The 10 Best Classic Rock Songs to Fall Asleep to, According to Science

Elton John performing in Japan, 1971.
Elton John performing in Japan, 1971. / Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/GettyImages

When you’re picking the perfect track to carry you off to dreamland, Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” probably isn't it. But classic rock has plenty of softer offerings, too—and a new study by identified which ones you should add to your sleep playlist.

First, the researchers evaluated 100 lullabies across 10 metrics to find out what makes a good one. These included factors like tempo, time signature (number of beats per bar), whether it uses a major or minor scale, whether it features vocals, and more. They then used all this data to create a scale on which they could rank other songs. The higher the score, the closer it is to sounding like a lullaby.

Of all 500 rock songs measured on the scale, “Your Song” by Elton John landed in first place with 81 out of 100 possible points. It wasn’t the Rocket Man’s only track in the top 10: “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” took the third spot with a 79.8. Separating the two was Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California.”

Considering that Paul McCartney literally says “Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry / And I will sing a lullaby” on The Beatles’s “Golden Slumbers,” it’s no surprise that the soothing song made the list. It’s in fourth place (coupled with “Carry That Weight,” which it feeds right into with no break on Abbey Road).

Other sleep-inducing classic rock songs come from the likes of Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, and more. Take a listen to all the numbers in the top 10 below, and see what’s on’s other genre-specific sleep playlists—from country to hip-hop—here.

1. "Your Song" by Elton John // 81

2. "Going to California" by Led Zeppelin // 80.3

3. "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" by Elton John // 79.8

4. "Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight" by The Beatles // 78.4

5. "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd // 76.7

6. "The Load Out" by Jackson Browne // 76.5

7. "Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed // 76.1

8. "Every Breath You Take" by The Police // 75.6

9. "Desperado" by Eagles // 75.5

10. "Imagine" by John Lennon // 74.9