Are you having trouble falling asleep at night? Sometimes it's just so hard to turn your brain off, especially if your schedule is packed or you have someone next to you moving around or snoring. Getting a good night's sleep is important for your mental and physical health, your mood, and your ability to be effective in your day-to-day life. So, what's the best solution to getting those hard-to-catch ZZZs?

Sleeping aids can have all kinds of potential side effects, and they might leave you feeling groggy in the morning, and mindlessly scrolling on your phone trying to tire yourself out is likely just keeping you up longer. What if a simple bedtime story could help you wind down and fall asleep just like it did when you were a kid? Bedtime stories for adults are very much a thing. By tapping into relaxing sleep stories geared toward adults, you can calm your mind and your body, unwind and fall asleep fast.

Sleeplessness, stress, and self-healing

Insomnia can be frustrating, disorienting, and in some cases, even dangerous. The National Sleep Foundation says that driving while tired is more dangerous than driving while tipsy (but, obviously, don’t do either). Kind of makes you want to think twice about a morning commute after a terrible night's sleep, doesn't it?

If you struggle with sleep, you're not alone with this problem. Not by a long shot. Whether it's full-blown zero-sleep insomnia, trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, snoring, sleep apnea, or something else, over 70 million Americans report having some sort of sleep disorder. That's a staggering statistic.

Getting to the root of your sleep troubles can be one solution to fixing them, but sometimes you can't simply eliminate the stressful parts of life that keep you up at night. You just have to find a way to set them aside so you can get to the business of sleeping. Everyone knows that a problem is better tackled after a good night's sleep, right?

By adding bedtime stories, relaxing sounds/soundscapes, sleep meditations, or even sexy stories to your bedtime routine, you could be taking a huge step toward healing your relationship with sleep.

Fairy tales and sweet dreams

You might be thinking that bedtime stories for adults are just like the fairy tales of your childhood. But while fairy tales have magic and twists and turns, these short stories geared toward adults are often more calming, helping you turn your brain off rather than on.

The voice actors reading bedtime stories for adults speak softly, quietly, sometimes even close to a whisper. They tell you about long walks through the woods and gently engage your senses by describing the crunch of leaves under their feet or the sound of rain against a window.

Audio stories (rather than written) often include those sounds (the rain, the leaves, the waves, the birds, the frogs) to help lull you into a deep, relaxing sleep. These sounds can help produce an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) in your brain, which triggers a sense of well-being and relaxation.

Good sleep hygiene prescribes not watching, reading, or listening to anything exciting, scary, or suspenseful right before bed. In fact, if you're particularly sensitive to stimuli, you might not want something that's plot-driven at all. That's because we have a tendency to get enthralled with the entertainment we're consuming and then stay up even later than we would have without the show or book.

So for grown-ups, bedtime stories for better sleep are less about a magic frog and more about the forest that frog lives in and the soundscape it produces.

Relief, release, and relax

Sometimes the road to a good night's sleep is less about a relaxing story and more about releasing tension after a long day. Anxious or stressed-out adults often turn to a physical release like an orgasm in order to clear their minds for sleep. That's where erotic audiobooks or an app like Dipsea comes in. Short stories that turn you on can be a quick tool to help you masturbate and get the release you need before sleep time.

An added bonus: Listening, rather than watching, will help you avoid the counterproductivity of staring at a screen before bed, which can excite the senses and keep you awake longer. Simply find the story you want and turn your phone screen-side down to listen to your favorite sexy bedtime stories. And if your phone has a nighttime setting that takes the blue light out of your phone, be sure to put that setting on too.

Meditation and mindfulness

A guided meditation at bedtime can also be an excellent style of bedtime story for adults trying to sleep well. Developing a consistent meditation practice is hard, admittedly, but guided meditations can help you get into the habit of meditating every day. In some cases, meditation during the daylight hours can provide the stress relief you need to hit the hay more easily on your own.

That's because meditation—especially mindfulness meditation—trains your brain to observe your thoughts and allow them to pass through you without judgment or added burden. Imagine laying in bed looking up at the ceiling on a particularly difficult night. Have you ever experienced a train of thought like this?

"I have to go grocery shopping. I should make a list. Should I just get up and make the list now? I forgot the pickles last time, can’t forget this time. Also, the oil in the car was supposed to get changed last week. Maybe I could do that on my lunch break on Thursday. Oh shoot, that meeting got moved to Thursday. I shouldn't be thinking about this before bed. Now I'm mad that I'm still awake. Now I'm wide awake because I'm mad. Uuugggghhhh."

Doesn't just reading that make your skin crawl? Mindfulness meditation is just like exercise training for your brain. When you treat your brain like a muscle that requires practice to be strong and sharp, you give yourself the tools to interrupt those thoughts and return to center. That simple practice of returning to center, once honed into a skill, can be just what you need to help you break the cycle of anxious thoughts before bed—and do it without judgment or negative feelings toward your own thoughts and tendencies.

Guided meditations can include breathing exercises, sleep-inducing stories, body scan work, techniques to relieve anxiety or release regrets, or even more advanced techniques like self-hypnosis for deep sleep.

Bedtime stories for adults

Sleeping is so vital for your physical and mental health, and too many Americans don't get enough sleep. By tapping into tools you can download to your smartphone, like ASMR-focused bedtime stories, sexy short stories, and guided meditation, you can empower yourself to get a better night's sleep.

Try the sleep scenes on Dipsea to get started. You can begin a free trial for access to immersive pillow talks where the characters speak right to you, tranquil tours of dreamy destinations, and soothing sounds to lull you to sleep.