“It’s time to prepare your mind and body for a peaceful, relaxing sleep.” The voice, speaking in a lilting British accent, barely registered above a whisper.
Though the words came from my iPhone, out of a meditation app called Mindwell, it sounded like someone was beside me.
For $10 a month, Mindwell offers this and other hypnotic sounds, designed to promote peace in both sleep and wakefulness.
The app joins a suite of others that seek to reinvent meditation for the digital age: Calm offers relaxation techniques and mindfulness on demand; Headspace, with its guided breathing exercises, delivers zen-like serenity for the price of an Uber.
On YouTube, these videos have grown to constitute an entire genre, ranging from the mundane (hair brushing) to the bizarre (people eating glue sticks).
How, exactly, these videos produce the pleasing mind-tingling sensation remains unknown.