fry

Nearly 70 hours of Sherlock Holmes read by Stephen Fry. This is a favorite of many.

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Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Narrator: Stephen Fry

“Full of tragic heroes, intoxicating love stories, and the unstoppable force of fate, there is no conflict more iconic than the Trojan War. Troy is the story of the epic battle retold by Fry with drama, humor, and vivid emotion. Achilles, Hector, Odysseus, Helen, their lovers, and their mortal enemies all burn bright in Fry’s compelling prose. This volume invites you to explore a captivating world with a brilliant storyteller as your guide.”

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Narrator: Stephen Fry

“Here are the thrills, grandeur, and unabashed fun of the Greek myths, stylishly retold by Stephen Fry. The legendary writer, actor, and comedian breathes life into ancient tales, from Pandora’s box to Prometheus’s fire, and transforms the adventures of Zeus and the Olympians into emotionally resonant and deeply funny stories, without losing any of their original wonder. Learned notes from the author offer rich cultural context. This volume is a doorway into a captivating world.”

book cover for Heroes The Greek Myths Reimagined

Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined

Narrator: Stephen Fry

“Perseus. Jason. Atalanta. Theseus. Heracles. Rediscover the thrills, grandeur, and unabashed fun of the Greek myths. Whether recounting a tender love affair or a heroic triumph, Fry deftly finds resonance with our own modern minds and hearts.”

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Narrator: Jim Dale

Of course, what bedtime story list would be complete without recommmend the fantasy powerhouse Harry Potter?

Of course, I recommend them all.

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Life on Earth

Narrator: David Attenborough

Basically an audibook version of Life on Earth! What’s not to like here? Each chapter is accompanied by a soundscape to fit the biome.

The Best Bedtime Story Apps

If you’re more of an app person, there are many apps on the market that have excellent lists of sleep stories you can try out.

These all cost money, but they all come with either free trials or freemium versions you can try out before you decide if it’s worth buying.

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“An award-winning app designed to gently occupy your mind with soothing interactive content, shedding the worries of today and setting you up for a serene tomorrow.”

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Slumber has “Soothing Stories use guided imagery, helping you to participate in the story. Stories by therapeutic hypnotist Dan Jones use suggestive hypnosis techniques to induce sleep.”

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This one is just for the iOS folks.

“Our selection of bedtime stories range from classics such as; ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ to Sleepiest Originals such as ‘The Adventures of Koko’, ‘The Wise Elephant’ and ‘The Jupiter Twins

Hopefully, you found something here to help you wind down at night!

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