Jake Gyllenhaal reading The Great Gatsby? Yes, please.

By Ellie Trice
May 04, 2020
Credit: Getty Images/damircudic

If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep right now, you're certainly not alone. In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, plenty of people have been tossing and turning at night with buzzing, stressful thoughts that transcend the usual "counting sheep" remedies. (And you're not the only one having weird quarantine dreams.)

"At night, many people don't have sufficient defenses to guard against thoughts and feelings that are unbearable, so they enter into a low-grade, chronic state of fight or flight," explains psychoanalyst Claudia Luiz, Psy.D. "Different chemicals and hormones then get excreted, including cortisol and adrenaline, which are needed in times of danger, but which also disrupt sleep."

Pandemic or not, each year more than 50 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with a sleep disorder, and another 20 to 30 million experience intermittent sleep problems, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. For those who already struggle to snooze in a world sans COVID-19, this exhausting time has presented a whole new set of obstacles. (Related: How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy "Cured" My Insomnia)

In response, several popular platforms are now creating content with your favorite celebrities to help take your mind off the stress and achieve a restful night's sleep. Apps such as Calm and Audible are releasing new guided meditations, bedtime stories, sound baths, soundscapes, and even ASMR sessions featuring stars such as Matthew McConaughey, Laura Dern, Chris Hemsworth, Armie Hammer, and many more familiar faces (er, voices).

Whether you opt for Nick Jonas to read you a bedtime story on Audible or follow a guided meditation with Chris Hemsworth, getting outside your head with these audio sessions can be extremely effective if you struggle with racing thoughts before bed, explains Luiz. "If you're being triggered to remember things that have been stashed in your unconscious, options like sleep-casts and bedtime stories can be a beautiful way to cope," she says.

If you still struggle to sleep at first after trying these soundscapes, don't beat yourself up, adds Luiz. "As you try different techniques either to ground and relax or to get out of your own head, don't judge your body's response," she says. "Instead, use what happens to guide your next move. If sleep apps are making you more anxious, try the podcasts. If the podcasts are too stimulating, try the calming apps. If neither technique works to get you relaxed and sleepy, try moving your body to discharge and release some tension. Ultimately, you may need to process your feelings more during the day, until you land on what feels inadmissible to consciousness, and why," she explains. (It also doesn't hurt to talk to an expert about your sleep troubles—here's what sleep coaching is actually like.)

To add to your bedtime arsenal, here are some soothing audio soundscapes—courtesy of your favorite celebs—to help lull you into a well-deserved night's rest.

Celebrity Guided Meditations

Celebrity Bedtime Stories

Celebrities Reading Classic Books On Audible


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