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This Podcast Will Put You to Sleep. And That’s a Good Thing.

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Every Sleep With Me,’ listener has a story. They started listening to the podcast after years of debilitating insomnia, or days spent in a hospital bed. Or, in my case, hours into an attempt at wrestling myself asleep while curled atop a dingy yoga mat in friend’s apartment one swampy Manhattan eve.

Very few people can make it to the end of an episode, and that’s exactly host Drew Scooter’ Ackerman’s intention. Part bizarro bedtime story, and part guided meditation, Sleep With Me’ is, in the words of it’s own tagline, The podcast that puts you to sleep.” And it works.

Part of its charm is the meandering style of storytelling that Ackerman uses to lull droves of overworked minds to sleep by way of their headphones. I’m just prone to tangents and being overly curious,” Ackerman told Civilized. I was always good at telling stories. It was never super engaging, it was always, like, a laying around the park thing.” Using both his relaxed-yet-amusing narrative style and languid, jovial voice, Ackerman’s podcast is a sleep cocktail that knocks you out cold, and lets you wake up sans NyQuil fog.

Part of the magic of Sleep With Me,” is that it unplugs the treadmill of thoughts that cycle through an anxious mind. Tuck yourself in with a fresh episode, and all those worries about bank statements, inboxes, and unchecked to-dos evaporate while Ackerman muses on lentils or what it’s like to be a grain of sand.

The line that I’m trying to walk, is not to be too interesting, but not be so boring that people will start thinking again,” he explained.

On iTunes, and in the show’s popular Facebook group, listeners often recount using the show to help overcome the sleepless nights of early sobriety or chronic pain. They are uniformly grateful to Scoots’ for guiding them peacefully into, as he calls it, the deep, dark night.”

Ackerman wasn’t always the Mayor of the Land of Nod.

I couldn’t sleep when I was in grammar school,” he said. I had dyslexia, but I didn’t get diagnosed for it. Right around 5th grade, I started to see school as a very Me versus them’ situation. I would spend every night worrying about it.”

Even at an early age, struggles with sleeplessness left Ackerman feeling alone with his anxiety. My parents would be like, Why don’t you just think about something nice,’ and I’d be like I can’t think about something nice!.’ It was good intentioned, but it in trying to help me, they made me feel more isolated.”

Then, in 6th grade, a classmate told Ackerman about Dr. Demento’s radio comedy show, and he began listening to it on Sunday nights. It never put me to sleep, but it made me forget. Just listening to these jokes, or whatever, made me totally forget the pain of not being able to sleep. I never forgot those two things: the pain of not being able to sleep, and the escape that the radio offered me. I think that’s really where the podcast came from.”

Compassion and respect for his listeners are also driving forces for the podcast. The underlying theme of every tale is that you are not alone with your wakefulness. The person listening to the podcast, I want them to feel like they were treated with dignity and respect. This is something to help them feel more comfortable and make bedtime less of a pain in the ass.”

Ackerman easily connects with listeners because he still occasionally encounters sleepless nights. I’m a high strung, high anxiety person during the day. I’m just always worrying. That’s why I have trouble sleeping.”

The restless tendencies that are common with over-thinkers are also somewhat compounded for him, due to the fact that he quit drinking around when he started the podcast. Before, I self-medicated with alcohol. That works really well for falling asleep, but for the rest of my life, it wasn’t working. After I quit drinking, I was like, Holy crap, how am I going to sleep now?’”

A deliberate bedtime routine has helped him maintain a fairly consistent sleep schedule, but on the nights when sleep eludes him, I just take it as an alerting moment. Now I know what my listeners are like.”

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Civilized Staff

The Civilized team is focused on providing quality content that builds awareness, educates, informs and entertains while authentically representing the cannabis, hemp and CBD communities.

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