If you’re looking for apps to help you sleep, join the club. We meet at 3 a.m. on Google, searching for “the best app to help you sleep” and “best insomnia apps” and “why does my cat look at me like she knows what I did in Mrs. Whitfield’s fourth-grade math class?”
Like you, I used to lie in bed staring into the dark wondering what I’d done with my life. But not anymore — not since I started using the sleep app Pinot. Actually, Pinot’s not an app. Also, it’s wine.
But It’s the Best Insomnia App I’ve Ever Used!
Because like all apps that help you fall asleep, wine disconnects you from the hideously endless scorching hellscape of your daily grind. Part of that is the sheer luxurious sensuality of great wine with its joyous mathematics of tannins and jam and notes of old oak. But the other part is alcohol with its joyous mathematics of hooch and white lightning and notes of regret and just, please, I’m kidding about the wine! Don’t use it to fall asleep.
Instead, Find an App to Help You Sleep
It’s probably our phones that got us wound up in the first place. I know sometimes I can’t seem to put down Bricks Ball Crusher when I’m at level 225 because I swear if I can get the angle of the Yellow Mustache Dragon Balls just right I’ll break through the frozen walls and win a glittery pink diamond. And yeah, that last sentence is filled to the rim with pure stupid. But so is your phone and I know for a fact you’re playing Words With Friends at 2:47 a.m. because you’re playing me, Werdnerd1975, YOU’RE PLAYING ME! Ahem.
What I’m saying is, why not make your phone part of your solution and download an app to help you sleep?
Which Sleep Apps Work? The Ones With Famous People
There are no guarantees. You might be wound so tight your only option is elephant tranquilizers (please don’t use elephant tranquilizers, that was just a metaphor). Most insomniacs are stressed out about their job, school or finances. Which is terrible. Stress sucks. Anxiety sucks. The things that keep us awake at night suck — but they can be mitigated. Sleep apps work because as complex as our anxiety is, as wildly intricate as our minds can be, we’re still just giant children who will respond to the soothing sonorous tones of Matthew McConaughey. Or Harry Stiles. Or Laura Dern. All of whom read entire books in voices carved out from pure Xanax.
Because Celebrities Are Racking It Up Reading Bedtime Stories
Bedtime stories are a rewarding niche for famous people. Paychecks range from a mere 10 grand to “we cannot disclose” — a figure that I’m sure rhymes with killions. I clicked through to McConaughey’s YouTube video “Wonder,” and right now, as I write this, I’m listening to him talk about a girl named Zoe and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry. Dozed off. His voice seems to be coming from just next to your childhood bed as rain falls outside. It’s reassuring and calm and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz [snork]. What? Sorry. It’s impossible to stay awake when Matthew McConaughey is reading.
It may be indicative of the celebrity bedtime story industry that there aren’t any titles read by Fran Drescher or Nicholas Cage. (You can hear him reading “The Tell-Tale Heart,” by Edgar Allen Poe, though I caution you about clicking that link.)
Calm and Headspace both offer celebrity voices to take you to sleep town. If you’re an audiobook fan, there are a ton of celebrities reading stories, and here’s why that works: We trust them. We know them. They have already told us stories in the dark. So, when we hear Liam Neeson reading a book on Audible or the poetry of Seamus Heaney, we feel safe. We let go of the things that are troubling us. We disconnect and, through the magic of the willing suspension of disbelief, step out of our life into another. Once disconnected, once enchanted, once safe, it’s no wonder we fall asleep.
Side note: If you prefer your bedtime stories read by a lawyer (as apparently my editor does?), consider tuning into the Stay Tuned With Preet podcast — she dares you to stay awake listening to the deeply reassuring, soothing tones of former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. (Weird, right?)