Sleep Time Stories

A typical millennial bedtime routine typically consists of cramming in one last episode on Netflix, or refreshing the Instagram app to make sure you’re completely up to date with whats going with, well, anyone’s lives. This routine is a far cry from what relaxation or unwinding should look like.

We’re a generation of poor sleepers, so it’s not surprising that adults are searching for sleep tips – something (anything!) to help them doze off.

Especially during the pandemic in 2020, inspite of working long hours, fitting in workout schedules, cooking, cleaning, and therefore naturally being more physically tired than usual, many people complained of insomnia and sleeplessness. The takeaway here is that being tired isn’t necessarily enough to send you packing to bed; the transition time which allows our mind and body to relax and unwind, is the key to better quantity and quality sleep. This period of downtime is where we let go off ur daily stresses and stimulation.

A couple of years ago, adult colouring books had become all the rage – and over this last year, we’ve seen another favourite childhood unwinding activity take the centre stage – a good old sleeptime story. Sleep-inducing audiobooks and apps are becoming increasingly popular, and there’s a scientific reason for why they work so well. As we’re falling asleep, our sense of hearing is the last sense to shut down. Using the sense of hearing in the night, habitually, helps to shut down the rest of the senses and better prepares the mind and body for that familiar state of sleep.

The demand for bedtime/sleeptime stories & sleep-inducing music has seen significant growth recently. Not only are the sales of audiobooks over the roof, but more and more people are turning to our smartphones to get our fix of audio stimulation.

There’s a paradox to sleep – it comes when you’re not trying. When you try to sleep, your mind monitors this effort, which in turn keeps you awake. The first step in getting a good night’s sleep is being in the right mindset. If you’re tired, relaxed and ready for sleep, you will automatically fall asleep after 10 to 20 minutes. This is why doing something calming before bed helps prepare you for sleep. This can be meditation, reading (nothing too exciting) or listening to a ‘Sleeptime Story’, designed to help you let go and ease into a peaceful slumber.

Swapping reading a sleeptime story for listening to one can be particularly de-stressing for another intriguing reason – its ability to conjure up nostalgia and positive childhood memories. Our earliest formed memories involve being cradled by a warm, comforting voice reading us a much-loved sleeptime story. This daily habit marked the end of the day for us when we were little, and there is merit in the thought that when we re-introduce an already familiar ritual into our bedtime routine, it  might be a lot easier for us to adapt to.

We, at Centuary, introduced Sleeptime Stories in early 2020 via our Social Media platforms, and owing to the feedback we received on how helpful and soothing they were, we’re bringing this activity back this month. Stay tuned to our pages for some wonderful stories.