People Are Listening to ‘Slow Lit’ to Bore Themselves to Sleep

updated May 3, 2019
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While there aren’t official stats on how many hours adult spend searching for foolproof ways to fall asleep, the collective struggle of grownups in search of quality shuteye is well-documented. To help the masses get ample snooze time, we’ve seen studies that recommend women sleep next to their dogs, and even explore the scientific benefits of sleeping with socks on, but here’s another option that may be a little more pleasing to you (and your feet).

It’s called “slow lit,” and despite the book-ish moniker, it has absolutely nothing to do with reading before bed (been there, done that, still can’t sleep, right?). Slow lit is more about being lulled to sleep by the sound of someone else’s voice— namely a podcaster who deliberately delivers content in a monotone voice. Also known as sleep stories, the audio content incorporates relaxing words, music and sound effects to help listeners achieve the seemingly elusive night of sound snoozing.

According to Phoebe Smith, a British author whose signature sleep stories have earned her the nickname of “JK Rowling of Slow Lit,” the yawn-inducing tales offer a way to wind down before bed.

“To prepare for sleep we need to create a transition time, so that rather than stimulating our minds with TV or emails or social media, we allow them to unwind. We seldom do this. It’s no wonder that so many of us struggle to calm our racing minds and nod off naturally. Sleep Stories are designed to aid this transition,” Smith says.

Interested in a podcast that will bore, erm, gently lull you to sleep? Consider giving a listen to Smith’s Sleep Story Collection, or Drew Ackerman’s uber popular “Sleep With Me” podcast, which has consistently attracted millions of sleep seekers since debuting in 2013.