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