Poems to Read Before Sleep to Refresh Your Mind

June 27, 2024
3 mins read

As a student at university, your mind may race as you lie in bed thinking about all the challenges you have to face. That research paper won’t write itself and you have an exam coming up you need to prepare for. Reading poems before you go to sleep can be a great way to release stress and soothe your mind. The idea is not to start thinking about the deeper meanings of these poems but to allow the rhythms and images to relax you. Here are some poems that are known for their ability to relax your mind.

You can also listen to these poems using audio files on your iPhone or Mac. WAV and MP3 are 2 popular versions used to store these audio files. WAV files have a better audio quality but need a lot of storage space. MP3 files resolve this space issue by using compression techniques and audio quality is also manageable. You can convert a WAV file to MP3 using Permute software. You can also perform the same action using iTunes. VLC and Elmedia Player are also useful tools for the same purpose. This way you can listen to poems of your choice and save space on your computer.

“The Daffodils” by William Wordsworth

“The Daffodils” is a poem many students learn at school and can still recite years later. Wordsworth describes seeing a field of golden daffodils. The sight of the daffodils beside the lake and dancing in the breeze is an uplifting one. As you picture the scene in your mind, you will find your stress giving way to feelings of peacefulness and contentment. 

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is a well-known poem about choices and opportunities. It describes how difficult it is to choose between two paths diverging in the woods on a morning in autumn. This poem is a simple one that’s easy to read and very accessible. It is also very profound but you don’t have to think about all the deeper meanings when reading it to calm your mind. Let the wonderful imagery of yellow wood showcasing its autumn colors take over your mind. The rhyming words of this lyric poem make it very soothing.

“The Lake of Innisfree” by W.B. Yeats

Reading this poem will take you to a peaceful place of natural beauty. It depicts a longing to escape from the confines of the city. Yeats imagines growing beans and having a beehive. He will live in solitude in a small cabin. The way he describes Innisfree gives it almost magical qualities. The peace there is related directly to nature and the reason he dreams so intently about it is because he lives in an environment where the natural elements critical to his happiness are missing. The themes of nature, peace, and spirituality are interwoven in the poem.

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou describes in this poem how none of her struggles kept her down. She leaves behind nights of terror and fear into a clear daybreak. Her self-esteem ensures she rises above the pain and heartbreak of the past. This inspiring and emotional poem may be based around the experiences of a Black woman in America but it applies to anyone who has struggles. There’s a force in the speaker that can’t be inhibited by others. It shows the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity.

“She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron

“She Walks in Beauty” is a romantic poem that praises a woman’s beauty and the pleasant experience of being in her presence. There are themes of beauty and purity throughout the poem. The poet compares a woman to a starry night. He expresses her physical beauty first and then portrays it as a reflection of her inner beauty. She is inwardly serene, peaceful, and innocent. He sees her beauty as a kind of perfection that comes through balance and harmony.

“The Tyger” by William Blake

“Tyger, Tyger, burning bright . . .” is a very well-known poem that many students study in school. Despite its depiction of the fearsome power of a tiger, it can be a good poem to read at bedtime. Blake himself wrote music to go along with his poems but the originals have been lost. The poet directly addresses a tiger, imagining its bright colors flashing in the dark night. This poem may have many deeper meanings about God and nature but its hypnotic rhythm can be soothing when trying to fall asleep.

“The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry

Berry’s poem celebrates the serenity found in nature. It speaks of how it’s possible for a mind full of despair and fear to find peace in nature. The beauty and simplicity of nature are calming and restorative. ‘Wild things’ live in the present and don’t worry about the future. Anxiety and late-night fears are part of the human experience but nature brings comfort. Its natural rhythm is rejuvenating for the mind. Its grace and peacefulness can help you to understand how futile it is to worry about the future. This is one of the most beautiful and soothing poems to still a troubled mind.


The above poems all contain beautiful imagery and scenes that evoke nature. They also have rhyming words that can be relaxing for your brain. Choose the poems that resonate most with you and use them to become calmer and more at peace when trying to fall asleep.

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