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Posts Tagged ‘insomnia’

  1. Sleepy Stories for High Summer

    July 6, 2024 by asteffann

    I’m currently on the coast of Maine. I’m always happy to be here, but it’s a foggy, rainy day and it put me in the mood to share some of my favorite lazy-days-of-summer bedtime stories! After all, we’re not yet in the ready-for-pumpkin-spice part of the summer. The best part is still ahead of us! Yearning for that sleepy, warm feeling? Say no more. Here are a few to try.

    Restful Days by the Sea

    I based this story on a particular beach I love on the Maine coast, and it’s beautifully read by Heather Foster. You’ll follow along with two friends who have a room just blocks from the sand, in a vintage seaside hotel. Spend a lazy day with them, listening to the surf…

    The Sleepy History of the Deck Chair

    This fabulous historical piece was written by my colleague Jo Steer. Let show host Thomas Jones walk you through the surprisingly interesting history of the chair that has accompanied us all on many a summer adventure. I dare you to stay awake until the end!

    A Swim at the Secret Quarry

    This story is loosely based on a real quarry in New England, although I’ll never let on where it is! Travel along with Maddie as she spends a hot day enjoying the solitude of a swimming hole few people can find. Voiced by the soothing Vanessa Labrie.

    Relaxing at the Victorian Seaside

    If time travel is your thing, don’t miss this lovely trip to the Victorian seaside in England. Written by Jo Steer and beautifully narrated by the fabulous Simon Mattacks, it’s sure to make you forget your modern worries.

    An Edwardian Garden Party in Bar Harbor

    Voiced by the oh-so-soothing Arif Hodzic, this particular story has been very popular on the YouTube channel! This visualization will take you back in time from modern day Bar Harbor Maine, into its toney past, when the rich and famous relaxed together on the lawns of stately mansions.

    Find Get Sleepy on Podcast Platforms

    If you’d like to get access to two new, original free stories per week (including mine!) find Get Sleepy on whatever platform you happen to use and subscribe for free. If you like the ease of YouTube, be sure to subscribe there! You’ll find playlists for all of the narrators and hundreds of free fairytales, travel visualizations, sleepy histories and more. For links to all of my freely available stories, check out my Bedtime Stories page.

    Wishing you a fabulous summer and many sweet dreams!

  2. Festive Holiday Bedtime Stories

    December 20, 2023 by asteffann

    Just a few days to Christmas! If you’re feeling bummed out by windy rainstorms, let me whisk you away to more picturesque places while you drift off to sleep. Here are a few cheerful, snow-filled stories to boost your holiday mood.

    An Evening at a German Christmas Market

    Travel to the dead center of Christmas cheer with a cozy trip to a traditional German Christkindlmarkt. There will be beautiful crafts, delicious foods, and seasonal music to celebrate the season. Read (beautifully) by Simon.

    A Magical Night Inside the Christmas Village

    Have you ever wished you could spend an evening inside one of those TV holiday movies, walking streets of the perfect small town? Travel along with our main character as she has a very vivid dream about doing just that. Read by Get Sleepy host Thomas.

    A Snowy Evening at the New York Public Library

    Not interested in Christmas stuff, but still into the wintry vibe? Experience a dream nighttime visit to the flagship branch of the New York Public Library. Its two sentinel lions will be your friendly guides as you use your all-access ID to wander the halls of this famous Beaux Arts landmark, experiencing it in snowy solitude. Read by Thomas.

    Gretel’s Sweet Dream

    If you’re in a fairytale frame of mind, this one might be for you! I’ve rewritten Hansel and Gretel so that it has all the sweets and none of the cannibalism. No, seriously. Read by Vanessa.

    December Stories for Sleep

    If you make it through all these, check out my December post from last year for a couple more! As always, if you prefer, you can find Get Sleepy on any podcast platform you normally use, and listen there. Happy Holidays!

  3. Full Privileges at the New York Public Library

    December 9, 2023 by asteffann

    Just a dream? It sure is.

