The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - HEALTH - Tested by Madeleine How­ell

The whole point of lis­ten­ing to story tapes when I was lit­tle was to stay up later, not to fast-for­ward to the land of nod. And the Sleepfulness guides, which range from five to 14 min­utes, are no fairy­tales. Un­like in James and the Gi­ant Peach, the nar­ra­tor doesn’t help you for­get your stresses by trans­port­ing you to an imag­i­nary world, but in­stead by ground­ing you in the mo­ment.

The app is sim­ple to set up – all I have to do is down­load it and choose my record­ing. It’s like a ro­botic sat nav, in­struct­ing me in mind­ful­ness. The first two ex­er­cises are free. The first, Hap­pen­ing, talks me through a body scan, a method yoga fans will know. But at bed­time, it’s the present mo­ment I want to es­cape and I don’t want to be guided – I just want to re­treat into si­lence to process the noises of the day.

But while I dread lis­ten­ing to the fe­male TomTom-style voice of Sleepfulness each night dur­ing my trial, in fair­ness, she does pro­vide use­ful tools to take away and even­tu­ally ap­ply with­out the need to lis­ten to the record­ing.

I buy the Every­thing For­ever pack­age, which in­cludes all 16 cur­rent tracks (and prom­ises more in the fu­ture). These are di­vided into dif­fer­ent packs: Work­ing with Pain, Soften­ing Anx­i­ety, Re­liev­ing Stress, Bright­ness and Re­lax­ation.

I rec­om­mend the ‘Re­ceiver’ track in the Soften­ing Anx­i­ety pack, which teaches you how to take a step back from your thought pat­terns.

To adopt some Sleepfulness speak, tak­ing the time to lis­ten to one when you get into bed is an “act of kind­ness” to your­self. Sick­en­ing, I know. Free with in-app pur­chases. Avail­able on iOS and An­droid

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