Healthy Mind Healthy Sleeping Habits

Meet ‘Slow Lit’: the Sleep Trend That’ll Knock You Out Faster Than Melatonin

Photo: Getty Images/Wavebreakmedia
Getting a good night's sleep sometimes feel like chasing a distant dream. The U.S. Army's two-minute technique? Been there, tried that. Stretching as an all-natural sleep aid? No luck. No single method works for everyone, but the emerging trend of podcasts for sleep might be an effective solution. If you're looking for a routine to reunite you with Mr. Sandman, "slow lit"—ultra-boring audio bedtime stories—is worth a shot.

You may be thinking, "Well, in that case, I'll just pull out a hardcover copy of War and Peace and read the first sentence." Sure, that'll do it. But it's still not quite as dull as a a series of podcasts designed specifically to knock you out with a combination of content and intonation—or rather lack thereof.

One such podcast called Sleep With Me dedicates several episodes to recaps and analyses of Game of Thrones. Sounds interesting, right? WRONG! For over 90 minutes, the host speaks in the dulcet (mono)tones of a lullaby devoid of song. Any listener would have to possess some serious willpower to overcome the severe somnolence slow lit induces. (I've listened and descriptions of Westeros' geography explained in painstaking detail put me to down in five-minutes flat.)

Any listener would have to possess some serious willpower to overcome the severe somnolence slow lit induces.

Meditation app Headspace now offers its own version of slow lit with "Sleepcasts," which the company describes as "unique audio experiences" meant to transport the listener to an ideal setting for slumber. For example, "Cat Marina" tells the stories of various cats living on boats in (you guessed it) a marina. And to the surprise of no one, the narrator's delivery of the tale proves as scintillating as a cardboard box.

Maybe first-grade teachers were onto something with all that during pre-snooze story time as they recited The Boxcar Children. But hey, if you haven't tried listening to stories of cloud creation or questioned why there aren't more skywriters, you may never know.

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