Is there anything that someone can listen to that is as if he is doing mitzvot or good things or even teshuva while he is trying to sleep or asleep?

I’ve heard subconsciously you still realize certain things so is there anything someone can listen to while they are still awake trying to go to sleep or while they are asleep?

With earphones or headphones by the way

  • Do you mean listening to Torah lectures on Aish and Torahanytime? You observe a Mitzvah of learning Torah. – Al Berko Nov 13 '18 at 10:07
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    @AlBerko - Maybe while you're falling asleep, but surely not once you're asleep.??? – Danny Schoemann Nov 13 '18 at 10:23
  • @DannySchoemann Maybe it does work unconsciously, מתוך שלא לשמה בא לשמה. – Al Berko Nov 13 '18 at 10:52
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    @AlBerko - as in מתוך שלא לשמוע בא לשמוע? – Danny Schoemann Nov 13 '18 at 11:06
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    We hold מצות צריכות כוונה, and he certainly has no כוונה לצאת while asleep. Also the Aruch HaShulchan, Netziv, and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach hold people are exempt from mitzvos while asleep (Rav Asher Weiss disagrees and brings @rosends law as a counterproof), although maybe you would argue אינו מצווה ועושה, but my first point still stands. – robev Nov 13 '18 at 13:10

Your sleeping can be a big mitzva, if you do it right, and you don't need earphones for this:

שלחן ערוך אורח חיים סימן רלא סעיף א

וכן בכל מה שיהנה בעולם הזה, לא יכוון להנאתו אלא לעבודת הבורא יתברך... ואמרו חכמים: כל מעשיך יהיו לשם שמיים, שאפילו דברים של רשות, כגון האכילה והשתיה וההליכה והישיבה והקימה והתשמיש והשיחה וכל צרכי גופך, יהיו כולם לעבודת בוראך, או לדבר הגורם עבודתו...

Shulchan Aruch O"H 231:1

Whatever you enjoy from this world, you shouldn't aim for your own pleasure, but to worship your creator, and our sages said: all your deeds should be for the heavens, even things that are non-mitzva, like eating, drinking, walking, sitting, raising, mating, talking and whatever your body needs is aimed to worship your creator...

I wouldn't sleep while hearing Tora, since one can't "keep his body clean" while sleeping (that's why we don't sleep with teffilin).


Someone who is sleeping can still count towards a minyan. Therefore, his sleeping self allows for certain prayers to be said that cannot be said without a minyan. I would suggest that this counts towards (at least) your question about doing "good things" while asleep.


According to the article cited by @rosends a person who is sleeping maybe allowed to be counted in the Minyan with regards to Chazaras Hashatz. In that same article he notes: "Regarding one who is sleeping, we may not be lenient with more than one, Mishnah Berurah 55:32.)". It is a leniency to allow the Chazaras Hashatz to begin the repetition if only one person is sleeping.

However, a person who is sleeping is 1/60th dead, and is in no-way competent. Would one be rewarded for potentially not doing an aveirah or doing any of the 365 negative commandments because he is asleep? I would think not. A negative commandment requires a positive choice to do so. Being asleep hardly qualifies as being in a state of competency for being rewarded for mitzvos.

It is well-known that the effects of the day on a person's mental state can have a positive/negative affect on his subconscious state. For example, seeing a snake would possibly lead a person to dream about snakes (assuming this would affect him deeply). It is therefore more important to focus on one's day to ensure that Torah and mitzvos affect him deeply so that they would have a positive affect on his neshama.

I would be very careful about earphones in one's head while one sleeps. A person who tosses and turns (which is very common) could easily be strangled by the wires.

If there is strong medical evidence to suggest that listening to Torah while one sleeps is effective, then it would make sense to listen specifically to the Chumash or Tanakh being leined. Since this area of Torah imparts kedusha, even if one does not understand it, it may be worthwhile. However, listening to Torah that requires understanding sounds to me like a pointless exercise since you need to be conscious to understand it.

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