Free bedtime stories for adults - our recommended reading list

Free bedtime stories for adults - our recommended reading list

By introducing a carefully selected bedtime story into your evening, you transform the routine into a cherished ritual, enriching your nights with tales that soothe the mind, spark the imagination, and gently guide you to a restful sleep. Explore our list of bedtime stories to redefine your journey to dreamland.


Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg
Classic Literature

Step into the vast expanse of literary history with Project Gutenberg, where over 60,000 free eBooks await to transport you to different realms and epochs. From the intrigue of Elizabethan England to the mysteries of Victorian London, these pages are your ticket to countless adventures. Why choose Project Gutenberg for your nightly escapade into the world of books?

  • Endless Variety: Whether you're in the mood for the romantic entanglements of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" or the deductive brilliance of Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," there's a story for every taste.
  • Ease of Access: With no sign-ups or fees, dive straight into reading classics like "Moby Dick," "A Tale of Two Cities," and "Dracula" on any device, making it the perfect companion for your bedtime routine.
  • Rediscover Classics: Reacquaint yourself with the literary giants and their works that have stood the test of time, fostering a deeper appreciation for literature's rich tapestry.


LibriVox: Voices from the Past


LibriVox brings the classics to life with its vast collection of free audiobooks. Narrated by volunteers around the globe, this platform offers an auditory journey into literature's greatest works. Whether you're into the haunting tales of Poe or the witty plays of Shakespeare, LibriVox has an audio escape for every nighttime listener.

  • Community-Driven: Experience the warmth of stories brought to you by passionate volunteers.
  • Diverse Genres: From mystery to romance, expand your horizons with audiobooks for every mood.
  • Accessibility: Easy access to enrich your nights with the spoken word, anytime, anywhere.


Snoozecast: Visions of Slumber

Sleep Stories

Snoozecast is your nightly lullaby, offering a selection of stories designed to lull you into a peaceful sleep. With a mixture of classic tales, short stories, and original series, each episode is crafted to help you let go of the day and drift into dreamland.

  • Soothing Narration: Calm voices guide you to relaxation and sleep, night after night.
  • Frequent Updates: Discover new stories regularly, keeping your bedtime routine fresh and engaging.
  • Sleep-Focused: Stories are selected and paced to promote relaxation and sleep, making bedtime something to look forward to.


Calm: Tranquility at Night

Meditation & Sleep Stories

Calm transforms your bedtime into a serene retreat with its collection of sleep stories, guided meditations, and soothing soundscapes. Designed to ease the mind and relax the body, Calm is your personal gateway to a restful night.

  • Expert Narration: Let voices like Stephen Fry and Matthew McConaughey serenade you to sleep.
  • Holistic Experience: Beyond stories, engage in meditations and breathing exercises to fully unwind.
  • Varied Content: From fairy tales to non-fiction journeys, Calm offers diverse content to suit every preference.


Sleepy: Bedtime Reads

Sleep Podcast

Sleepy podcast turns literature into a slumber aid, with a soothing voice reading classic books and poems. It's the perfect backdrop for those who wish to end their day with the comfort of a story, easing into sleep with each passing word.

  • Classic Literature: Unwind with timeless stories and poems each night.
  • Soothing Delivery: The calm, steady narration is designed to help you relax and fall asleep.
  • Regular Episodes: New readings every week keep your bedtime routine enchanting.


Nothing much happens: Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups

Nothing much happens
Sleep Podcast

In the world of 'Nothing much happens,' bedtime stories are crafted with care to ensure that, well, nothing much happens – and that's the beauty of it. These tales are all about the gentle journey, not the destination, providing a tranquil backdrop to your journey to sleep.

  • Mindfully Crafted: Stories designed to quiet the mind and soothe the spirit.
  • Detail-Oriented: Rich in calming details, each story is an escape to a peaceful moment.
  • Sleep-Inducing: The narrative structure encourages mental relaxation and sleep, making every night a peaceful adventure.


Storynory: Tales for All Ages

Children's Stories

Storynory lights up the imagination with a colorful tapestry of children's stories, fairy tales, and original series. Perfect for family bedtime, these tales spark joy and wonder in listeners of all ages, making bedtime a cherished moment.

  • Family-Friendly: Engage the entire family with stories that appeal to kids and adults alike.
  • Wide Range: From classic fairy tales to new adventures, there's always a new world to explore.
  • Engaging Narration: Dynamic and playful, Storynory's narrators bring each story to vibrant life.


BBC Sounds: Echoes of Stories

BBC Sounds
Radio & Podcasts

BBC Sounds offers a rich selection of audio content, from captivating dramas and insightful documentaries to a vast array of podcasts, including bedtime stories that cater to a grown-up audience. Dive into the depth of storytelling and soundscapes that the BBC is renowned for.

