Audiobooks discussion

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message 1: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) | 22 comments I haven't listened to much lately, mostly because noisy environments bother me and currently I've just got normal MP3 player earbuds. But I've started listening to short stories as I'm falling asleep.

I just listen until I'm almost asleep and turn the player off. When I wake up it's hard to remember where I was but if I listen for just a minute at the point in the story right before it was turned off, I do remember clearly.

It really helps me sleep and I was thinking about doing this with actual books instead of stories. Does anyone else do this, or would it be a bad idea and destroy retention or something?


message 2: by A. (new)

A. Sines (asines) | 60 comments I definitely do this. Male voices are more conducive to sleep. And when I forget to turn it off, dreams get weird.


J.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ | 705 comments The Smart Audiobook Player app has a neat sleep function if you're able to listen on your phone. You hit the sleep button and the audiobook cuts off 10 minutes after the phone's last "jostle". So at most you're backtracking 10 minutes in the morning.


message 4: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) | 22 comments Huh, I didn't know that about male voices. I never really pay attention to the narrator's gender, but I really like it when they have nice-sounding accent.

And I'm kind of worried about damaging my phone by knocking it off the bed or sleeping on the screen, so I just use an MP3 player I've had for a while.


message 5: by binter (last edited May 03, 2015 01:22AM) (new)

binter | 216 comments My mp3 player has a "sleep" setting so I can have it automatically shut off after 15/30/60 mins. I love this and find that I fall asleep so much faster.

I hadn't considered whether a make or female narrator affects the speed with which I fall asleep but I do know I like a very low volume and a British accent. Naturally, not a gripping mystery either.


message 6: by HJ (last edited May 03, 2015 01:08AM) (new)

HJ I use audiobooks to help me fall asleep, either when I go to bed or when I wake up in the night. I deliberately choose a book which I already know well (so I won't want to stay awake to find out what's going to happen) but which I enjoy enough to engage my interest sufficiently to stop my thoughts wandering, or rushing around, or becoming worries which keep me awake. This last is particularly useful when I wake up in the middle of the night, or too early in the morning, when I am inclined to start thinking abut things which will keep me awake.

I really recommend this for people who have trouble sleeping. I used to read in bed until my eyes wouldn't stay open but it didn't do the trick of stilling my mind the way an audiobook does.

The sleep function on the Audible app on my phone/iPad is invaluable for this. I really like the dark option for the app which they've introduced so I can squint at it sufficiently to be able to turn on the sleep function without being woken even more by a bright light.


message 7: by Daphne (new)

Daphne (daphnesm) | 55 comments I use them to fall asleep. I've found I drift off better with non-fiction history or science. Fiction can be rough because I've found myself not able to get to sleep because I'm too into the story.

I've had some crazy dreams thanks to listening while sleeping


message 8: by Jo Ann (new)

Jo Ann  | 2 comments I use the Smart Audio Book player app on my tablet with a Blue tooth speaker. The speaker has a 30 foot reach, I just put my tablet safely where I charge it at night and place the speaker near my bedside I set the player to turn off in 90 minutes (that's maximum.) When I fall asleep and I always do, everything automatically turns it's self off. No worries of anything getting broke. The next day its not so hard to pick up where you stopped listening at.


Heidi (Yup. Still here.)  | 1546 comments I listen to audiobooks every night on my ipod touch with one earbud in my ear. I always set the sleep timer for 30 minutes because I rarely stay away longer than that and then when I start to get sleepy I make "bookmarks" so the next day I can remember where I left off. I have to use the sleep timer otherwise it wakes me up later.


message 10: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) | 22 comments "I deliberately choose a book which I already know well (so I won't want to stay awake to find out what's going to happen)"

I can definitely see the logic in this. But I would love it if it worked with books I haven't read. The classics I skipped or skimmed in grade school are all right there on Librivox and at first glance it seems like a perfect setup to work through them while I'm doing absolutely nothing else. But maybe it's harder to enjoy them with the backtracking and all...


message 11: by Donna (new)

Donna Robbins | 226 comments Listening to a book with a sleep timer while falling asleep only works for me sometimes. Even with not particularly exciting books that I've already read, I get caught up in the story and stay awake. On the other hand, it really does quiet the real life worries - better to stay awake listening to a book than stay awake worrying :)

I envy the folks who can go to sleep listening to a book they're currently reading; sounds like a great way to squeeze in another 15 or 30 minutes a day but pretty sure it would just keep me awake.

Non-fiction history is a good idea, I haven't tried that.

