Foreign language sleeping aids
October 15, 2010 9:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for radio programs, news bulletins, shipping reports, audiobooks, etc. in foreign languages (preferably German, Dutch and the Scandinavian languages -- although anything else would be of help) to be used as background chatter to help me get to sleep easier. Streaming internet radio or mp3 downloads and the like would be most convenient for me.

I've been having a bit of insomnia lately and I'm looking for sleeping aids. I've already tried the pharmaceutical route and found that it's not my cup of tea (although a cup of camomile does help!). A friend of mine swears by boring audiobooks chattering away softly from a pillow speaker, but anything in English just gets me distracted. So basically, I guess I'm looking for anything spoken in calm, measured tones in a foreign language -- something like a shipping report in Dutch would be perfect.
Also, any other suggestions of sleeping aids are welcome. Cheers.
posted by mandrake to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Numbers station recordings?
posted by zadcat at 9:25 PM on October 15, 2010

I just discovered the Scanner Radio Android app that I use especially for falling asleep to. It's wonderful.
posted by greasepig at 10:33 PM on October 15, 2010

Have you tried Deutsche Welle? They're a German media broadcaster that has audio reports on demand. Link:
posted by tamagogirl at 10:47 PM on October 15, 2010

BBC World Service comes in a variety of flavors (scroll down the page a bit, the languages selection is on the left).

Radio Australia is available in eight languages.

VOA has foreign language broadcasts. The select language button is up on the top right.
posted by Ahab at 11:47 PM on October 15, 2010

Just another thought. Once you're through to a specific language page on each of those sites, it can be a bit hard to find the "listen" link. It's often under "podcast" or "program". ;)

(And podcasts are usually downloadable, so if they're short, you can string em together yourself).
posted by Ahab at 12:07 AM on October 16, 2010

Swedish Radio will play right off the front page for you, but you might like to check out the spoken word series "Summer Speakers".
posted by Iteki at 3:47 AM on October 16, 2010

Crap! I have no idea why I hit post! Here is the link for all of the Summer Speakers for 2005 for download, and here is a page where you can stream some of the speakers from the sixties.
posted by Iteki at 3:49 AM on October 16, 2010

Load in your media player, and listen to utterly incomprehensible Hungarian news radio. I asked my boyfriend, he says it doesn't tease your mind with any snippets you might just barely understand, probably since the language shares no commonality with any you're likely to speak.
posted by tigrrrlily at 7:50 AM on October 16, 2010

YLE is the Finnish state broadcasting company. Their radio station YLE Puhe only broadcasts YLE's talk programs. This is their stream. Requires Flash, I think.
posted by Anything at 12:34 PM on October 16, 2010

I would recommend avoiding Dutch for this purpose as it is just similar enough to English that you'll be distracted by the feeling that you almost understand something.
posted by atrazine at 1:26 AM on October 17, 2010

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