Mindfulness and meditation company Headspace launches Sleep by Headspace, its newest suite of content specifically designed to create the conditions for sleep. The Headspace Sleep team developed the new collection based on prototypes tested with real users, as well as a review of existing clinical research.
“We’ve known for some time that many Headspace members use meditations before bed to help them fall asleep,” says Headspace’s chief science officer, Megan Jones Bell, PsyD, in a release. “And with nearly a third of all Americans saying they have trouble falling and staying asleep, we knew that we needed to build a suite of content beyond our existing Sleep Sounds to help solve this growing problem.”
Sleep by Headspace features a “Sleepcast,” or long, detailed narrations, each one describing a different landscape with its own unique sonic ambience. Headspace is also adding more guided meditation content as well as a collection of new Sleep Sounds.
Sleepcasts will also be available for Headspace subscribers on Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. For Alexa, subscribers can say, “Alexa, ask Headspace to help me sleep” or “Alexa, tell Headspace I am ready for bed.” For Google Assistant, subscribers can say “Ok Google, tell Headspace I am ready for bed.” Listeners will be offered a new Sleepcast each day or, if they used one the night before, they can choose to listen to the same Sleepcast again. These devices are particularly useful, as many of them offer members a screen-free experience before bed.
The 12 new Sleepcasts were written by poets and are named according to their settings: Night Town, Compass Garden, Desert Campfire, Indigo Gallery, Downriver, Midnight Launderette, Hummingbird Bungalow, Cat Marina, Treehouse, Light’s Journey, Beachcomber, and Island Market.
“We found that ordinary stories with a beginning, middle, and end caused anxiety for people who can’t sleep, because they use progress through the story to judge the passage of time,” says Headspace’s editorial director for sleep, William Fowler. “By having a non-linear narrative, we’ve found we could produce something to occupy the mind just enough to help you drift off, but not be so absorbing that it would keep you awake. We designed our set of Sleepcasts to be relaxing, descriptive landscapes that help people feel comfortable, and help their minds come to rest. Our users have also found the sound environments portraying things like the beach or campfire very helpful.”
The Sleepcasts begin with a “wind-down” to help people relax and decompress from the day. After that, a narrator carefully describes each part of a relaxing landscape to help transport the listener to a dreamy, low-energy environment.
Sleep by Headspace, which launches worldwide on Google Assistant and Alexa as well as both Android and iOs devices on September 18, 2018, is the newest offering for members as part of their subscription.