I sometimes queue up a book and put in earbuds without setting the sleep timer and hitting play; I know it sounds crazy, but somehow it eliminates the fear of insomnia. Then, if I do have any trouble falling asleep, I start the book.


message 12: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 75 comments For the last few months I've been listening to the Harry Potter books when i go to sleep. I set it at 30mins as I prepare for bed and timing seems to work. I just find it really comforting, i think its probably linked to as a child having my parents read to me each night. Of course now its a middle aged gay man reading a kids book to a 30 something grown woman - but hey it works !


message 13: by Jeanie (new)

Jeanie | 3603 comments I discovered over a number of sleepless nights that I can't listen to a new book while going to sleep. But after reading the first time I do re-read going to sleep. Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series, Frontier Magic series, Harry Potter--discs work great for this--now the In Death series, and even Ready Player One. I even listen to Modern Scholar lectures by Prof. Drout and have started my re-reads of Agatha Christie. This allows me to use my daytime reading for new stuff and not get stuck in re-reading rather than moving on. Works well for me.


message 14: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 316 comments One more grateful vote for audiobooks as sleep aids. I, too, choose a beloved old story so I won't stay awake "to see what happens." The Ipod time set works pretty well but I prefer CD versions which will automatically turn off after 90 minutes. Both Ipod players and the old boom box are within reach of my pillow.


message 15: by Robin P (new)

Robin P | 1009 comments I don't listen every night, but sometimes it's a big help. Like HJ I am good at worrying or thinking unhelpful thoughts at night, but I'm also super sensitive to noise and even travel with earplugs. So I thought audiobooks would keep me awake. But if I keep them on low volume, I am forced to direct my attention so can't think of other things. I haven't used a timer, but at some point I'll realize I have missed something. Just realizing I have been sleeping is relaxing, as I often have the impression I've been awake the whole time, then I worry about the fact that I'm not sleeping. I agree that male voices are easier to fall asleep to. I hadn't thought of rereads, but that makes sense. I just rewind the next day to see where I dropped off.


message 16: by CatBookMom (new)

CatBookMom | 1082 comments I often have insomnia, so when it's really bad I use 'sleep music' on my Sansa Clip, some tracks of rainfall, streams, ocean waves, etc. that I got via Amazon music downloads. I set the timer to 30min and I rarely hear it turn off.


Heidi (Yup. Still here.)  | 1546 comments Robin I agree that you need to set the volume to a lower setting. I also like re-listening to old favorites like Harry Potter but can also listen to certain new books as long as they are light (i.e. cozy mysteries or romances).


message 18: by Trish (new)

Trish (trishga) | 212 comments It's the only way I go to sleep.


message 19: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Boyles (cwf1965) | 162 comments I have always loved sleeping on Sunday afternoons to football at a low volume. Something soothing about it and I never cared who won. I started listening to books with a timer but hated finding my spot the next day. I have a few books that I especially love to fall asleep to with My favorite being Breakfast with Buddha. Soothing voice and perfect story line, travelling cross country with a spiritual being.


message 20: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 316 comments Breakfast with Buddha is on my wish list. I guess it's next as soon as I have an extra credit.


message 21: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) | 22 comments Stacy wrote: "I have always loved sleeping on Sunday afternoons to football at a low volume. Something soothing about it and I never cared who won. I started listening to books with a timer but hated finding my ..."

I just pause the story and turn by Mp3 player off when I'm right on the edge of being too sleepy to even do that. It takes a few minutes in the morning to remind myself of where I am, but even with a timer I think that will always be an issue. It's not the gadget, but our sleepy brains.


message 22: by Susie (new)

Susie Glad to see there are others out there who do this...
The key for me is to use the timer because I often fall asleep while listening and it is much easier to backtrack the few minutes to where I last remember. I debated whether this is the 'right way' to listen to books by using as a sleep aid, but then I remembered that back in school I always did a quick review of my notes right before going to sleep the night before the test in order to help retention...and it worked! I've mainly been listening to classics, but am going to try some of the other suggestions here.


message 23: by Meg (new)

Meg | 3 comments Audiobooks for sleep are my lifesaver! I've been doing this for years, especially with books of essays or slightly dry non-fiction, but also with absurdist humor, where I won't care much if I miss or repeat a bit. Without this I had a hard time stopping thinking long enough to fall asleep.

I make a bookmark when I start the sleep timer and go back to that point in the morning, fast-forwarding if I realize I actually remember a lot of what I'm hearing. One of the bigger challenges is finding headphones or speakers that can hit the right volume. My ipod and phone are both too loud for most books without an extra inline volume control.


message 24: by Briar Rose (new)

Briar Rose | 152 comments I'm another one who can only fall asleep listening to audiobooks. I honestly don't know what I would do without them.

I also like listening to books I've read before, or non-fiction history books before sleep. They're interesting enough to keep me focused on the book, but not so interesting that I have to stay awake listening for what will happen next.

