A sleeping pill in podcast form
November 10, 2015 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Sleep With Me is a bedtime story for insomniacs, designed to get more and more boring as you listen. This is the story of Drew Ackerman's strange but popular podcast, whose raison d'être is literally to bore you to sleep with carefully constructed, rambling monologues. (Episodes occasionally mildly NSFW)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl (41 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love this podcast. It has really helped me on sleepless nights. I tell people about it all the time and try to do an imitation, which sounds ridiculous.
posted by KathyK at 10:13 AM on November 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


MeFites who need help sleeping are welcome to simply call me and ask me about my day at work.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:14 AM on November 10, 2015 [15 favorites]


I think I've taken a class taught by this guy...
posted by schmod at 10:15 AM on November 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh awesome. Usually, I try a chapter of a terry pratchett audiobook, because I know them so well that i don't really pay attention, and the soothing British reader fills me with comfort, but I've listened to them so many times that I'm pretty sure I could recite it from memory at this point.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:17 AM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


How does he even get this recorded without falling asleep?
posted by chavenet at 10:19 AM on November 10, 2015


Hadn't heard about Jeff Bridges's Sleeping Tapes before.
posted by larrybob at 10:26 AM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I listened just now to a bit of the recent one on the Game of Thrones crew DVD extras on the season 2 boxed set. The podcast does live up to its aim of being dull, to be sure (I just listened to a list of other movies and TV series that the stunt coordinator had also worked on) but at some level I wonder how the people who assembled and recorded the extras must feel about their work being held up as perfect raw fodder for aspirational dullness.

It is like when I hear PA systems playing delicate classical music to dissuade loiterers. Yay for non-confrontational techniques but I wonder about the pianist who spent nine years at the conservatory perfecting his or her technique who learns that the rendition of Vivaldi that was so challenging and nerve-wracking is now being used specifically to make people's experiences unpleasant.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:29 AM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can he make a children's edition?

When my 3 year old throws a tantrum, I narrate a syllabus of the entire K-12 math curriculum. Works so far, but I need to up game, yo.
posted by ocschwar at 10:29 AM on November 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


I may need this desperately, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have some really dreadfully gray dreams from now on.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 10:36 AM on November 10, 2015


I think I've taken a class taught by this guy...

Obviously this is how sleep problems work, but sometimes when I can't sleep, I think back to high school, when I literally fell back asleep while my statistics teacher was yelling at me for sleeping in class, and think "why can't I do that when I want to?"
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:36 AM on November 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh, wow! I often will pop my headphones on and listen to a podcast to nap, but then I have to go back and listen to them again. This way, no guilt! I'm supposed to be sleeping!
posted by xingcat at 10:39 AM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like this podcast but I was too aware listening to it that I was trying to get myself to sleep, which kept me awake, which etc...

I sometimes listen to audio versions of marketing whitepapers to get to sleep.
posted by sweetkid at 10:42 AM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just started listening to see what it's like, and this actually seems pretty great for if you just need some non-music background noise while working. Sometimes I'll listen to audiobooks or podcasts while working, and then find I wasn't paying any attention at all and get kind of stressed out about not knowing what the hell is going on, but I still want something to listen to that's not office noise. This seems like a great option for that! Just someone talking and mumbling at you about stuff you don't have to pay any real attention to at all. Soothing.
posted by yasaman at 10:45 AM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh. The thing that keeps me up at night is the internal monologue that I can't shut off, so I need podcasts that are interesting enough to distract me from my thoughts but not annoying or anger-inducing enough to keep me awake. I don't think this guy would be distracting enough.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:46 AM on November 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'll have to check this out. I need a replacement now that Wiretap has been cancelled.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:50 AM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


This podcast has saved me many a night.
posted by Bacon Bit at 10:56 AM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like this post is carefully and fiendishly constructed to subvert MetaFilter's cultural expectation that one should finish the article/video/etc before commenting. Well played.
posted by LionIndex at 10:58 AM on November 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


RTFzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
posted by mannequito at 11:09 AM on November 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Part of the magic of this podcast is *knowing* it's for sleeping. Much like I sometimes put a sleep mask on not because I'm being bothered by light but because the sleep mask just says "this time is for sleeping and not for doing other things", Scooter Time is for sleeping.

I'm a huge fan. I do put it on a timer for 15-30 minutes because it will later wake me back up a little if I let it go the usual 60-90 minutes, but I think the longest I have ever successfully listened was 7 minutes, and he went on a little riff on TED Talks that happened to strike my funnybone, and then I fell asleep. It has just exactly enough going to to keep me from being able to think too much about my own shit.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:18 AM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


This sounds great, but how are you guys listening to it? I'm not sure I could sleep with headphones on.
posted by Ragged Richard at 11:25 AM on November 10, 2015


Over the speaker, on the nightstand on the charger.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:29 AM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I turn my phone down to its lowest volume setting and put it underneath my pillow. Partner can't hear it and it's quiet enough that I can juuuuuust barely make out the words before drifting... off... to sleep.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 12:00 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are, of course, other options.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:13 PM on November 10, 2015


I'm not sure I could sleep with headphones on.

The little in-ear bud headphones are an amazing invention. Amazing sound quality, even in many of the cheap $6 sets, block out much external noise, and stay in your ears as you sleep. I can't sleep without them.

I'm going to give this podcast a go tonight, because I reckon it's exactly what I'm looking for. When I'm struggling to sleep, podcasts often do the job quite well (History of Rome / Revolutions series guy has an amazing voice for making me drift off, as does History of the English Language guy) - the problem is, at the last moment I wake myself up thinking "I don't want to fall asleep and miss this and be unable to find where I was up to!" So a missable podcast may be ideal. Do they come with some soothing pink noise mixed in?
posted by Jimbob at 12:25 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can he make a children's edition?

