Sweatpants: on. Lights: off. Sheets: tucked. I’m laying in bed, ready for the best night of sleep in my life. No, it’s not because I’m on vacation in a fancy hotel, and no, I don’t have a new mattress. My companion for the evening is Harry Styles — in the form of his velvety voice reading me a bedtime story via the Calm app.
I’m not someone who has a really hard time falling asleep. I have the occasional restless night before a job interview or an event where I might be a bit anxious, but other than that I can usually fall asleep without too much trouble. But hey, if Harry Styles wants to improve my slumber experience by wishing me sweet dreams, who am I to deny him?
Related: Wellness educator Chivon John’s 5 tips for falling asleep in under an hour.
Using the app
I downloaded the Calm app having never used it before, as I’m a stranger to using any relaxing sounds or calming stories to send me off to sleep. So I was a bit disappointed to find out Styles only has one story on the app, having assumed he narrated several. But nonetheless, I was curious to see if his story “Dream With Me” (written by Steve Cleverly and composed by Sanj Sen) would give me my best sleep ever.
He talked about being under the stars, but instead of visualizing sparkling skies, all I could picture was him whispering in my ear.
The app is easy to navigate, and it asks you what you’re interested in based on your goals. Since my goal was better sleep, I selected that. Then I went to the sleep category and of course, his story was in the most popular. I selected it and my sleep journey began.
Falling asleep with Harry
The bedtime story starts off with Styles giving a very ASMR-eqsque intro about understanding how hard it is to fall asleep, and thanking me for choosing him to help me hit the hay. A thoughtful king! However, with those few lines, I was feeling the opposite of sleepy — my mind was spinning trying to listen to every single word he uttered. Instead of sounding relaxing, it sounded too seductive! He talked about being under the stars, but instead of visualizing sparkling skies, all I could picture was him whispering in my ear. It was NOT serene and I was more awake than ever.
He then asked some questions about the things I care about, which then had me going through a mini-existential crisis at 1:30 AM. Shortly after that, he described scenes of meadows, grass, dewdrops, light breezes, watercolour lakes, and more, which were intended to be calming, but coming from him just feel too intense. Night one of sleeping with Harry was not a success, however, now that I knew what was in store, I was determined to have the rest of the week be better.
Related: 11 sleep myths you probably think are true.
The next several nights were much more calming. Because I already knew what happened in the story, listening to it again and again each time was comforting and familiar. I could get ready for bed, hit the lights and then turn on the story while I drifted off. The first few times I did it, I got so sleepy I didn’t finish the entire narration because I’d begun to snooze.
The ideal sleeping partner: Harry Styles
After a week of listening to Harry Styles on repeat, I can definitively say that he’s not a bad person to sleep with. As long as you can get over the initial excitement of feeling like he’s speaking directly to you, you’ll be on track for a great night’s sleep.
If you’re someone who prefers soft music or ocean waves to lull you to sleep, the Harry Styles experience won’t probably be the key to falling asleep. But if you just want to chill out with some background noise then this will do the trick. Grab some comfy PJs, a soft pillow and get ready to dream!
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