Sleep Mist

Bedtime just got better.


We’re delighted to introduce Sleep Mist, Calm’s new pillow spray that we've been developing over the last year. Inspire your senses and drift off to sleep with this dreamy elixir of lavender, chamomile, frankincense and clary sage essential oils.


We designed Sleep Mist to be the perfect pair to Sleep Stories, our sleep inducing bedtime tales for adults. Think aromatherapy meets audio-therapy. While both are powerful on their own, their combined value is greater than the sum of their parts, especially when looking to improve sleep and overcome insomnia. In order to drift off to sleep, the busy mind needs to settle into the present moment. Although the here and now is often considered quite elusive, the quickest entry point is through the senses. What do you hear, smell, feel, taste and see. Blending scent with sound is an innovative way to invite yourself into the moment so that you can let go of the day, release tension, and relax your mind.


We aim to transform your sleeping environment into one of the most relaxing and soothing places on earth. All you have to do is spray Sleep Mist on your pillow and press play on one of Calm’s 40+ Sleep Stories. We experimented with 1000 different blends and put many pillows to the test while perfecting Sleep Mist's formula. It was worth our time and energy to ensure this soothing scent would invite instant relaxation and linger through the night.


We recommend trying Blue Gold, or Lavender Valley, both of these Sleep Stories were inspired by Sleep Mist’s essential ingredient, lavender. Stephen Fry, the British actor, comedian, and writer, whose many credits include providing the voice-over for all seven Harry Potter audiobooks, narrates Blue Gold, set amid the famous lavender fields and sleepy villages of Provence in southern France. Tamara Levitt, Calm’s beloved Meditation Instructor, narrates Lavender Valley, a relaxing journey to discover the source of a heavenly scent.


Whether your home, at a hotel, in a tent or on the train, Sleep Mist plus Sleep Stories is a powerful all-natural sleep aid that you can use to ritualize bedtime wherever you find yourself.


Rest easy knowing that Sleep Mist is cruelty-free and contains no parabens, synthetic fragrances and colors, sulfates, and phthalates. We believe that you and your pillow deserve the best and most natural ingredients!



We’re delighted to unveil the poster and trailer for Calm’s first feature film – an eight-hour, slow-motion epic entirely starring sheep and called ... Baa Baa Land



An eight-hour slow-motion film with no plot, dialogue or actors will have its red-carpet premiere and global webcast this September.

Baa Baa Land is a contemplative epic, entirely starring sheep. It is also our first movie, making Calm, as far as we know, the first app ever to produce a feature film.

The American-financed, British-made film will premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema in London’s West End this September, on the same date [to be announced] that we premiere it online for our global audience of Calm users. 

The film is itself a meditation, a dream, an enchantment ... a tonic for the soul.

It is also an example of “Slow Cinema”, a genre of art films known for long takes, slow pace and lack of action or narrative.

“It’s better than any sleeping pill – the ultimate insomnia cure”, says Alex Tew, Baa Baa Land’s executive producer and co-founder of Calm.

Is it also the dullest movie ever made? “We think so”, says Peter Freedman, its producer. “We hope that audiences will too.”

Like the Star Wars, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones movies before it, Baa Baa Land is financed with American money but made in the UK by mainly British talent. It was shot entirely on location in Essex, a few miles from London. 

“We’re in discussion about U.S. and wider distribution and in talks with an American TV channel”, says Michael Acton Smith, its other executive producer and Calm’s other co-founder..  “We don’t expect it to break box-office records but believe there is at least a niche audience for it.”

“In a world of constant stress and information overload, of anxious days and restless nights ... comes the chance at last ... to pause ... to breathe ... to calm our racing minds and fretful souls... to sit and stare ... at sheep."


“Baa Baa Land is the first screen epic entirely starring sheep. A cast of hundreds... all of them sheep. Count them if you can – but don’t stress if you can’t. Sit back, wind down, drift off ... to sheep.”

Baa Baa Land has no car-chases, explosions or star names. All it has is sheep and fields.   

Long, loving takes – some up to an hour long – show the sheep in question, standing around in fields, doing very little.  

“Nothing happens ... for eight hours”, says Acton Smith. “Glorious!”

