Struggle to sleep? The answer could lie with the Shipping Forecast
When we are tossing and turning trying to sleep, sometimes background noise can help us to wind down – prompting our body to think it’s bedtime.
This might be a podcast, a TV show, white noise, or even some relaxing nature sounds.
But there’s another audio avenue you may not have tried – and it boasts all the qualities that should help send you into a blissful slumber.
A writer for the New York Times Magazine recently shared her trick for getting to sleep – and it lies with an old British tradition: the Shipping Forecast.
The daily weather report, which was first established in 1860s, narrates the gales and tides around the British Isles.
It’s poetic and hypnotic, not to mention uses phrases and words many of us wouldn’t understand.
This means it’s not particularly engaging for the average person – so won’t stimulate the brain. Instead, it’s more like background noise.
So, in many ways, it can be viewed in a similar way to a lullaby or a sleep story.
The writer Grace explains: ‘To those like me, who have never been involved in maritime culture, the language of the Shipping Forecast can be indecipherable.
‘If some people doze off to the sound of rain, I fall asleep to broadcasters announcing the rain that is to come.’
Typically, every Shipping Forecast lasts only for a minute or so – limited to 380 words at most – but Grace says hour-long compilations from BBC Radio 4 can be found on YouTube.
Each report is familiar yet distant, comforting yet mysterious.
So when you’re next lying awake at night, why not give it a try.
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