New radio station aims to help babies sleep

By James Cridland for
Posted 2 November 2016, 8.01pm edt

Paul Williams

Proving that the owners of the Portsmouth trial DAB multiplex can't stop coming up with nice ideas, they've launched a new radio station that you might find a little... soporific.

Sleepyhead Radio is a station with calming sounds designed to help babies sleep, from the folks behind the Little Sleepyhead audio CD. I can personally attest to the effectiveness of this CD, as can my daughter - the tumble drier was particularly good.

Listeners will also hear, if they stay awake long enough, support and help from parenting charity NCT.

I've written a long and quite technical piece about the Portsmouth mini-mux for the Radio Magazine.

Radio stations that send you to sleep aren't a new idea, of course; just ask any listener to NPR.

Press Release


Once again, the Portsmouth trial DAB multiplex is home to an innovative radio idea and a world first.

After launching the rolling news NewsRadioUK service and Weather 24/7 radio, the mux is now airing Sleepyhead Radio, a station full of calming sounds designed to help babies sleep. The parenting charity NCT is supporting the station with advice for new parents.

Sleepyhead Radio is operated by Angel Radio as a pop-up service for a limited time only. For engineers at multiplex operator Solent Wireless, it will also provide an opportunity to make assessments of different coding arrangements using natural atmospheres and white noise sounds which can be hard to code.

Sleepyhead Radio presenter Sam Oakley says: “My son George was the inspiration for these wonderful sounds. Whenever we turned on the tumble dryer he would go to sleep. Then a bright spark suggested we record the sound so we could just play it whenever we wanted, without having to dry so much as a Babygro! When other parents wanted a copy, we produced a CD containing a range of soothing sounds. Now it's lovely to be sharing them with listeners in Portsmouth and creating an oasis of calm for new parents in such a busy city".

Sleepyhead Radio will not be participating in Rajar audience research since many babies struggle to fill in the diary.

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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