I recently got Smart Audiobook Player on my smartphone and I *love* its function to fall asleep x minutes after the last 'jostle' (I've set mine to 20 minutes). The amount of time it takes me to fall asleep is very unpredictable, so sleep timers didn't always work for me (some nights I would have to restart the playing just as I was falling asleep, and other nights I would fall asleep quickly and the book would carry on and wake me up!)

I don't think it affects my memory, but I've had some odd dreams when I've been half-awake and listening. One time I was listening to Harry Potter, but also vividly dreaming what I was reading - walking around in the castle behind the characters, watching everything they were doing. I could hear Stephen Fry's voice kind of booming around us, telling the story. It was much better than the movies or even what my waking imagination had conjured up when reading!


message 25: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) | 22 comments I've yet to dream about the book I'm listening to. But since right now it's a collection of short stories by H.P Lovecraft, that might be for the better. The Norse stories I'm also listening to might be fun though. And yes, I do think I'm falling asleep much more easily since I started listening.


message 26: by A. (new)

A. Sines (asines) | 60 comments Gosh, Lovecraft gives me such vivid, weird dreams. I listen to his stories when i know it will be impossible to sleep, because i look forward to the dreams! It does sometimes add a depth you never expected.


message 27: by GeneralTHC (new)

GeneralTHC | 27 comments I fall asleep all the time listening to audiobooks. As a matter of fact, I haven't gone to sleep without an audiobook playing in a few years. And I like them to play all night long, too. It's no problem at all for me to rewind them to the last place I clearly remember hearing when I wake up, which happens many times a night some nights. It's pretty wild when they bleed over into my dreams.

But I also keep my iPod loaded with several different books at all times. And there are particular types of things I like to sleep to. Mainly nonfiction if I'm planning on sleeping because it doesn't matter how many times I hear it. I don't think I could live without audiobooks now, heh.


message 28: by Bonnie Lynn (new)

Bonnie Lynn | 1 comments I need the 'noise' in order to fall asleep these days. However, I make sure to go back several chapters and set the timer to 45 minutes. Hearing what I've just read will usually prevent me from getting so caught up in the story that I stay awake all night listening to it.


message 29: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Boyles (cwf1965) | 162 comments Bonnie Lynn wrote: "I need the 'noise' in order to fall asleep these days. However, I make sure to go back several chapters and set the timer to 45 minutes. Hearing what I've just read will usually prevent me from g..."

Good idea! I may try that some nights.


message 30: by Specs (last edited May 14, 2015 02:29AM) (new)

Specs Bunny (specsbunny) | 388 comments Had a very sleepless night and was (as always) so very glad to have my audiobooks.
Being used to audiobooks already as a child (my mum's almost blind and listened all the time but mostly in bed before sleeping) to me it feels natural falling asleep this way.
Nice to read so many people do this, although in different ways (old books relisten or the winding chapters back).
I just listen to whatever I have, new or old, and don't mind the following morning winding a bit or sometimes a few chapters back. I feel I even enjoy the book more by listening twice to some parts.
Maybe that's just typical dutch, having more for your money...


message 31: by Christine (new)

Christine | 14 comments Bummer. My mp3 player died just as i was getting ready to set it up to listen as i fall asleep. I hate when this happens. And i had it loaded up with great audiobooks. Pooh!


message 32: by Victor (last edited May 14, 2015 08:55AM) (new)

Victor (ace-geek) | 22 comments Mine died last night because I fell asleep without turning it off. The poor thing made it all the way into a different book, though.


Theresa~OctoberLace (octoberlace) | 16 comments I often set a timer on my iPod and listen to a book as I fall asleep. The only problem is when I really like a book and start re-setting the timer. Two days ago I kept doing that and finally realized it was already 4:30 am and I had listened most of the night instead of going to sleep. I was so tired at work the next day!


message 34: by Robin P (last edited May 15, 2015 01:08PM) (new)

Robin P | 1009 comments You are a true audiobook addict! Audible should provide us with a medical excuse - "can't come to work due to the condition of literary overload"!


message 35: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Boyles (cwf1965) | 162 comments Theresa, that happens to me but usually on the weekends when I don't work but it has happened on weeknights a few times. I want to call in sick so bad but I know that I COULD stay awake to finish the book so I'd better go to work.
Robin- I can't come to work today because I have a book hangover. One of the bosses would understand but the other would not(I don't think he can read) LOL!


Theresa~OctoberLace (octoberlace) | 16 comments Luckily, I don't often get so caught up in an audiobook that I don't want to sleep. If I'm wound up, I have some relaxation podcasts that work well. More often, I set a 30 minute timer, fall asleep, and rewind it about 20 minutes the next day.


message 37: by Samyann (new)

Samyann | 69 comments I do this ALL the time, every night. I use the Audible app for iPhone (has the timer).

