Review: Headspace Guide to Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important factors in living a healthy life. According to the NHS website, loss of sleep doesn’t just make you tired; it can affect your immunity, mental health and even your fertility. When Headspace announced their new Netflix series on sleep, I was excited to try it – and with exam stress rapidly approaching, improving my sleep was one thing I thought I could do to ease the pressure.

I’ve been using the Headspace app for around three months now and I’m definitely a fan. I was a little sceptical at first, but after being introduced to meditation via their first Netflix series, Headspace Guide to Meditation, I’ve been convinced. I now try to fit in a meditation a day (admittedly, this is much easier with a flexible student schedule) because it puts me in the right mindset to make the most of my day.

Headspace Guide to Sleep is narrated by Eve, one of Headspace’s regular teachers, who guides you through each fifteen-minute-or-so episode. She has a very calming voice that definitely points you in the right direction for dozing off. Each episode begins with a theme (such as dreams, sleep myths or sleeping pills) and presents a short selection of information including interesting and practical facts to help you regain control of your sleep. It cites research and does some myth-busting of the most common misconceptions surrounding sleep, leaving you feeling informed and prepared to improve your sleep hygiene. Headspace definitely puts the focus on statistics, which made me feel more confident about putting in the time since their methods are backed up by real studies.

You then move on to a wind down, which will bring you to the cusp of sleep through a series of breathing exercises, visualisations and meditations. Tying all this together are lovely animations from the minds of Przemysław Adamski and Katarzyna Kijek which nicely illustrate the facts and stats the series introduces. I can’t really overstate how slick it looks – the combination of blue/purple colour palettes and soft, rounded character designs makes it appealing and cute to look at, while exactly representing their points.

The series is characterised by its streamlined and approachable structure and topics. If you’re new to meditation, it’ll guide you in with enough instruction so you don’t feel completely lost at sea. It’s important to note, however, that it takes a bit of practice to get to grips with meditation and visualisation; the series is really just an introduction to using meditation as a sleep aid and it would take consistent repetition of these techniques to really feel their effects. Nevertheless, since it’s on Netflix and as of 2020, more than 15 million households are currently subscribed to the service, I’d recommend giving it a try.

After using the series for a few nights, I could definitely see how the wind downs were structured to send you off to sleep – of the four times I tried the series prior to sleeping, I drifted off easily after each one. That’s quite a small sample size admittedly, but I genuinely felt myself relax, physically and mentally, as I progressed through each episode. With exam season firmly underway, Headspace Guide to Sleep is a really fun and approachable way to reduce your stress.

Headspace Guide to Sleep is available on Netflix UK. If you enjoy it and want access to more meditation and sleep guides, take a look at the combined Spotify Premium and Headspace Student Plan, which adds Headspace to your Spotify student subscription at no extra cost.

Millie Green

Featured Image Source: Headspace Guide To Sleep | Official Trailer | Netflix // YouTube

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