What Is "Slow Lit?"

We all know the average person is supposed to get seven hours of sleep, but let’s be real: Most of us don’t. (Last night, I logged five.) But if you need help turning off and zonking out, we may have just the thing: “slow lit” podcasts, which apparently can help you sleep.

So what is “slow lit?” Well, the idea behind the podcast is actually quite simple: These audio recordings are — essentially — boring bedtime stories, but the content doesn’t matter as much as the readers voice. “Slow lit” stories are delivered in a level and monotone way, one which is designed to lull the listener to sleep.

Phoebe Smith, a British author and “slow lit” podcaster, told Apartment Therapy why these stories work. “To prepare for sleep we need to create a transition time, so that rather than stimulating our minds with TV or emails or social media, we allow them to unwind. We seldom do this,” Smith said. “It’s no wonder that so many of us struggle to calm our racing minds and nod off naturally. Sleep Stories are designed to aid this transition.”

The good news is that there are several options out there. Smith’s Sleep Story Collection is popular, as is Miette’s Bedtime Story, but the most popular may be Drew Ackerman’s Sleep With Me podcast. (Ackerman has been credited with spearheading the “slow lit” movement.) Meditation app Headspace also offers its own version of slow lit with “Sleepcasts,” and if true crime podcasts are a your thing, then you should probably check out “Welcome To Night Vale;” it’s creepy and calming.

So if you struggle to fall asleep, give “slow lit” a try. Who knows? You may be on your way to la-la land in five minutes — or less!

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