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'Slow Lit' claims to help sleep woes

Newshub logoNewshub 10/01/2019 Sarah Templeton

From Jamie Oliver to the US Army, everyone seems to have a new technique to help you get to sleep.

But an international craze is sweeping across the insomniac community, and it might just be the ticket.

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'Sleep stories', or 'Slow Lit', are like bedtime stories for adults; audiobooks and podcasts where the goal is to help you wind down and drift off to sleep. The stories are a mix of soothing words, music, and sound effects - and on some apps they're read by celebrities like Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley.

The queen of the Slow Lit movement is Phoebe Smith, a British author who has been pegged as the 'the JK Rowling of 'Slow Lit'.

She's the writer of Blue Gold, one of the world's most popular sleep stories, narrated by Stephen Fry. Blue Gold has been listened to on the Calm app over 15 million times, and has even the most struggling sleepers raving about it.

Another popular piece of Slow Lit is Drew Ackerman's podcast Sleep With Me, which he describes as "bedtime stories to help grownups fall asleep in the deep, dark night".

a man sitting in front of a laptop: WATCH: Why we care so much about sleep. © Image - Getty; Video - The Project. WATCH: Why we care so much about sleep. The podcast dedicates its episodes to recaps and analysis of things like Pirates of the Caribbean and Game of Thrones - for context, that episode of the podcast is called Game of Drones.

Ackerman presents the stories in an intentionally boring monotone, and often goes off on tangents.

Not making it to the end of a Slow Lit tale is really the point. Smith says most of her stories range between 20 to 40 minutes in length, however most people last only five to 10 minutes.

So if you're going to listen to one, perhaps don't try it at your desk at work.

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