  • Diverse Audio Content: Explore a world of stories, music, and podcasts.
  • High-Quality Production: Experience the exceptional production value that BBC Sounds brings to every piece.
  • Easily Accessible: Stream from anywhere, making your nighttime routine both simple and enriching.


Insight Timer

Insight Timer
Meditation & Sleep Stories

Insight Timer is a treasure trove of free meditations, music, and bedtime stories designed to guide you into a restful sleep. With thousands of tracks by renowned teachers and storytellers, find your perfect nighttime companion in stories that soothe the mind and spirit.


LeVar Burton Reads

LeVar Burton Reads
Storytelling Podcast

Join LeVar Burton as he brings his iconic storytelling skills to adults, reading a selection of hand-picked fiction stories. From mystical tales to intriguing adventures, each episode is a journey into the world of storytelling magic, perfect for unwinding at the end of the day.


Loyal Books

Loyal Books
Audiobooks & eBooks

Loyal Books offers a wide range of free public domain audiobooks and eBooks, perfect for those looking to explore classic literature and stories. With an easy-to-navigate platform, it's never been simpler to find your next bedtime story adventure.



Audiobooks & Literature

Lit2Go is an extensive collection of free audiobooks, poems, and stories available for download. Curated by the University of South Florida, this platform offers a unique blend of literature and education, making it a fantastic resource for enriching bedtime stories.


The Moth

The Moth

The Moth brings the art of storytelling to life with its vast archive of recorded live storytelling events. These true, personal stories range from the heartwarming to the hilarious, offering a diverse selection of narratives that can accompany you into the night.


Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast
Storytelling Podcast

Miette searches the world for the most enchanting short stories to read to you at bedtime. Her soothing voice and the carefully selected tales provide the perfect end to your day, wrapping you in a world of words as you drift off to sleep.



Now part of Scribl, Podiobooks offers a unique collection of serialized audiobooks that are perfect for bedtime listening. From science fiction to fantasy, discover new authors and stories in an audio format that's ideal for nighttime relaxation.


Unwind with Words: The Science of Bedtime Stories for Adults

Discover the transformative power of bedtime reading. Studies show that delving into a story before sleep can:

  • Lower stress levels by detaching from daily concerns.
  • Enhance sleep quality by establishing a calming pre-sleep routine.
  • Stimulate the mind in a gentle, engaging way, promoting relaxation.


Crafting Your Perfect Nightly Narrative

Creating a Soothing Bedtime Ritual

Transform your night with stories that lead to dreamland. Here's how to build a bedtime story ritual that beckons sleep:

  • Disconnect to Reconnect: Switch off electronic devices an hour before bed to reduce blue light exposure.
  • Set the Scene: Ensure your reading space is comfortable and inviting, with soft lighting and cozy blankets.
  • Story Selection: Choose stories that match your relaxation goals—whether it's gentle fantasy, soothing classics, or tranquil tales.


The Artistry of Adult Bedtime Tales

Engaging the Adult Imagination

Bedtime stories aren't just for kids. The art of storytelling for adults can:

  • Rekindle the joy and wonder of narrative exploration.
  • Foster a deeper connection with diverse cultures and perspectives.
  • Serve as a creative outlet and a source of inspiration.


Personal Picks: Finding Stories That Speak to You

Tailoring Your Tale

With countless stories at your fingertips, find the ones that resonate most:

  • Mood Matters: Select stories based on your current mood or emotional needs.
  • Genre Exploration: From mystery to historical fiction, experiment with genres to uncover new favorites.
  • Author Affinities: Discover authors whose voices and styles soothe and captivate you.


Storytime Formats: Audiobooks, Podcasts, and Written Tales

Choosing Your Ideal Storytelling Medium

Each format offers a unique experience. Consider your preferences and needs:

Feature Audiobooks Podcasts Written Stories
Narration Professional readers Diverse hosts Self-paced
Convenience On-the-go listening Perfect for multitasking Requires light
Selection Vast library of titles Niche and broad topics Endless genres and classics
Engagement Passive listening Interactive and communal Active imagination


As we've journeyed through the enriching world of bedtime stories for adults, it's clear that this cherished ritual holds a treasure trove of benefits. From the calming embrace of a well-told tale to the gentle nudge towards a realm of dreams, bedtime stories are not just a pathway to better sleep but a means to reconnect with the art of storytelling and its boundless wonders.

But the magic of stories isn't reserved solely for adults. The young and young-at-heart alike can find joy and wonder in the rhythmic cadence of a nighttime narrative. If you're looking to introduce the little ones in your life to the delightful world of storytelling, or if you're simply curious about how bedtime stories can weave magic into the lives of children, be sure to explore our comprehensive guide on Free Bedtime Story Websites for Children. Here, you'll find a curated list of resources that promise to make bedtime a cherished moment, filled with tales of adventure, learning, and laughter.

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