Sleep with Me (podcast)
|Sleep with Me|
|Created by||Drew Ackerman|
|Length||c. 60 minutes|
|Theme music composed by||Christopher Postill|
|No. of episodes||1,000+|
|Original release||October 18, 2013 – present|
|Provider||Night Vale Presents|
|Related shows||Sleep to Strange, Game of Drones|
Sleep with Me is a twice-weekly podcast that began on October 18, 2013. It is hosted by "Dearest Scooter" as performed by Drew Ackerman. Sleep with Me joined the Feral Audio podcast network in February 2017 and moved to Night Vale Presents on March 28, 2018. The podcast's tagline is "The podcast that puts you to sleep".
Premise and influences
Sleep with Me is meant to distract listeners, keeping their minds occupied when they experience insomnia, while gently lulling them to sleep.
Ackerman is open about his own struggles with insomnia; he has said that his rambling storytelling style began in childhood, when he told his brothers boring bedtime stories when they could not sleep. He names The Dr. Demento Show, Kurt Vonnegut and the Beastie Boys as some of his influences. Ackerman describes his storytelling style as "the good type of weird but not creepy". He does not claim to have expertise in psychology or sleep science, and he relies on feedback from listeners to shape the podcast.
Format and structure
Each episode begins with Ackerman, in character as "Dearest Scooter", introducing the podcast. He then mentions the episode's sponsors; singer-songwriter Jonathan Mann, also known as the "Mystery Bard", often sings a "lullaby" jingle about one of the sponsoring companies. Scooter continues with a rambling introduction for a few minutes before moving on to the episode's main story. Each episode ends with Scooter saying, "Ohhhhh! Get down! Turn around! Brown ya trou! Stank Poot Scooty!" to listeners who have recently donated to the show or contacted him on social media.
Ackerman also maintains a separate podcast playlist of older episodes, called Sleep to Strange, that have had the introductions removed so listeners can listen to just the main story.
Reactions and response
Sleep with Me has largely gained listeners through word of mouth and Ackerman's Twitter account.
In January 2017, the podcast had reached 2.3 million monthly downloads.
Both Sleep with Me and its spinoff Game of Drones appeared on the Mental Floss list of "10 Podcasts to Help You Sleep".
Recurring stories, characters and themes
- After the Glass Slipper - "The story of Cinderella, her Fairy Godmother and her Stepmother after she became a princess."
- Bernie the Butterfly - "Bernie the Butterfly stops by the studio to set the record straight. He has a ton of stuff he needs to get off his chest. Who knew that there was so much repressed rage against humans."
- Big Farm P.I. - "This won't be your garden variety investigation, it will have more meanders."
- Claude Neon Reports - "Correspondent Claude Neon reports on the whereabouts of the new 'Santa', Roberta Claus."
- Game of Drones - Recaps Game of Thrones; also available as a separate podcast feed.
- Get Besos - Tells the fictional story of Richard Warren Sears and James Cash Penney, who return from limbo to take revenge on internet retailer "Jiff Besos".
- Lady Witchbeard - Recounts the story of Scooter's friend, the pirate witch Lady Witchbeard.
- Metastasnooze - Recaps Metástasis, the Spanish-language version of Breaking Bad.
- Nuns in Space - "An episodic series so you can start anywhere and be taken away to dreamland."
- Otter Things - A more family-friendly re-telling of the series Stranger Things set in a swamp in the early 90's, with all the characters re-imagined as "swamp-based beings" such as otters, frogs, beavers, porcupines, and muskrats. Told by the 8th-grader Emma Otter, niece to the famous musician Emmet Otter.
- Ray Perkins - "A sweet upbeat old man" who talks about his visits to Disney parks and other Florida attractions.
- Real Time Recipes - "Fall asleep and learn to cook at the same time."
- Sleep with TNG - Recaps Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Superdull - A superhero story.
- The Good Place - Scooter goes through each episode in detail.
- The Adventures of Dr. Triangle and Isosceles - A post-apocalyptic fantasy series. Set in a "post-math world" under the influence of the dark goddess Discordia, the series stars two heroic, satirical performers and their mule, who wander the Midwest on a crusade to "restore the principles of mathematics" in the name of Seshat, goddess of math.
- Trending Tuesdays - Scooter develops a story based on Twitter's trending topics.
- Doctor Who - Many episodes feature recaps of Doctor Who stories, sometimes with slightly spoofed titles such a "The Girl in the Franceplace."
- "The Podcast That Tells Ingeniously Boring Bedtime Stories to Help You Fall Asleep". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "Feral Audio Adds 'Sleep With Me,' 'My Brother's Sneaker' Podcasts". All Access. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "Sleep With Me is now a part of Night Vale Presents!". YouTube. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- "Sleep With Me: The Podcast That Puts You To Sleep". Sleep With Me. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "Insomniacs Unite! The Podcast That Bores You to Sleep, on Purpose". Motherboard. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- Carpenter, Julia; Carpenter, Julia (February 14, 2017). "This podcast is so boring it puts people to sleep. And that's why insomniacs love it". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "Sleep with Me Host Drew Ackerman Shares 8 Pop-Culture Inspirations for His Podcast". December 11, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- Wollan, Malia (February 19, 2016). "How to Lull a Grown-Up to Sleep". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- Barton, Adriana (February 7, 2016). "Sleep With Me podcast uses boring bedtime stories to help insomniacs". Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "About the Sleep With Me Podcast". www.doctoroz.com. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "Podcast Awards - The People's Choice". www.podcastawards.com. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "10 Podcasts to Help You Sleep". October 23, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- Cueto, Emma. ""Sleep With Me" Podcast From Drew Ackerman Will Help You Fall Asleep, Plus 5 Other Tips For Drifting Off". Retrieved July 10, 2017.
- "The 25 Essential Podcasts of 2016". Esquire. October 14, 2016. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- "#33 Sleeping on the Belly of the Beast | After The Glass Slipper Ep9". Sleep With Me. January 20, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "Sleep Help via the Story of Why "Butterflies Hate Levar Burton and the Rest of Us!" | Nature Talks Back | Sleep With Me #100". Sleep With Me. June 24, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "541 – Case of the Missing Moos | Big Farm PI". Sleep With Me. May 26, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "Where is Roberta Claus? | Claude Neon Reports #1". Sleep With Me. December 1, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "Game of Drones | Sleep to Game of Thrones | Fight Insomnia with Dull Recaps and More to Help You Fal by Dearest Scooter on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- ""The Lady Witchbeard" | Remixpost of Trending Tuesdays | Sleep With Me #151". Sleep With Me. July 2, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "Shame Spotlight | Nuns in Space #14 | Sleep With Me #464". Sleep With Me. November 18, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "One of our Best "A Trip to Walt Disney's Vacation Kingdom" | Trending Tuesdays | Help Falling Asleep | Sleep With Me #103". Sleep With Me. July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "Relief for Sleep Problems via "Real-time Recipes – Flatbread Pizza" | Sleep With Me #118". Sleep With Me. August 5, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "Darmok | Sleep With TNG (thanks Marybeth!) | Sleep With Me #479". Sleep With Me. January 2, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "#104 Toastmasters and Superheroes | Superdull! | A New Series To Help You Beat Insomnia". Sleep With Me. July 3, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "#70 Aaron Carpenter Verified | Trending Twitter Tuesday (from Sunday) | New Feature". Sleep With Me. April 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2017.