From my bag of mom tricks, the one thing I reach for most often is a soothing nighttime app. Appropriately named, Calm is a true workhorse, providing gentle music, guided meditations, and sleep stories for kids and adults alike. I recommend this app so much you’d think I was getting paid to talk it up, but I promise my praise comes free. That’s just how much it has eased our sleep troubles in this family.
There are times in my sleep-deprived adult years when I’ve joked I could be nocturnal—more in step with my cat, who comes alive at midnight, than with my husband who’s ready for bed by 9pm. I have spent many a fitful night staring angrily at my ceiling or contemplating getting up to do something more productive with my time. Sleep has always been hard.
And it’s not just me. My oldest, only 6 years old, seems to have inherited my incompatibility with sleep. I can watch her, quite literally, fight to keep her eyes open on the couch—but the very moment she climbs into bed, it’s like we have time-traveled to the next day. She is bright-eyed and ready to play. Cue the frustration.
So, when I discovered Calm and learned it offered programming for grown-ups and kids, I was eager to give it a go. What I love most about the app is its library of sleep stories—dozens upon dozens of soothing tales all read by notable folks like LeVar Burton, Laura Dern, and Harry Styles. There’s one library for grown-ups and another for kids, and the team is always adding new titles. Some of the stories are classics, like Peter Rabbit and Beauty and the Beast, and others like The Wicked Witch Finds Mindfulness, are a bit more original.
On nights when I need to put my girls to sleep on my own, I will tuck my oldest in with a sleep story while I put her sister down. Most often, by the time I get back, she’s already out and I can get on with my night feeling pretty victorious. I will say, however, that the sleep stories don’t work quite as magically on me. Instead of knocking me out as it does for my little one, the recordings take the edge off my insomnia. They give me something soothing to focus on instead of stewing in my own frustration. In this way, I’m convinced they help ease me into sleep much faster than I am capable of doing on my own.
If, like my daughter and me, your family is struggling with bedtime, the Calm app might be a worthy investment. With a beautiful interface and new content added regularly, it has certainly added a much-needed delight to our nighttime routines.