While the average camera shot in Hollywood action movies like The Bourne Supremacy lasts two seconds, the average shot in Baa Baa Land last over 30 minutes.

Apart from some music over the film’s credits, the only soundtrack is the sound of sheep making ... the sort of noises that lend the film its name. 

Baa Baa Land is no relation to La La Land, the recent Hollywood hit with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Its poster, however, does pay an affectionate tribute to La La Land’s and to a line associated with the latter, declaring, “Here’s to the ones who dream ... of sheep”.

It is, if anything, more of a hommage to the films of Andy Warhol, the late American avant-garde artist and film-maker. “Many laughed at Empire, Warhol’s eight hour, slow-motion movie of The Empire State Building on its first showing in 1964”, says Acton Smith. “But it’s now considered a classic.”


Baa Baa Land was conceived by its producer, Peter Freedman and directed, shot and edited on a “modest budget” by Garth Thomas, a British director of arts films.

Baa Baa Land features the Welsh Half-Breed sheep of Layer Marney Lamb near Tiptree in Essex. The farm’s sheep graze on local parklands and water meadows at the low density of three ewes per acre.

“No sheep were harmed – or consulted – in the making of this film.” 

Baa Baa Land’s length of eight hours may put off some but it makes the film only the nineteenth longest film of all time – five minutes shorter than Empire, Warhol’s 1964 film, and the same length as his 1967 work, The Imitation of Christ.

The longest movie ever made is Logistics, a Swedish experiential art film made in 2012, and lasting 857 hours or 35 days and 17 hours.

Baa Baa Land’s rivals for the title of the dullest film ever made include Paint Drying, a 10.5 hour movie about drying paint, classified last year by the British Board of Film Censors as “suitable for all”.


Stephen Fry's Exclusive Sleep Story

Photo credit: Claire Newman Williams

Photo credit: Claire Newman Williams


We challenge anyone to stay awake for all 24 minutes of this sleep inducing masterpiece by Stephen Fry. Sleep Stories have been a huge hit in the Calm app but we think that Blue Gold, narrated by Stephen Fry, is the best one yet. Listen to the two minute audio trailer above or enjoy the full Sleep Story in the Calm app

Stephen Fry is a national treasure in Britain, an Emmy winner, and the narrator of all 7 Harry Potter books. If you've yet to hear his soothing and distinctive voice, you're in for a treat.

Close your eyes and let Fry take you on a mellifluous journey through the lavender fields and the sleepy villages of Provence.

"Lifting your hand towards your face, once more that spellbinding scent fills your nose, slowing your breathing, relaxing every single muscle in your body. You long to stay, but know you cannot. But no matter. For, from now on, every time you smell the reassuring scent of France’s blue gold, you will be instantly transported back to this site. Back to the sunset where the fields truly do glow in an almost impossibly deep tone of purple haze, in these the rolling foothills of ever-peaceful Provence" — Phoebe Smith

Access the Calm app from your phone or your computer to develop a meditation practice, breathe deeper, invite a moment of relaxation into your busy day, and soothe your way into dreamland when you're ready for bed. You can download it here.  


Jerome Flynn Chooses Mindfulness over the Sword


@@Game of Thrones star, Jerome Flynn, chooses mindfulness over the sword.@@

We sat down with Jerome Flynn to discuss his recent Sleep Story and to learn about his mindfulness journey.

Jerome Flynn is a British actor and singer, famous on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond for roles including most recently Bronn, the mercenary swordsman in the HBO fantasy series, Game of Thrones, and Detective Sergeant Bennet Drake in Ripper Street, the Amazon Prime thriller series set in the Victorian London of Jack the Ripper.

The seventh series of Game of Thrones premieres next month, in mid-July, while the fifth season of Ripper Street did so recently.

Less known is that Flynn, 54, is a serious practitioner and advocate of meditation, which he has been practicing for over a quarter of a century, since first discovering it in his late 20s.

With a kind and calming voice and his mindfulness background we knew he'd be perfect to read one of our bedtime stories for grown-ups. Sleep Stories are sleep-inducing tales that mix soothing words, music, sound-effects and mindfulness techniques to help adult listeners wind down and drift off to sleep. We're so happy he said yes!

Flynn read an original story called A Magical Winter Night. It is set in a mythical land and has the feel and style of some folktale from long ago.


