Bedtime stories are back: tips on how to best use the Calm app to fall asleep faster


photo via Calm

The Calm app offers guided meditation and sleep stories.

With the stress and anxiety school brings, I often find myself struggling to fall asleep. However, I recently discovered a solution: bedtime stories. Drifting off to sleep while hearing my parents read a story as a child is an irreplaceable memory that I will never forget. Considering that most 16-year-olds don’t have their parents read them a story each night, I now enjoy listening to sleep stories on the meditation app, Calm. The calm app offers a variety of sleep stories, 6 of them narrated by celebrities; I listened to five stories and shared my thoughts on them. 


The Waterfall” narrated by Tamara Levitt 4/10

While relaxing, this story was not my favorite. The story is from a third person point of view, which makes me think more about the plot rather than just listening.The story is fiction and the plot is developed too much for a sleep story. I didn’t like that aspect, because I personally need plotless stories in order to fall asleep.


Wonder” narrated by Matthew McConaughey 5/10

As someone who has been obsessed with Matthew McConaughey’s voice for the longest time, I had high expectations for this story. However, I was disappointed. I felt as though McConaughey was speaking quite abruptly for a sleep story. I did enjoy the background on the story — a peaceful rainstorm.


“The Grand Plan to Rise and Shine” narrated by Frankie Bridge 6/10

The narrator’s voice in this story was nice, although I thought it was a bit loud at some points. This story’s goal is to help you to get you into a more productive mindset, and it shared tips on how to set your day up for success. Planning the next day in my head as I’m trying to fall asleep adds stress to my life. Overall, the story was nice, but was personally distracting for me and did not help me fall asleep.


Blue Gold” narrated by Stephen Fry 7/10

In “Blue Gold,” you can hear the story of lavender fields in the village Provence. Stephen Fry, the narrator, had a soothing British accent which really helped me to relax. The story allows you to engage all your senses as you listen, which I enjoy because it keeps me from thinking about everything going on in my life. One thing I did not like about this story was that there was not any background music or sounds.


Harry Styles Dream with Me” narrated by Harry Styles 10/10

Harry Styles uses imagery to help you picture relaxing scenarios during his 40-minute narration. Every few minutes, there is a break of him talking and you can enjoy some calming music as you drift off. This story is my favorite because of Harry’s crisp but gentle British accent. I’ve listened to this story countless times and I’ve never made it to the end because I’m fast asleep.


Life is pretty fast-paced, so it’s nice to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life. I hope these bedtime stories can help you wind down during stressful times.