An app to help you sleep
Meditation and sleep app Calm has more than 60-million downloads to date and is valued at over $1bn
Imagine climbing into bed with actors Matthew McConaughey or Eva Green? No, no — not for that — but rather, so that they can read you a bedtime story.
Meditation and sleep app Calm has more than 60-million downloads to date and is valued at over $1bn. In a stroke of unmitigated genius the people behind the digital tool have been enlisting "great voices" to narrate bedtime stories that will help subscribers (about R700 a year) a relax and sleep. These fiction and nonfiction narratives come on top of the meditation, music and breathing exercises that the app offers, and might inform or amuse but are primarily about getting listeners into a restful state.
I tried former Bond Girl Green reading a 32-minute-long tale called Nightfall and was immediately soothed by her soporific tone (bad idea if you intend to write about it afterwards). McConaughey, though not my favourite, does have an exceedingly peaceful cadence. He’s going to be lecturing at the University of Texas this year, so fair warning to his students — they could be in for a good desk snooze.
Actor and writer Stephen Fry also lends his spoken words to the gig, as does fellow Brit star David Walliams. The former has the most wonderful, rich manner of speaking so he’s a shoo-in for app success. So is actress Lucy Liu, who narrates a newly released anecdote about Chinese New Year.
There’s also legendary cricket commentator Henry Blofeld with his amusing and leisurely "A Cure for Insomnia? Cricket Explained" — complete with the thwack of bat on ball and clapping in the background.
And here’s one I absolutely didn’t see coming; John McEnroe reads "But Seriously, the Rules of Tennis". This is a vast departure from the former tennis great’s crazy on-court outbursts. His voice is deadpan as he talks about the minutiae of the game. And perhaps that’s all you need for a good zzzzz.