You should check out The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep. My daughter prefers the print version, but my son likes the audio book (which comes with both a male reader and a female reader). It has been miraculous for us.
posted by candyland at 12:52 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh awesome. Usually, I try a chapter of a terry pratchett audiobook, because I know them so well that i don't really pay attention, and the soothing British reader fills me with comfort, but I've listened to them so many times that I'm pretty sure I could recite it from memory at this point.

ohmygod SecretAgentSockPuppet are you me? I do exactly this too!! it works so well. Listening to audiobooks while I sleep has absolutely changed my life. I spent 30 years not being able to sleep because my mind was racing, and then waking up too soon and not being able to get back to sleep again because the racing would just start up again. Now I leave a familiar book quietly playing all night, I drift off happily, and if I wake up I just listen for a bit and drift off again. I don't know how I survived so long on no sleep. I am definitely checking out these stories!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:12 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


YouTube tutorials can have a moderately soothing effect, imo. The singsongy cadence of a practised YouTuber's explanation (of whatever - regrouting tile, applying eyeliner - it's all good but often about eyeliner, in my case) can take you from 9/10 wakefulness to like 8/10, if you're in the right mood & time it right. (I once tried out unboxing videos, for some reason. They're good for other kinds of value, but not so much for soothing.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:51 PM on November 10, 2015


OMG so happen to find others who listen to podcasts to fall asleep. One earbud in, the other cheek on the pillow. For me it's short fiction with no music, which means setting the ins and outs for every new episode of Escape Pod etc. (with it's jubilant but jarring-to-a-sleeper outro music). Or just short story audiobook stuff.
posted by stevil at 3:46 PM on November 10, 2015


This is great. I do a lot of driving for work, so I'm always looking for new podcasts to try out.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:57 PM on November 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


"I don't want to fall asleep and miss this and be unable to find where I was up
to!"


JimBob, one thing I've tried that worked well was using Audacity to split mp3s into multiple files (then I guess one of the tag editors to rename and tag all the parts - I don't care enough). It has a setting to allow it to split on short segments of silence, and you pick the number of segments you want. You can't hear the splits going by, but you can fast-forward much more quickly to the point where you went to sleep. Then I re-start at that point and go right back to sleep. I'm still listening to parts of mp3s and finding segments I missed.
posted by sneebler at 6:26 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was just settling in for a nap this afternoon, checked MeFi, and this was the top post. I clicked play and I was out like a light. Superfan!
posted by isthmus at 6:42 PM on November 10, 2015


Now re-listening to #311, and it's really pretty funny. I liked how I woke up now and then and he was rambling about some nuance of dialogue on Breaking Bad, like the first time Mike used Walt's full name. Next time I woke up, it was something else completely off the wall. Always went right back to sleep.
posted by isthmus at 6:44 PM on November 10, 2015


I've fallen asleep listening to dull audiobooks before, so this might be right up my alley. But I need some sort of charger/speaker set up, since I can't sleep with headphones.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:44 PM on November 10, 2015


wow this is uh really it reminds me of the uh sometimes you know when im sleeping, or not sleeping, i want the, uh to sleep and this is that
posted by rebent at 8:05 PM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is seriously the only thing that helps me get to sleep without making me groggy in the morning. Love it!
posted by SisterHavana at 10:54 PM on November 10, 2015


Hm... I like the idea, but I'm not a huge fan of the guy's voice for some reason. Think I'll stick to listening to The Joy of Painting episodes. Nothing quite so relaxing as listening to Bob Ross, IMHO.
posted by Aleyn at 12:02 AM on November 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Scooter has been boring me to sleep enough that he now appears in many of my dreams. Usually as my sexy landlord or the ghost professor administering final exams.
posted by waterisfinite at 5:28 AM on November 11, 2015


This worked pretty well for me last night. I've also been a big fan of falling asleep to podcasts, and I've been looping the same set over and over for so long it's nice to have some new material.

But really, I admire this guy's dedication to his craft. There's over 300 hour-long episodes of him rambling semi-coherently in a low voice. I don't know how he does it, but I'm glad he does.
posted by Aznable at 5:37 AM on November 11, 2015


For those looking for a speaker solution, I have one of these Bluetooth+FM Radio+Alarm clocks. One of the problems I ran into with the plethora but portable bluetooth speakers out there, is that they often do not play audio while charging. I didn't want the headache of making sure the speaker was charged, and this was one of the only plug-powered products I could find under $100.

The power button is a little bright for a bedroom, but I just stick my phone on top of it. The nice thing is that it comes with a USB port to charge your phone.
posted by INFJ at 7:30 AM on November 11, 2015


I just wanted to thank you for mentioning the podcast and for the commenters who shared their experiences with it.
I hope the podcast helps someone else get a good night’s sleep!
Just in case the podcast does not suit your tastes, here are a couple of things I use to fall asleep.
Multilingual Fairy Tale Collection Volumes 001 and 002 from LibriVox
or
Some some reason Rick Steves’ voice puts me right out so you could check out some of his podcasts and audio -here
I'm testing out some "Old Time Radio" shows now.
Thanks Again
posted by drewackerman at 11:57 AM on November 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Oh my goodness! Hello and welcome, Drew. I posted this because your podcast has really helped me on sleepless nights and I hoped it would help others. Thanks for doing what you do!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:42 AM on November 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


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