Harry Styles has joined forces with leading mindfulness and sleep app Calm to narrate a 30-minute bedtime story called Dream With Me, created to help you relax at night and get into a state of mind more conducive to better sleep. So yes, you can now drift off to the dulcet tones of one of the world’s most famous recording artists.
“Sleep and meditation are a huge part of my routine, whether I’m at home, in the studio, or out on the road,” Styles told Calm ahead of Dream With Me’s release today. “Rest and recovery is as important as doing the work."
Styles, who recently released his second solo album, Fine Line, is welcomingly honest about his mental wellbeing and experience seeking therapy, and regularly encourages fans to embrace their own mental health practices. “Finding a balance has been endlessly beneficial to both my physical and mental health. It’s changed my life,” Styles said.
Calm announced a teaser for the story earlier this week, and naturally the internet has exploded over the promise of the ex-One Direction singer tucking them in with a bedtime story.
Wednesday. #DreamWithHarry pic.twitter.com/nOfvhLjc9BJuly 6, 2020
“I’m so happy to be collaborating with Calm at a time when the world needs all the healing it can get," Styles said. "Treat people with kindness.”
Michael Acton Smith, Calm co-founder and co-CEO, added: “Harry’s voice usually electrifies audiences around the world but his unique Sleep Story will help millions of people drift off to dreamland every night. His mellifluous voice is the perfect tonic to calm a racing mind.”
To listen to Dream With Me by Harry Styles, download the Calm iOS app (opens in new tab), or Calm Android app (opens in new tab) for your smartphone (opens in new tab). Calm is our top pick of the best meditation apps (opens in new tab) and offers a seven-day free trial period. After that, a monthly subscription costs $14.99, which is very reasonable considering you get access to hundreds of hours of original audio to help you manage stress and anxiety, to sleep better and live a happier, healthier life.
Styles isn’t the first celebrity to partner with Calm for its growing Sleep Story library. Eva Green, Matthew McConaughey, Laura Dern, and LeBron James, among others, have also narrated bedtime stories for listeners of the app. All of those are still available to hear in the dedicated Sleep section of the app.
Calm positions itself as a ‘mental fitness’ app and is available in six different languages. Simply download the app or visit the Calm desktop site (opens in new tab) to learn more about how it could improve your mental wellness, especially during these continued uncertain times we all find ourselves in.
Why do bedtime stories help us fall asleep?
The CDC Sleep Index (opens in new tab) reveals that a third of Americans get less than the recommended 7-9 hours amount of sleep per night (more for children and teens). And as we’re beginning to understand from studies looking at the link between broken sleep and heart disease (opens in new tab), as well as other health conditions like obesity, depression and Type 2 diabetes, not getting consistent quality sleep can really impact our health.
So, how exactly can something as simple as a bedtime story help us to fall asleep? Speaking to Vogue (opens in new tab), Chris Advansun, head writer of Calm’s Sleep Story series, reasoned that bedtime stories are, “an antidote to the anxiety we have from being overworked and stressed. When our heads hit the pillow at night, we’re left alone with a swirling storm of thoughts and worries which make it difficult to get to sleep.
"A story guides a listener out of their anxious thoughts and gently holds their attention within an audio experience, which is both calming and relaxing.”
According to the British Psychological Society (opens in new tab), listening to a bedtime story helps us relax quickly, which puts our brain into a space where drifting off is much easier. When speaking to Get The Gloss (opens in new tab), Hope Bastine, a resident psychologist for sleep brand Simba, explained that “As we sleep, our hearing sense is one of the last things to shut down... Using audio in the evening habitually helps to systematically shut down the rest of the senses and better prepares the mind and body for that familiar sleep state.”
That's why listening to a bedtime story, or an audiobook (opens in new tab), is so effective. Learning how to manage anxiety (opens in new tab) is another way to shore-up your sleep, but it takes time and dedication, as does putting a proper sleep routine in place.
That means going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, even on weekends, so that you’re programming your brain to know when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to rise. This is particularly useful for anyone experiencing insomnia or broken sleep.
What you sleep on can also make a difference, so ensure you’re sleeping on the best mattress (opens in new tab) for your postural needs, as well as the best pillow (opens in new tab) tailored to your dominant sleep style. You may find that what suited you a few years ago is very different now, as the older we get, the more in-bed comfort and support we need from our mattress and pillows.
For those of you who are shopping for a new mattress, take a look at our guide to the best Purple mattress deals (opens in new tab) and best Casper mattress deals (opens in new tab) for savings on these popular mattress-in-a-box brands, or the best Saatva mattress discounts (opens in new tab) for a touch of sleep luxury for less.