The other day I came across a TikTok parody fanfic about Chris Evans and Timothée Chalamet fighting over the same girl, captioned, “This is what I imagine to sleep at night.” And it was like someone had uploaded my middle-school brain into TikTok. I mean, what do other people do to fall asleep? Just, like, think regular thoughts? Some of us are on chapter 80 of a masterpiece (in our heads). As an adult, my process for falling asleep is a lot less blissful. I take two ridiculously delicious melatonin gummies, then proceed to stare at my ceiling until the distinction between what I’m seeing and what I’m thinking fades and I’m … asleep. It takes hours. Not exactly conducive to healthy living or my lifestyle, considering I wake up at 6 a.m. to start blogging at 7.
But like the quarantine angel he is, Harry Styles partnered with the meditation app Calm to record a sleep story that’s more or less fanfiction, “Dream With Me,” written by Calm head writer Steve Cleverley and composed by Sanj Sen. I listened to Harry Styles’s Calm story for science, but because I’m clearly not an unbiased participant in this journalistic study (and because he sleeps next to me) so did my boyfriend, who likes Styles’s music, but couldn’t care less about his cheeky accent. So, what’s the criteria? I’m judging it based on the listening experience, how flirty Styles is, and, of course, effectiveness. Here’s what it was like for us to sleep with Harry Styles …
The tranquil but lilting music has huge Disney Parks energy, so for the first 20 minutes of my listen, I was giddy like I was in line for the teacups. Styles’s voice is in direct contrast to the music: deep, patient, and slow. As he guides you through forests, across rivers, and past fields of grass, he pauses, giving you time to drift off into your own fantasy. At first, the descriptions exclusively reminded me of Twilight and the little meadow where Edward reveals he’s a vampire to Bella. But soon it was me “snuggling on a raft,” bouncing along a gentle river. My boyfriend thought the initial nature descriptions were vivid, despite struggling to “get into it” because he “knew it was Harry Styles,” which, same. He made it through the entire 40 minutes, though, long after I had fallen asleep. At a certain point, he recalled, the descriptions felt a little more random and harder to hang onto, and the last ten minutes or so are just music, probably because you’re supposed to be asleep by then — but it’s important to note if you’re worried Styles’s voice won’t be enough to lull you to sleep.
My rating: 4 zzz’s out of 5
My BF’s rating: 2.5 zzz’s out of 5
Although they know their target audience, Styles doesn’t reach full Wattpad Y/N fanfiction in the sleep story. He’s a passionate but passive companion, there for comfort. “I felt like he was a little flirty in the beginning and I felt uncomfortable when he tried to snuggle me,” my boyfriend recalled. “I didn’t feel like the moment was right.” But aside from a premature cuddle, Styles mostly reads from an intimate, platonic perspective. “The tenderness we feel when we are close, two minds as one, surrounds us and connects us, but we’ve only just begun,” he whispers. I’m actually blushing …
My rating: 2 zzz’s, could be way flirtier
My BF’s rating: 2 zzz’s
I ended up falling asleep about halfway through. I remember being on the river … and that’s it. I woke up before my alarm, which I always do, but instead of slogging into the day, I swung out of bed. My boyfriend, on the other hand, thought it was relaxing, but not nearly enough to put him to sleep. For those who are willing to put their imaginations to work, Styles’s sleep story forces you to take the vacation you’ve been putting off and give in to the tiny voice inside of you that just wants to dream about their celebrity crush, leaning against the dryers, needing to borrow a quarter at the laundromat. “How ’bout I repay you … at my concert tonight?”
My rating: 4 zzz’s out of 5
My BF’s rating: Firm 2 zzz’s