When did you first get interested in meditation?

JF: I discovered meditation in my late twenties when I was seeking answers to my own condition and trying to better understand who I really was.

So, I started reading books on meditation and enlightenment. I then found a meditation teacher and went on an intense retreat with him to India.

The whole experience really turned my life on its head, opening the door to a completely fresh and much more authentic understanding of myself and of what you might call the nature of being.

I’ve been practicing [meditation] in one way or another ever since. Initially for about 10 years, I was doing it two or three hours a day. The early intensity felt important to really help burn through all the old mental and emotional habits of a lifetime.

In the last few years, I’ve eased off the hours and hopefully integrated the meditation into my everyday life.

Daily meditation is still very important to me. I sit for half hour in the morning and definitely feel the difference in the flow of my day if I miss it.

I was lucky that I discovered meditation just when my first wave of fame hit.

It was a crazy time [because] just as I was discovering more depth and meaning in my life through meditation and contemplation, my pop music career and the culture of fame surrounding it brought in the potential for a whole load of shallowness and self-importance.

I was definitely already searching for answers before then – but the ‘fame thing’ probably just sped up the process as I sensed the danger and stifling feeling of getting lost in that shallowness and froth. I’m grateful for it all but I’m so glad I had a meditation practice.

How did and does meditation help you?

JF: Well professionally, meditation definitely helped me to deal with that first experience of fame. In the midst of all the craziness of that pop froth, being number one in the charts and so on ... there’s a cultural fascination with fame, which can translate into a mixture of being put on a strange kind of pedestal one minute to being slagged off and brought down the next, which, of course, is unhealthy either way if it’s taken seriously by the ego.

It’s all too easy to end up on some kind of self-created island where you’re actually less connected to the real flow of life and the people and places that matter to you most. Actually, with today’s social media explosion, you might easily say that many of the pitfalls and dangers of fame have become available to us all.

Meditation really helped ground and center me beyond the identification with success, and the praise and criticism that go with it.

I would occasionally fall prey to panic attacks in those stressful, highly exposed situations, such as before a big TV performance or interview.

If I felt the panic coming on, then meditation and mindfulness often helped me to breathe deeply and connect to the present moment, allowing feelings of paranoia and fear to fall into the background.

I find mindfulness techniques a useful way to help bring the practice into my waking, walking, and talking day ... and especially the use of breath for returning to a present, heart-centered space.

Jerome Flynn reads a Sleep Story

Did Robson Green – your co-star and singing partner – also meditate?

JF: I don’t think Rob was meditating but sometimes on big occasions, we would both get nervous and he would say to me, “Come on Romy, tell me some of that stuff”.

Do you ever have trouble sleeping yourself?

JF: I always get off to sleep okay, but then I’ll often wake up in the middle of the night, maybe for an hour or so.

It definitely feels like there are cycles to my sleep pattern, and once awake, the worrisome mind can kick in; so, instead of just letting it worry or wander, I like to listen to stories or podcasts myself, or do some mindfulness exercises.  And now, Calm has become a really cool addition to my nighttime options.

You once said, “Mindfulness changed my life”. What did you mean by that? 

JF: Meditation introduced to me a deeper truth of who I am at the core of my being, to a self that is intimately connected to everything.

It showed me a place of wholeness in myself that is free from fear and self-judgment, truly present and available for life’s magical flow, rather than distracted by self-concern, of the past and future.

The symptoms of that, in turn, are a deeper relaxation, creativity, and awareness of the beauty in all things.

It showed me that true creativity and love come from a place beyond the patterns of the mind. It comes from a deeper, timeless place in ourselves.

What was your impression of the Sleep Story, A Magical Winter Night, that you’ve just read for Calm?

JF: It felt like a sort of Eastern European folk tale from a couple of centuries ago. 

What was it like reading the Sleep Story for Calm? Did you feel like falling asleep yourself? 

JF: Often in performance, you’re wanting to maintain a certain energy. Reading this story for Calm, I still needed to sustain this sort of energy but at a much lower level.

I had to be careful not to relax too much because while reading it, I was deliberately getting slower and softer as the story continued.

It was such a pleasure to do and a rare feeling to work on something that I’m so behind and that's helping to bring healing and sanity to a world that so desperately needs it.


