AfterPod — Sleep Listening

Sep 20, 2017 · 4 min read

Lie back and relax. Allow me to do the talking… just listen. It’s OK if you fall asleep, I’ll keep speaking. You’ll hear me.

People can enjoy listening to podcasts WHEN and WHERE they like. Freedom to choose is at the root of podcast popularity. Even so, we live lives of circadian rhythms and fall into regular routines shared by others.

When we group behavior by time and place, we gain a different perspective:

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A study cited in Westwood One’s State of Podcasting provides some insight about when and where audio consumers listen to podcasts. In this series of articles, we examine common behaviors. This article is about only ONE.


This may sound strange…

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Some disciplined listeners use a sleep timer to stop the podcast after a period of time… many do not, allowing the podcast episode to play (and, perhaps, an entire playlist).

Some listen using the phone’s little speaker, some a nice Bluetooth speaker/alarm, and some… sleep headphones. (Partners.)

We could examine this from numerous directions in great detail, citations and all, but will only take a quick pass at this time:


During the early evening hours, from 7pm-10pm or so (1900–2200), the podcast listener is most likely active… preparing a meal, doing household chores, and so on. Listening, but doing other things, too.


At times, we treat our smart phones as a “business device” and other times as a “personal device”. Some may turn the phone off or park it in another room, others have it by their sides at all times.

Including in bed.

Many households have a lamp on a stand next to the bed. Now, it also has a phone charging plug and the phone rests not far from our ears.

So, the listening continues… it sometimes takes a while to drift off.

Like many in the past who used to watch the old Johnny Carson show on TV when going to bed, some people regularly listen to the radio… or an audiobook… or a podcast.



I’m actually convinced this is one of the BEST (albeit short) times for audible information to penetrate the mind.


I think so… somewhere in the front-fading-to-back of our minds.


Maybe not… yet, if this is about the subconscious mind, DOES it truly ever stop processing external inputs? I don’t know.

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Podcasts have become the new audio remedy for the sleep-impaired.

If you are new to this series examining web media and podcast consumption, you may want to read the first article, which establishes much of the foundation for these views, or the second one that begins to forth our intent to purposefully (and positively) modify podcast consumption behavior.

Once again, I truly appreciate the time you spend reading and thinking about my writing. If it leads to some positive action on your end, then it will have done its job.


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