These are the books you should read to make you fall asleep

books help fall asleep
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There aren’t many of us who can get through the week without mentioning our sleeping habits.

Most days you’ll find someone walking around bleary-eyed because they ‘couldn’t get to sleep last night’.

And while many resort to all sorts of techniques to try and fall into a slumber – taking a relaxing bath, drinking herbal tea, listening to soothing sounds, even counting sheep – one of the most reliable pre-bedtime rituals has always been to read a book.

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Sound advice, sure. But what to read? Something too interesting and you won’t be able to put it down; too boring and you’ll likely fall into an endless social media scrolling session; and too stimulating will keep you up all night with visions you usually prefer to stay inside a TV screen.

Well, one organisation has come up with the perfect answer.

London’s Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel has teamed up with psychologist and sleep expert Dr David Lewis and the capital’s oldest bookshop Hatchards to come up with the ultimate list of books that will help you to sleep.

books help fall asleep

According to Dr Lewis, you want to look out for books with short sentences and chapters that provide closure for a real snooze-inducer.

He also added that books with a simple structure and no too many intricate details in the plot line help the brain to shut off for sleep.

And a cliff hanger at the end of the chapter? An absolute no-no, as according to Lewis is triggers something called the ‘Zeigarnik Effect’, which stops the brain from switching off as it feels that something has been left unfinished.

books help fall asleep

To help their guests sleep more soundly, the Sheraton Grand hotel has introduced a cohort of appropriate books into their lounge for hotel users to enjoy before bed.

Books to help you fall asleep:

  • Tangerine by Christine Mangan
  • Penguin Book of English Short Stories by Christopher Dolley
  • Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak
  • The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
  • The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
  • Still Me by Jojo Moyes
  • Don’t point that thing at me by Kyrii Bonfiglioi
  • Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Story of Mr Sommer by Patrick Suskind
  • Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
  • Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Expurey
  • Last Orders by Graham Switft
  • Collected Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  • Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M.Dellafield
  • The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
  • What I talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
  • This is What Happened by Mick Herron
  • The Young Hornblower Omnibus by C.S. Forester
  • Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach
  • The Complete Hercule Poirot Short Stories by Agatha Christie
  • Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
  • Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany’s
  • The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes
  • One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes
  • Violins of St Jacques by Patrick Leigh Fermor
  • Century Girls by Tessa Dunlop

Worth a try if you need a way to unwind before getting some quality sleep...

Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.