A good night's sleep is a luxury in this day and age. In a bid to achieve a restful sleep, nailing an A+ bedtime routine is paramount. Sometimes it’s really as simple as swapping a 9pm Insta-scroll for a good book. Reading at bedtime has long been an efficient tool to calm the mind and escape the pressures of the world. Looking for a new nighttime companion? Fall asleep to these adult-friendly bedtime stories.
As one of the more popular wellness apps, Calm have made their move into the world of sleep. The Calm sleep stories are an innovative take on classic bedtime stories, told against calming, rhythmic music to ease you into sleep. There are also a host of celebrity narrators, most notably Harry Styles and Matthew McConaughey.
BY LUCY MANGA
Actually a collection of short stories, poems and extracts purposely curated to help you relax. Suitably cheerful and serene, this is exactly what you need after a long and stressful day.
Headspace has an impressive sleep feature, Sleep Casts, described as 'audio-guided tours'. They vary in length, but each one begins with a 'wind down' – which could be a meditation exercise, or even a simple breathing technique – followed by a narrated tour of a sleepy landscape, complete with a soundtrack that evokes that place, to create a soothing, immersive experience. Dreamy.
If ASMR is more your thing, Sleep Whispers is for you. From trivia to poetry reading to random Wikipedia readings, let the slow melodic whispers lull you into a deep sleep.
The Sleepy podcast host Otis Gray has spent years recording readings of everyone’s favourite classics from Little Women to The Secret Garden. The perfect escape.
BY JOAN DIDION
Equally as important as this audiobook itself is its narrator. Diane Keaton’s voice is completely soothing, taking Joan Didion’s tale of her time in California and recreating the magic of personal storytelling.
BY VIRGINIA WOOLF
Another beautiful narration, Nicole Kidman takes this complicated plot of family and is able to make it seem like the least complicated thing in the world. The story flows effortlessly, settling restless thoughts.
Listen to To The Lighthouse on Audible.
They say that when you’re stressed or tired you should focus on the small, everyday things. Enter: McPhee’s Oranges. Which, as the title would suggest, is a whole book on oranges. From chapters on ancient Italian lovers to the history of oranges. Surprisingly meditative content.
Buy it here.
BY RYŪNOSUKE AKUTAGAWA
For a totally transportive experience, Akutagawa’s collection of stories includes tales of Samurai and Shoguns, a far cry from our current realities.
Buy the book here.
BY BERNARDINE EVARISTO
Girl, Woman, Other contains twelve short stories exploring themes of struggle, identity, love and joy. Ditching punctuation and capitalisation, Evaristo forgoes traditional writing rules for compelling and poetic prose. It’s the perfect book to dip in and out of.
Buy the book here.