Can Travel Stories Put You To Sleep?

If you are a light sleeper like me, changing hotels across time zones probably disrupts your sleep patterns more than anything else. I always carry my own TempurPedic pillow with me when I am traveling (even though it takes up 1/4 of my suitcase). But now, there’s another sleep-aid I am packing with me, and it takes up no space at all!

Did you know? 1 in 4 Americans suffer from insomnia according to Calm’s extensive research on sleep.

I downloaded the Calm App based on friends’ recommendations and discovered a spectrum of stories, music and guided meditations to help fall asleep.

One of the writers/ narrators is Phoebe Smith, a British adventurer who writes about travel and extreme sleep expeditions. Think dangling from a cliff, on a glacier or in a tree trunk! She was named the world’s first Sleep Storyteller in Residence for Calm.

Image source PhoebeSmith.com

Smith describes the places she travels to in a slow pace, guiding listeners through the sounds and sights, transporting you to the busy medinas of Morocco, cedar forests of North Africa, and the lavender fields in southern France.

Soothing voices of Matthew McConaughey and Stephen Fry narrate some of these sleep stories for grown-ups.

When I first listened to Smith’s story on the Calm App, I didn’t fall asleep right away. In fact, I enjoyed the art of simply laying there in bed and listening in the dark. We are often trying to multi-task during the day – watching tv while eating dinner, driving and listening to music, writing emails while conversing with family. I consciously set aside some time to listen, image and fall asleep using the App as an aid.

Image source Calm.com

I wasn’t successful the first time as my mind wandered through the markets in Marrakech long after Smith’s story had ended. But after listening to a few sleep stories, I am beginning to fall in and out a deep sense of relaxation.

Did you know that Washington, DC is US Insomnia Capital, and that New York is now the city that sleeps like a log?

Most people today try to fall asleep by watching TV or browsing on social media on their smart phones, but the Calm App provides a great alternate to using technology to help slow down.

The Calm app provides scientific based innovative audio content and techniques that is evolving to tackle some of the biggest mental health challenges of today: stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression.

Here are Phoebe’s Sleep Stories featured on Calm. A new story is added each month.

• Blue Gold – narrated by Stephen Fry – A calming journey through the lavender fields and sleepy villages of Provence.

• Elephants of Nepal – narrated by Joanna Lumley – Relax and unwind on a scenic safari in Chitwan National Park, guided by an elephant.

• Morocco’s Hidden Forest – the first of Phoebe Smith’s stories to be narrated by her – Phoebe Smith describes her own experience of sleeping wild in the hidden cedar forests of Morocco.

• The Trans-Siberian Railroad – narrated by Erik Braa – Traveling to the farthest reaches of Northern Russia, to take a trip on the longest train ride in the world.

• Once Upon a Time in Bavaria – narrated by Anna Acton – An enchanting meander through a Bavarian forest to find the most famous fairy-tale castle in the world.

• The River Wild – narrated by Erik Braa – Traveling the famous Mississippi River from sea to source.

• The Orient Express – narrated by Erik Braa – A journey through Europe’s majestic mountains and rolling countryside aboard the historic Orient Express.

• Wild Sweden – narrated by Alan Sklar – Immersing travel into the wilderness of Sweden’s tranquil forests and fascinating wildlife.

• The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague – narrated by Alan Sklar – Travel to the tranquil eastern shores of Virginia and explore the legend behind the famed four-legged residents.

• The Jungles of Madagascar – narrated by Larry Davis – Joining a friendly pack of lemurs to explore the sleepy jungles and wildlife wonders from the African island.

• A Calm Christmas – narrated by Stephen Lyons – A heart felt magical journey of a young Christmas tree called Douglas who helps a family rediscover their holiday spirit.

• A Love Letter to Africa – narrated by Danai Gurira – Celebrating Calm’s partnership with the RED charity with a journey through Africa to experience the beautiful landscape and dream inducing sunsets.

