Falling asleep may be one of the most natural things we can do as human beings, but it can sometimes feel as impossible as scaling a tall building or flying, unaided, through the sky.
And while there are all kinds of tricks of the trade to employ to try and lull your mind into a deep slumber, from the classic counting sheep to the technical pink noise phenomenon, sometimes it can be hard to make sleep stick.
Many people swear by reading something uninteresting before bedtime to help them drift off, such as the phone book or an instruction manual, but this can be tricky to do while lying in bed – plus, of course, there’s the small matter of having to keep your eyes open while you focus on all those scintillating telephone numbers.
So all hail a podcast that is gaining popularity for telling stories that are so boring they will cause you to fall asleep.
The perfect bedfellow for insomniacs, the Sleep With Me podcast tells long and rambling stories that go off on numerous, nonsensical tangents, all of which are so mundane they require little attention to listen to.
Read more: 7 soothing podcasts to help you get to sleep
The one to two hour long episodes are recorded by 42-year-old Drew Ackerman, aka Dearest Scooter, an American who has grappled with insomnia throughout his life.
Ackerman dedicates around 15 hours of his free time to recording each episode, using careful editing to ensure that each instalment offers the same slow, soothing breed of storytelling that he has become renowned for producing.
Throughout each episode his voice, which is perfectly low and gravelly, will swim between all manner of topics (titles include ‘Project Platypus’, ‘When Dumplings Fly’ and ‘A View to a Kitten’) while avoiding anything that might elicit too much thought from his audience.
Describing the podcast as what “the sheep listen to when they get tired of counting themselves”, Ackerman told the New Yorker, “Even slipping a word like ‘spiders’ in, I’ve learned, ‘cut it out.’”
Sleep With Me has a dedicated following across the world, with the 400 episodes that are available being downloaded roughly 1.3 million times a month.
While it’s not a guaranteed cure for insomnia, there’s certainly something soothing in listening to someone talk while you try to fall asleep, especially since most of the episodes begin with a similarly comforting message.
“Whatever it is that, every time you try to close your eyes or relax, it kind of jockeys for your attention, I’m gonna take my voice here and send it across the deep dark night,” begins one episode.
And even if it doesn’t help you drift off, Ackerman hopes people will still enjoy the wonderfully mundane process of simply listening to his ramblings.
“The podcast is there, but you don’t have to fall asleep,” he said.
“There’s not a right or wrong way to use the show.”
If you want to try it for yourself, you can download the episodes here. Or, if you fancy trying out some other podcasts that are recommended for helping people fall asleep, you can read our edit of the seven best here.