You’ve said that you would like more schools to teach the techniques of mindfulness and meditation to their students. Why?

JF: That started when a good friend of mine, Elizabeth Daniels, had a passion and vision to bring mindfulness and mindful breathing to young people.  Tragically, two local teenagers had recently taken their lives and Elizabeth wanted to do something.

Through her, I was invited to visit our local school in St. Davids, Pembrokeshire [in Wales], where the children had started learning mindfulness and meditation.

Once they had been learning it for a few weeks, I was invited in to speak about my own experience and hear about theirs. It was truly heartening and inspiring to hear how quickly they had started to appreciate the tools of mindfulness and how much it had affected them after only a few weeks.

I would definitely like to be part of the movement to bring mindfulness into schools; in fact, in terms of education, I don’t think there’s anything more important. In these desperately volatile, fast-changing times, it is crucial we help our young people in the school of self-understanding, emotional maturity and mental wellbeing. How much we invest in that area could well be the difference between us making it through the next millennia on a healthy, life-supporting planet, or not. 


Sunday Night Sleep Troubles


Sunday is by far the cruelest night of the week for those who have trouble sleeping, according to a new study.

Three times as many of us sleep badly on Sunday as on any other single night, according to a survey of 4,279 Americans and Britons conducted by pollsters YouGov, on behalf of us at Calm.

Monday is the next worst night for sleep trouble, named by 8% of all poll respondents, compared to three times as many (23%) identifying Sunday, while Thursday night is when fewest (2%) struggle to sleep.

@@“Sunday may be the day of rest but it seems the night of restlessness”@@, says Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of Calm, which many users rely on to help them sleep. “Thursday, in contrast, seems the true night of rest.” 

To help our users fall asleep on Sunday nights, We've launched a new “Sleep Story” or bedtime story for grown-ups called Sleepy Sunday. It comprises a soothing essay of reflections on what still makes Sundays a day apart and the perfect chance to relax, wind down, recharge. 


The biggest reason that so many people sleep badly on Sundays is that the weekend is when they throw off their normal sleep routine, says Dr Steve Orma, a clinical psychologist and insomnia specialist, who himself delivers a talk on sleep science as part of our Sleep Stories collection.

“Many people go to bed later on Friday and Saturday nights and then sleep in later on Saturday and Sunday mornings,” says Dr Orma. “So, when they go to bed on Sunday night, they’re often just not tired. And then when they can’t sleep, they start to think about why they’re not sleeping, which only makes things worse.”

By Thursday night, in contrast, most of us have got fully back into our routine and therefore sleep better on average than on any other night.

Another factor making Sunday a bad sleep night is alcohol, says Dr Orma. “On weekends, people drink more alcohol, which definitely disturbs sleep.”

Anxiety about returning to work on Monday might sometimes be a third factor, says Dr Orma. “But that’s not the main reason in most cases.”

“Saturday night is the loneliest night of the week, according to the old Frank Sinatra song”, says Alex Tew, co-founder of Calm. “But Sunday night turns out to be the most restless.”  

Difficulty sleeping is a modern epidemic, adds Tew. “It’s also one of the main reasons that people use Calm.” Our sleep stories have now been listened to over 10 million times since their launch at the end of last year.

“I sometimes have trouble sleeping on Sundays myself”, says Calm’s Michael Acton Smith. “But now I have the perfect cure – listening to our latest new Sleep Story, Sleepy Sunday. 


Top Tips For Overcoming Sunday Night Sleep Problems

by psychologist and insomnia expert, Dr Steve Orma 

1. Have a regular wake-up time

The biggest single tip is to have a consistent wake-up time – and try not to diverge too far from it on weekends. Avoid sleeping in more than, say, an hour later on weekends than during the week. So, you might get up at 8am instead of your normal 7am.

2. Cut down on alcohol

On Sundays, try to abstain from alcohol; or, at least, consume far less, like just a glass of wine.

3. Find a way to relax, wind down, drift off

If you’re worried that you might have trouble falling asleep find a way to relax, wind down and drift off. Try, indeed, listening of one of Calm’s 30+ Sleep Stories – or, best of all, its latest new Sleep Story, created for precisely this occasion – Sleepy Sunday.