• An Australian Adventure – narrated by Bindi Irwin – An enchanting adventure from rainforest to reef, exploring tropical Queensland.

• Reunion Island – narrated by Aurora De Blas – Exploring the volcanic island known as Reunion, Europe’s most easterly and far-flung outpost, and the island paradise you’ve never heard of…

• Scotland’s Hidden Hideaways – narrated by May Charters – A wander through Scotland’s craggy mountains and tranquil lakes, to discover the magic of the bothies.

• Crossing Australia By Train – narrated by Steen Bojsen-Møller -Cosy up aboard The Ghan, one of Australia’s most historic railways, as you take in the breath-taking scenery of the land down under.

• Stargazing on Stewart Island, New Zealand – narrated by Alan Sklar- Embark on a magical trip Down-Under to explore the colorful cosmos from breathtaking Stewart Island.

Image source News On Screen

Calm.com is the #1 app for meditation and sleep, with over 37 million downloads to date. Perhaps it will help you fall asleep as well on this World Sleep Day. The annual event is organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of World Sleep Society (founded by WASM and WSF) and aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders. World Sleep Day is held the Friday before Spring Vernal Equinox of each year. 

Share a comment below: What is the most unique place you have slept in? For me, it was the ice hotel in Quebec!

Sleep Better with the Philip Stein Sleep Bracelet

When I was a teenager, my doctor told me I may have a sleep disorder. As an adult, my primary care physicians confirmed it. I have always had trouble falling asleep and wake up in the middle of the night to anything louder than a pin drop. My restless thoughts have kept me up for days at times. I have tried all kinds of remedies but no fix – hot baths, warm milk, listening to music, reading, aromatherapy, vitamin supplements and even medication.

So when I heard about the Philip Stein Sleep Bracelet, I was intrigued. Philip Stein uses their patented Natural Frequency Technology in bracelets and watches that are suppose to channel the earth’s natural energy toward your body to combat a particular issue, such as stress, focus or sleep. People who wear them have reported less tension, improved concentration and enhanced well being.

philip stein sleep bracelet

I have owned a Philip Stein Teslar watch (thanks to Oprah including it in her Favorite Things list three times) and after months of use, did not experience any noticeable sense of increased well being, so I was skeptical of the bracelet’s claims. Turns out they no longer use the Teslar technology. Without doing much investigation that would bias my opinion, I decided to give the sleep bracelet a shot.

It didn’t look like there was much to the bracelet –  camel colored hypoallergenic strap with a stainless steel rim around a glass window that showcases Philip Stein’s unique Natural Frequency Technology disc. I wore the Slim version of the bracelet, which still fits oddly given my very narrow wrists. The edge of the strap sticks out of the loops and dangles while I’m in bed. Philip Stein recommends putting on the sleep bracelet 15 -30 minutes before going to sleep. They also recommend 30 nights consecutive use to feel the full benefits of the sleep bracelet.

sleep_bracelets_slim

I have only tried the bracelet for two weeks now, but can already see some benefits. It takes me slightly less time to fall asleep, and once I do, I have a deeper sleep, pleasant dreams and wake up restful.

After more research, I found reviews by other bloggers who experienced mixed results. However, a clinical trial placebo study conducted by Philip Stein reported that 96% of the subjects who did wear the bracelet responded to at least one variable. During the NFT/Sleep NFT condition the results of those responders indicate: 64% report feeling more refreshed, 61% report that dreaming was more pleasant, 43% report falling asleep faster, 43% reported sleeping more total minutes, while only 18% reported fewer minutes awake. Read more details of the study.

Philip Stein Stainless Steel Slim Sleep Bracelet has become my essential nighttime accessory. I tried a couple of days without it, and did not sleep as well as I did with the bracelet on. If you are still skeptical, try it on for 30 days and decide for yourself. Perhaps you will find an easy way to sleep better and wake up refreshed in the morning.

It is said that Philip Stein’s collection of watches and bracelets also works for people who have fear of flying, or just have generally high levels of anxiety.