One of the genres that has seen exponential growth in the podcast world is the sleepcast. Open Spotify on your phone in the evening and a number of offerings are available, under the title ‘Drift off to sleep with a podcast’.
Sleep With Me, created by Drew Ackerman aka Dearest Scooter, is first in line and perhaps the longest running such show, having begun in 2013.
It moved to the Night Vale Presents podcast network a couple years ago. The episodes meander over at least an hour’s running time.
As he explains: “I’m gonna try to create that space safe, send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use a lulling, soothing, creaky dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents, ums and ahs... But what I’m really here to do is to keep you company as you fall asleep and take your mind off the stuff.”
I’ve woken up halfway through episodes, dazed and confused, wondering what’s going on. Like anything, stick with Sleep With Me and you might not be able to live/sleep without it.
Stream this week's episode in the widget below:
Meanwhile, there are myriad storybook podcasts that are basically down to personal narration tastes.
Snooze-cast is meant to be low-stakes content, it says; not so boring as to be intolerable, but boring enough that you won’t feel like you’re missing out if you fall asleep before the ending. It’s just bedtime stories from books such as Little Women, Peter Pan, Jane Eyre, and other out-of-copyright titles.
Sleepy is the same idea but with host Otis Grey. A recent episode saw him literally reading through the L section of a free online dictionary. Sleep Whispers, from the ASMR and Insomnia Network, is similar but is whispered.
There are myriad sleepcasts and meditation shows to try out — maybe the right one is out there for you, though you may only find it as a last resort, flicking through them at 4am, tossing from side to side.
Spotify recently bought the Ringer website and podcast network, a big signal of intent. Shortly afterwards, Music Exists, from the overexposed Chris Ryan, and the intellectual Chuck Klosterman, was announced as a Spotify exclusive. Expect more of these.
They say they’re going to answer big questions about their love of music, covering artists from Steely Dan to Radiohead to Billie Eilish. The first episode is out Thursday.