The Art of Writing Sleep Stories


By Michael Acton Smith

Chris Advansun is the talented writer behind many of the most popular Sleep Stories in the Calm app. We sat down with him to chat about this unconventional but very valuable new literary medium.

Michael Acton Smith (MAS): So Chris, how have you tackled the Sleep Stories you’ve written? Walk us through your approach.

Chris Advansun (CA): Well, the original idea was a fictional story that relaxes and soothes the listener off to sleep. My first thinking was to tell a very simple story that centers on lush visual description. A simple character visits a magical place, and through rich sensory description of the character’s experience, the listener is transported.

Then, working with Tamara (Tamara Levitt), we added mindfulness elements in a very deliberate way, giving the stories a grounding, calming quality.

@@Instead of an elaborate buildup, Sleep Stories are a gradual unwind.@@ As the character explores beautiful settings, the experience relaxes our bodies, quiets our minds, and soothes us to sleep.


MAS: You mentioned the mindfulness elements. Tell us more about that.

CA: Tamara has been an incredible resource in helping to integrate mindfulness concepts and techniques into the stories. There are a few ways we do this.

The first is helping the listener focus their attention on an anchor, usually the breath. This quiets the mind and helps shift the listener away from their overactive thoughts. As the character travels along her journey, she is fully immersed in the present moment. The thinking is that the listener experiences this immersion along with the character.

The second mindfulness element is body awareness and relaxation techniques. When a story opens, the narrator walks the listener through a brief body scan exercise to help quiet the mind and relax the body. We also integrate body scans into the actual story. As the character scans though her sensations, the hope is that the listener does the same.

The final element has to do with the way settings and scenes are described. As Tamara talks about in her meditation programs, mindfulness involves perceiving ordinary moments with curiosity, a beginner’s mind, and a sense of wonder. One way to experience this is by coming into contact with nature, perhaps in a park or forest. The idea is to observe the beauty of nature in all its exquisite detail: the colors of a flower, the movements of a bird, the sounds of a river, the smells of a forest. This attentive observation keeps us in present moment awareness.

This is the spirit of how I’ve written my Sleep Stories. @@The narrator soothingly describes the character’s sensory experience, moment by moment, as she observes and marvels at the wonder of nature - sights, sounds, smells, sensations.@@


MAS: Part of what works about the stories is the language. How do you approach the writing, from a craft perspective?

CA: I just try to be a student and practitioner of the tricks of good writing. Sometimes I play with sentence structure, using long cumulative sentences that widen to a descriptive culmination, or narrow to a descriptive conclusion. Other situations call for a parallel structure, which can take on a repetitive quality almost like poetry.

And then there are things like clever noun phrases and interesting verb choices. I’m always thinking about how I could describe an object or action using noun phrases and verbs that are a little unexpected, not the obvious way of describing things.

I also use a lot of simile and metaphor, which of course are timeless writing devices.

MAS: It seems your stories have certain elements of traditional storytelling, but not others. How do you decide what stays and what goes?

CA: I’ve learned much of what I know about storytelling by studying the craft of screenwriting. In film, stories must contain certain elements to hook audience attention and deliver an emotionally satisfying experience: things like desire, obstacles, conflict, tension, and complications.

Sleep Stories are different. They are narrative, but instead of building up tension and stakes, the idea is to unwind. The character’s experience becomes more lovely, more beautiful, more calm as the story unfolds. There’s no conflict to speak of, and there are really no obstacles. There may be a desire, but it’s a simple one, like the wish to have a question answered.

The final part of this has to do with character. In novels and movies, characters must be “multi-dimensional,” as the saying goes. This means they have desires, flaws, and contradictions. In Sleep Stories, we’re stripping most of that away. The character we follow is relatively simple. We don’t need to know too much about her, just enough to like her and want to join her on the journey. In a sense, we inhabit her perspective. Her senses and emotions are a vehicle through which the listener experiences the beauty of the world.


MAS: It also feels like, on an emotional level, the character’s experience is relaxing and soothing, not fraught with turbulence.

CA: Exactly. The joy of watching ‘Die Hard’ lies in experiencing tension and fear and pain along with the character. @@In a Sleep Story, the character goes through a totally positive emotional experience.@@ In fact, it is increasingly positive as the story unfolds, so that by the end she is in a state of deep relaxation. She feels content, safe, grateful, and at peace.