    Right when you’re wishing for a magical first snowfall, I present this dreamy story. Imagine that you get to walk the halls of the flagship location of the New York Public Library, only it’s at night and you can go anywhere you want. Your only companions will be the famous (and friendly) lions Patience and Fortitude. In their company, you’ll experience an enchanting all-access evening most people can only wish for.

    Stay tuned for more holiday-adjacent stories coming up! In the meantime, try revisiting last year’s Holiday Bedtime Stories! or check out the full list of my currently available titles at Bedtime Stories for Insomniacs.

  4. Halloween Bedtime Stories

    October 19, 2023 by asteffann

    Not everyone enjoys the spooky season, but there’s definitely a dedicated group of sleepy story fans who enjoy a little atmosphere during October. If you like to drift off to a story that happens to be a little eerie, a little atmospheric, or even a little fall-festive, I’ve got some suggestions! All of these are also available via the podcast on whatever platform you prefer.

    The Night Carnival

    This masterful little story has been my addiction for the past few weeks. Those of us old enough to remember the Zoltar machine in the movie Big, or the creepy delights of Something Wicked This Way Comes will appreciate this gently eerie visit to a mysterious carnival in the dark. Read by show host Thomas Jones.

    Tabitha’s Night Out

    This one is especially for cat lovers. Travel along with sassy Tabitha, a black cat who spends Halloween night roaming her tree-lined neighborhood and observing all the human decorations and festivities. Narrated by the wonderful Heather Foster, from the POV of Tabitha.

    A Fall Festival in a Sleepy Town

    For people who love a pumpkin patch, visit the quiet town of Ember Rock and enjoy a cozy fall festival, featuring pumpkin carving, funnel cakes, roasted peanuts, and more. Narrated perfectly by Arif Hodzic.

    Legends of the Owls Head Light

    This one is for lovers of windswept cliffs and ghostly legacies. Sit by the fireside with lighthouse researcher Emma as her innkeeper tells her the actually-true amazing legends about a small white lighthouse perched on the coast of Maine. Voiced by the wonderful Abbe Opher.

    The Night of the Black Crows

    We’ve gotten our cat fix, but what about the witches? When I first started writing for Get Sleepy, I penned a retelling of a Grimm tale called The Six Swans. My version aired as Enchantment of the Swans, and it added a friendly black crow as a minor character. Several listeners commented, wanting to know what happened to the crow at the end of the story. I thought about that, and the result was this prequel, which delves into the backstory of the crow and the witch that it serves. The story culminates with a gathering of its family and a great flight over the landscape of All Hallows Eve. Just like Enchantment of the Swans, this is narrated by the ever-popular Thomas Jones.

    The Man Who Knew No Fear

    This new, extra-long episode (about 1 hr. 20 min) loosely adapts a fairytale that previously appeared in numerous versions. It’s about a boy who had never experienced fear, and his quest to win the heart and hand of an intelligent princess in a haunted castle. Just enough Halloween-style fun, without any serious scares! Read by Thomas Jones.

    Find more Halloween goodness on the Slumber App or in Premium Get Sleepy!

    Supporting the app or the podcast gives you access to even more stories from Halloweens past. There are some really good ones in there. For details, visit Get Sleepy or check out Slumber in your app store.

    Happy Halloween! Wishing you sweet October dreams.

  5. Sleepy Stories about Ancient Rome

    September 17, 2023 by asteffann

    Are you thinking about ancient Rome so much that someone in your life shared you on TikTok? Apparently, this is more often true of men…or at least the social media buzz would have you believe that. Regardless, I have some great Get Sleepy stories to share with you on the topic! Check them out on YouTube.

    The Emperor’s Villa

    Live the good life with Hadrian at his country house! Narrated by show host Thomas Jones.

    The Roman Festival of Floralia

    Travel back via Get Sleepy’s popular Library of Time series, where you’ll learn all about the Roman festival and visit the temple of the goddess Flora. Narrated by Heather Foster.

    For those of you who have considered the Get Sleepy premium subscription, I can tell you there’s another sleep story in there I love, called Exploring Roman Castleford.

    The Ancient Rome fans in your life will thank you.

    If you’re more interested in science fiction, check out this post about some great stories on space!

