For the past five years, I’ve had bouts of insomnia. Once I lie down in bed, so many thoughts start running through my head that sleep doesn’t have a chance. I’ve tried breathing techniques and guided meditations (and a couple glasses of wine sometimes does the trick), but nothing is guaranteed to work during those frustrating phases.

Then someone told me about the podcast Sleep With Me, where a guy actually sets out to bore people to sleep with his slow-paced, meandering stories. Have you heard of it? I laughed at first, but was intrigued. Drew Ackerman, who has a day job at a Bay Area library, records three podcasts a week. He’ll discuss whatever pops into his head (Is skim milk just regular milk mixed with water? for example), as well as bigger topics like the latest Game of Thrones episode or his recent trip to Trader Joe’s. Ackerman describes his show as a “lulling, soothing, dull podcast,” which has now found itself in the top 50 at iTunes.

“In fifth grade, I was scared of going to school and would overthink it at night,” he told me. “I’ll never forget being swept away and distracted by the radio show Dr. Demento. That’s a key element of my podcast: Let me just take your mind off what you’re thinking about — I’m going tell you a story, and be as friendly as I can, and a little bit goofy — to distract you long enough for the natural process, the magical process, of drifting off to sleep to take over.”

And that is exactly what his podcast did for me. With my head on my pillow and Ackerman’s deep voice in my headphones, I found myself laughing a few times as it got going, but soon all thoughts were cleared from my mind. I wasn’t worrying about work, or family, or that random thing I said at a party; there was just the drone of his voice — and then it was morning.

Would you ever try this podcast? Do you have any other tricks for falling asleep?

P.S. 8 awesome podcasts, and a five-second way to relax.

(Photo by Alyssa Jiosa.)