Right now I’m listening to Andersonville and set the timer for 45 minutes (it’s pretty good Civil War history in a fiction book that won the Pulitzer in the mid 50s)

Anyway, the app even calls the timer ‘Sleep Timer’, so…..


message 38: by HJ (new)

HJ Bonnie Lynn wrote: "I need the 'noise' in order to fall asleep these days. However, I make sure to go back several chapters and set the timer to 45 minutes. Hearing what I've just read will usually prevent me from getting so caught up in the story that I stay awake all night listening to it. ..."

That's an interesting variation on my rule of only listening to books I know very well when I'm going to sleep. I must try it!


message 39: by HJ (new)

HJ Samyann wrote: "I do this ALL the time, every night. I use the Audible app for iPhone (has the timer). ..."

The Audible sleep timer is a wonderful thing. It's even better on an iPad, because it's less fiddly to restart the timer with one's eyes almost closed.


message 40: by Robin P (last edited May 16, 2015 11:03AM) (new)

Robin P | 1009 comments Samyann wrote: "I do this ALL the time, every night. I use the Audible app for iPhone (has the timer).

Right now I’m listening to Andersonville and set the timer for 45 minutes (it’s pretty good Civil War histor..."


Wow, I think Andersonville would give me nightmares. I often dream about books I have just been reading/listening to and try not to have anything too dark just before bed.

Stacy, I love the name of "book hangover". This can happen even if I slept fine, that some books just grab me so much that I keep thinking of them when I should be doing other things.


message 41: by Susan (new)

Susan (suze0501) | 37 comments Really interesting thread. A former Londoner, I now live in deepest rural France. I used to listen to cut out external noise, but I now can't go to sleep now without an audiobook - in fact if for some reason it stops playing during the night the silence wakes me up! My beloved iPod Classic recently died and and I was in total panic until its replacement arrived. I usually listen to texts I know, and the voice of the narrator is VERY important - Juliet Stevenson, Alex Jennings, Stephen Fry all big favourites. Glad to know there are other night owls out there with this peculiar habit!!


message 42: by Tracy (new)

Tracy | 1 comments I Thought I was the only one that did this. It's great knowing I'm not. My children thought I lost my mind when I started doing it a few years ago. I tend to listen to books I have already read as well and the narrator is very important.


message 43: by Samyann (new)

Samyann | 69 comments Robin wrote: "Samyann wrote: "I do this ALL the time, every night. I use the Audible app for iPhone (has the timer).

Right now I’m listening to Andersonville and set the timer for 45 minutes (it’s pretty good ..."


It is pretty grizzly.


message 44: by Brizo (new)

Brizo (brizosdream) | 5 comments I always thought I was kinda weird, listening to my audiobooks as I'm going to sleep and even when sleeping. After reading that all you do the same thing, I'm beginning to think I'm just part of the crowd.


message 45: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) | 22 comments Brizo wrote: "I always thought I was kinda weird, listening to my audiobooks as I'm going to sleep and even when sleeping. After reading that all you do the same thing, I'm beginning to think I'm just part of th..."

Apparently we are. I thought at first it would be hard to actually remember anything if I was falling asleep while listening, but I never have to backtrack much. And it's the only time my house is really quiet enough to listen. The downside is that so far I've only listened for a maximum of a half hour at a time.


message 46: by Christine (new)

Christine | 14 comments I love listening while falling asleep. I find my mind concentrates on the story. But I do spend a goodly amount of time backtracking. I also put on my nature sounds. So behind the voice of the audio narrator is a white noise sound:). Sounds crazy I know.


message 47: by Briar Rose (new)

Briar Rose | 152 comments Sphene wrote: "I love listening while falling asleep. I find my mind concentrates on the story. But I do spend a goodly amount of time backtracking. I also put on my nature sounds. So behind the voice of the a..."

Doesn't sound crazy Sphene, it sounds like a good way to block out external sound and make a pleasant sleep environment!

I'm so glad to hear there are other people who do this. I'm not the only insomniac who needs Juliet Stevenson or Stephen Fry to read me to sleep :)


message 48: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 221 comments The idea of listening to audio books to help fall asleep is intriguing, but, um, there is someone else in my bed. How can I do it without bothering the other person?


Theresa~OctoberLace (octoberlace) | 16 comments Kathleen, my husband doesn't hear my iPod when I listen before sleeping.


message 50: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) | 22 comments Kathleen wrote: "The idea of listening to audio books to help fall asleep is intriguing, but, um, there is someone else in my bed. How can I do it without bothering the other person?"

I always use earbuds so my family doesn't hear anything.


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