  6. Sleepy Stories for Sci-Fi Lovers

    August 9, 2023 by asteffann

    You may think all podcast bedtime stories are about travel or that they are all fairytales. Sure, those are popular. But there are also lots of great options for lovers of fantasy and science fiction. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite space and sci-fi podcast bedtime stories with you – and none of them are written by me!

    The Hypnos Conundrum

    This enthralling series takes you through the epic story of a very important space mission by the Starship REM that takes a puzzling turn. The tale unfolds via a series of ship’s logs, kept by different members of the crew. All of the installments are narrated by the wonderful and soothing Abbe Opher. I dare you to make it to the end on the first try.

    Sunsets on a Faraway Planet

    I am obsessed with this hypnotic journey through the far reaches of space, set tens of thousands of years in the future. Travel along with an astronaut named Cleo, who explores a particularly beautiful and mysterious planet. As told by the sleep-inducing voice of Jessika Gössl.

    Flying Over Mars

    Take a trip into the future and float above Mars, as you observe terraforming in progress. This intriguing story is told by the Get Sleepy host, Thomas Jones.

    Bedtime on the International Space Station

    This one leans more toward science than fiction, but it’s sure to entertain fans of space stories. Imagine yourself aboard the International Space Station as astronauts get ready for bed. Narrated by Thomas Jones.

    For SO MANY KINDS OF STORIES check out the podcast, download the Slumber app, or join the subscribers on YouTube, over 160K and growing every day. You can find a list of the stories I’ve written on my Bedtime Stories page.

    Sweet Dreams!

  7. New Bedtime Story: Floating Down the Shenandoah River

    June 7, 2023 by asteffann

    Summer is here! It’s the perfect time for a bedtime story I based on my numerous tubing trips down the Shenandoah River. Take a leisurely drive south from the D.C. area and pass through Luray. You’ll end up floating for hours through calm currents on the river, enjoying the views and the sunshine. This is beautifully read by TK Kellman. Enjoy!

    For other stories by TK, check out A Springtime Stroll in Alexandria, Flowers that Bloom by Moonlight or The Country Antiques Market.

  8. New Bedtime Story: Cherry Blossom Time in Old Town Alexandria

    April 14, 2023 by asteffann

    Take a stroll through historic Old Town Alexandria with me! To begin researching this story, I visited this charming neighborhood along the Potomac on a spring day last year. Once I’d gotten a feel for the story I wanted to tell, I sat down to write it, using a lot of maps, websites of historic locations, and google street view to confirm my facts. This story is read by TK Kellman, who is also the narrator on The Country Antiques Market, Holidays at the Country Antiques Market, and The White Slipper. Relax and enjoy!

    As always, you can find this and my other bedtime stories on both YouTube and all the of the podcast platforms.

  9. Finding Your Voice – When the Narrator is Your Personal Match

    January 31, 2023 by asteffann

    Check out this list of best sci-fi bedtime stories on podcast and YouTube!

    Before I was writing bedtime stories, I was listening to them. A lot.

    In 2020, I found I was constantly waking in the night, unable to go back to sleep for hours. I don’t know if it was the unhappy convergence of middle age and the pandemic, or something else, but it was really disrupting my schedule. When I discovered Get Sleepy, it was like a lifeline. I slowly worked my way through the entire available catalog of episodes. I’m pretty susceptible to most well-written stories on a good night. However, on a tough night, I need to call in what I think of as the my personal “silver bullet” narrators. What I’ve discovered by chatting with other sleepy story listeners is, I’m not alone. Most people seem to have a type of narrator that works best for them.

    If you’ve only listened to one or two stories and decided they don’t work for you, it’s possible you haven’t found your silver bullet narrator! I’ve been privileged to have a wide range of top notch narrators read my stories this past year. If you’ve considered trying out a podcast to help you sleep, here’s a little sampler to help you get going. Each video is cued to a place where you will immediately get a voice sample of one of my favorite voice actors!

    I hope you find your perfect match.

