Travel Stories That’ll Put You to Sleep

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Travel stories from meditation app Calm will have you sleeping before you can say boarding pass.

The older we get and the busier we are, the less likely it is that we’re getting the sleep we need, and the results of such a deficit can far-reaching, from mental health issues to weight-loss and premature aging. In the interests of World Sleep Day (which is today) wouldn’t it be nice to have a sweet voice whisper in your ear, telling you stories of adventure as you slip off to la-la-land?

Story Telling for Adults

Recently-appointed by leading meditation and sleep app,, as the world’s first Sleep Storyteller-in-Residence, travel writer and adventurer Phoebe Smith is sending millions of people to sleep with relaxing tales about places that she has visited around the globe.  

Arguably the most calm-inducing location of all seems to be Provence in the south of France, the subject of ‘Blue Gold’, Calm’s single most popular sleep story to date.  In it, Phoebe soothingly describes a slow-paced journey through the region’s swathes of lavender fields and tranquil, fortified villages. Her carefully-crafted meanderings – combined with the velvety tones of narrator Stephen Fry – have resulted in Blue Gold being listened to at bedtime by almost two million people a month.


Travel Tales to Calm the Mind

As the world’s only ‘extreme sleep adventurer’, Phoebe knows a thing or two about trying to get to sleep in some unlikely locations, such as mountain tops, glaciers and inside tree trunks. However, she sometimes finds it difficult to get to sleep in her own bed, so is happy that her sleep stories – or bedtime stories for grown-ups – are helping other people who struggle to nod off at night.

The 17 sleepy audio tales that she has written so far for the Calm app are designed to help adult listeners wind down and fall into a slumber, using a mix of soothing words, music and sound effects.

Journey the World From Bed

All of the stories have been inspired by calming destinations visited by Phoebe, and include Elephants of Nepal, based on a scenic safari in Chitwan National Park, narrated by Joanna Lumley; Morocco’s Hidden Forest, describing Phoebe’s own experience of sleeping wild in the cedar forests of North Africa and the first of her stories that she has narrated herself; and her latest story to be released Stargazing on Stewart Island, New Zealand a magical trip Down Under to explore the colourful cosmos from its most breathtaking vantage point.

Phoebe’s recent experience of an incredible 3,000km rail adventure through the iconic Australian outback, recounted in her sleep story Crossing Australia by Train, is celebrating its 90-year anniversary in 2019.  The north to south, coast-to-coast, train journey took its name ‘The Ghan’ from the Afghan Cameleers who, in the employ of the first European explorers, were integral in opening up the country’s harsh, yet dramatic, Red Centre. 

The Calm app now offers listeners the choice of 120 sleep stories, with a new story added each week.

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