MAS: The story is the starting point, but then the performance is also quite important.

CA: The performance is hugely important. It’s been such an honor to hear the stories delivered by such talented performers, like Tamara Levitt and Clarke Peters. The delivery is crucial. It needs to be slow, melodic, and soothing, almost like a literary lullaby. My hope with the writing is that it creates a blueprint for a soothing delivery, giving the performer passages that can be brought to life in a rhythmic, poetic way.


MAS: Which is your favorite story?

CA: Good question. It’s been a process to hone in on what works best, so I find the more recent stories are tighter, in terms of writing. I’d probably say ‘The Waterfall,’ because it has a cool structure to it, an interesting character desire we want to see resolved. I also love ‘The Butterfly Sanctuary,’ narrated by Clarke Peters. In that story, I used some settings that one wouldn’t normally associate with relaxation, like a busy urban setting and a loud subway. But the story finds the peace and tranquility in those places, which is not just a challenge in storytelling, but a challenge in life. As Tamara talks about in her sessions, when we can gain awareness and find beauty in mundane moments, we are practicing mindfulness. Clarke does an amazing job bringing the story to life and soothing the listener off to sleep.


MAS: Well Chris, on behalf of Calm users, thank you for this conversation and I look forward to your upcoming stories.

CA: Thank you for the opportunity, Michael. It’s been wonderful to work on this, and it’s been rewarding to see how Calm users have responded to the stories.


About the Authors

Michael Acton Smith is a co-founder of Calm. He's devoted to making the world a happier and healthier place though the superpowers of mindfulness and meditation.

Chris Advansun is a writer and editor at Calm. He is the author of several of the company's Sleep Stories, including The Waterfall, The Butterfly Sanctuary, and several forthcoming stories. Prior to joining Calm, Chris worked as a marketing executive for tech and advertising companies.

To contact or keep up with Chris, follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Happiness doesn't come from Headstands


We write about what we know. And personally, I know a lot about failure. As an artist and entrepreneur, I’ve always been a risk taker, but life doesn’t typically prepare us for when we fall.

Nearly a decade ago, a series of consecutive failures left me lost in life and lost in myself. It was a time of great fear and uncertainty, of depression, anxiety and shame, of sleepless nights and loneliness, of forgetting who I was and losing faith in my path and all confidence in my talent. And this went on and on for quite some time, until in not knowing what to do or where to turn, I had no choice but to give up.

Giving up is something that’s hard to do when you’ve invested everything in a dream. Time, Energy, Money. All I was left with was the feeling of failure.


That is, until I stepped back and offered myself some space in which to gain perspective. @@It took a great deal of time, contemplation, meditation and tears but eventually I was able to recognize that having failed didn’t mean that I was a failure.@@ All it meant is that project didn’t go the way I’d hoped. So it was time to let go of the dream I’d been holding onto and start anew.

And so I did the only thing I could. I created from exactly where I was, in the dark. I wrote a children’s book about failure and perfectionism and patience and self-compassion and all the things I most needed to remember.
And now, many years, after first self-publishing this book, and releasing it again with Wisdom Publications, I’m filled with gratitude. For @@when you know the darkest dark the smallest amount of light can mean the world.@@
So today I’m thankful that I was able to take a big deep breath and find the resilience to take one step after the next. I’m grateful I was able to figure out how to let go of what I was clinging to and humbly write and illustrate and self-publish a children’s book, which was no small feat when you know nothing about publishing a book. @@I’m thankful that I learned the lesson that self-worth does not equate achievement and that I am able to now share this lesson with children everywhere.@@ 


So in parting, if you don’t feel the sun shining down on you today, If there is darkness in your world, I hope that you can find a little inspiration in this story, remembering that @@you can only go halfway into the darkest forest, before you are coming out the other side.@@
With love,


About the Author

Tamara Levitt is the  Head of Content and mindfulness instructor at Calm. She writes, narrates and produces our meditation sessions and some of our most beloved sleep stories. She is also an author, published with Wisdom publications.

If you want to keep up to date with Tamara's latest offerings you can visit her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.