    Tom Jones

    Starting here is a no-brainer. Tom is the host of Get Sleepy and he has legions of devoted fans. If you are trying out your first sleep stories, his soothing delivery is an ideal place to begin. This is one of the most popular stories on the YouTube channel, so give it a whirl. If you like it, there is an entire playlist of just his pieces and then even more on the Get Sleepy podcast (any platform).

    TK Kellman

    Bringing a comforting, nostalgic vibe, TK has lots of enthusiastic fans of his own. You’ll find him voicing lots of the stories located in the United States. His friendly, warm delivery will send you off to sleep feeling happy. The video I’ve linked to here is a perfect example. I based this story on a well-known antique store near my home in Virginia.

    Abbe Opher

    I’m going to come right out and admit that Abbe has long been one of my few “silver bullet” narrators. Fortunately, there are also many Get Sleepy stories she has voiced. After depending on her to keep me company in the wee hours for so many months, it was a pretty amazing to find out she was going to read my series of lighthouse stories this year. I love all of them, but I’ve linked to one of the most popular below. Be ready to drift off! If you enjoy this one, check out some of the other lighthouse history stories!

    Heather Foster

    Heather describes herself as “The Merlot of VO” and I could not agree more! I first heard her incredibly relaxing voice on a retelling of Red Riding Hood (don’t worry – it ends well!) and I was hooked. It’s tough for me to choose a favorite among my stories she has narrated this year (lucky me!) but you will get a good feel for her vibe from this little Halloween story I set in New England. Bonus if you’re a cat lover!

    Simon Mattacks

    But I am not done with you! Fans of genteel UK accents will not be able to resist Simon. I’ve been fortunate enough to have him narrate one of my favorite niche stories. Nerd alert – it’s about the Renaissance Fair(e). I love Simon for his effortlessly understated sense of humor and his soporific effect. Folks, it’s my darn story and I can’t even make it to the end when I listen. ZZZZZZZ.

    Marcellus Shepard

    If you’re looking for a rich, deep American voice, Marcellus may be perfect for you! His stories are filled with warmth. I’ve been lucky enough to hear him on two of my scripts, but my favorite is a nostalgic trip back to the summer of 1982. Popsicles and dirt bikes incoming…

    Arif Hodzic

    If you’re the type of person who needs to feel like they’re gently floating away to dreamland, I really recommend checking out Arif. His American voice somehow feels weightless and his delivery is so smooth that you will soon feel almost like you’re meditating! Get a sample of his magic on this piece I wrote about a holiday evening on a small town American main street.

    Vanessa Labrie

    Lovely Vanessa manages to fill the story with a sense of whimsy, and her North American accent brings stories from the United States and Canada to life for me. I find myself so interested in what she’s saying that I’m surprised she also quickly soothes me to sleep. I’m not sure how she does that, but she is becoming a “silver bullet” narrator for me. I suggest you start with this retelling of Hansel and Gretel (don’t worry – I removed all the bad stuff and put the women in charge).

    Your Bedtime Story is Out There

    In the end, it’s just you, the clock, and your insomnia if you don’t try to find a solution. Rather than jumping straight to more drastic methods, why not put in an earbud or get a pair of sleep headphones and try some free stories? All of these links take you to YouTube, but you will find an even greater number on the Get Sleepy podcast. If you find certain narrators to be best for you, the Slumber app (buy it in the app stores) will let you sort by narrator! I find that feature very helpful.

    I hope this little sampler gets you off on the right foot in your trip to dreamland.

  10. New Bedtime Fairytale – The Glass Mountain

    January 4, 2023 by asteffann

    Glass Mountain Fairytale

    If you’re looking to bring the wintry atmosphere for your bedtime story, I’ve got a new one for you. I very loosely adapted an old Polish tale called The Glass Castle and it’s been beautifully narrated by the host of Get Sleepy, Thomas Jones. My version follows a plucky village lad named Jamie, as he tries to climb a mysterious icy berg nobody else has been able to summit. Supposedly, there is a princess at the top. But can he make it?

    If I’ve done my job, you’ll be asleep too soon to find out, but give it a try! As always, you can find Get Sleepy on any podcast platform (this story is free!) and the YouTube link is below.