By Your Headspace Mindfulness & Meditation Experts
The mind isn’t always ready for bed when the body is. Even once we’re under the covers, our minds may still need time to wind down. That’s where sleepcasts come in, allowing you to disengage from your hectic day and calm the mind and body in preparation for a restful night’s sleep.
There are podcasts, and there are even podcasts that might help you fall asleep. But now, Sleep by Headspace has introduced sleepcasts — audio content designed specifically to create the right conditions for healthy, restful sleep. Each one transports you to a different sleepy environment, to add a little happily-ever-after to your bedtime routine. Like the sound of that?
Similar to bedtime stories, sleepcasts take you on an audio-guided tour of a dreamy environment, whether that’s a Californian desert at night or a beautifully tranquil lakeside lodge.
Sleepcasts vary in length, from 45-55 minutes. Each one begins with a “wind down,” which could be a meditation exercise, or even a simple breathing technique, followed by a narrated tour of a sleepy landscape, complete with a soundtrack that evokes that place, to create a soothing, immersive experience.
Unique to Headspace’s sleepcasts, these night-time journeys are remixed each night, meaning that experience is slightly different each time you listen. That way, you can’t memorize the narrative, and use it to track the passage of time, something we found could cause anxiety for restless sleepers. Whatever bedtime story appeals, the blend of sound and visualization helps to create the ideal conditions for healthy, restful sleep.
Here is a sample sleepcast - Desert Campfire - that is a comfort for worried minds.
Unlike podcasts, TV shows, or audiobooks, Headspace sleepcasts don’t conform to normal story structure. Each one is a tour of a different landscape, which means there’s no beginning, middle, or end. You can pick up listening wherever you like, and fall asleep without missing anything. They’re deliberately crafted to help your brain wind down and fall asleep.
Just like a bedtime story, a sleepcast is designed to soothe the listener — occupying the mind just enough to take their mind off the events of the day, but not so much that it keeps them awake. We’ve used voices that our listeners find comforting, and settings that evoke feelings of reassurance and safety. And, because they’re slightly remixed each time you listen, you’ll never get bored of listening to your favorite, over and over again.
The Headspace sleepcasts can build healthy bedtime routines. The more we go to bed at the same time and learn how to unwind, the more we build a pattern of behavior that trains the mind to relax and drift off a little bit easier.
In addition, the Headspace app also offers a selection of sleep-friendly meditations — a guided experience that offers a natural sleep aid all on its own, allowing us to let go of the day and rest body and mind at the same time. You can read more about the effectiveness of sleep meditations, and the supporting science, here.
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