Insomnia Meets its Match: ‘Anxiety Addict’s Bedtime Stories’ Offers a Lifeline for the Restless Nights

Screenshot 2023 07 05 at 2.41.30 PM

Photo credits: Sofia Alexander Photography 

Can Any Of Us Sleep?

Someone out there (other than a pharmaceutical company) gets it: an overwhelming number of people cannot turn off their brains to get the much-needed rest they so badly crave. Insomnia affects a reported one in three adults worldwide. Anxiety hits home for nearly 30% of us globally.  TechRepublic published a study revealing that 66% of adults admit to sleeping with their phones. But it can feel impossible to let go of devices for some mindless entertainment after a long day. This is when (around midnight) those who have given up counting sheeps may stumble across the new podcast, Anxiety Addict’s Bedtime Stories.

Created by writer and comedian, Jo Newman, this new podcast offers short, funny, mostly true stories gathered from friends and family across the globe. “We know stories are the best way to get to sleep. That’s why there are millions of children’s books published all over the world for over a century. Why don’t we have something similar for adults?” She highlights.

Read by Jo Newman herself along with guest performers, each episode tells a new story of someone doing something, well, a little stupid.

“I want my audience to know that they aren’t alone, that there are so many of us lying in bed, stressing about every dumb thing we’ve ever said or done. We agonize over our to-do list while our brains dive into every possible worst-case scenario,”  Says Newman, interviewed at 3 am her time. “These stories are written to make you laugh, take your mind off of the anxiety spiral, and let you know that lots of people are feeling the same way.”

She publishes the stories on the website as well, so listeners have the choice to read for themselves.

Does It Work?

After an eleven-hour workday, listeners can put on their pajamas, turn out the lights, turn on Anxiety Addict’s Bedtime Stories and listen to the episode about Dex, a twelve-year-old Canadian boy in the 80s who’s desperate to smuggle a highly coveted adult entertainment VHS tape across the border from New York into Canada. After almost everything goes wrong for poor, pubescent Dex,  he winds up losing the cassette to his English Bull Terrier, Mitzy. After the story, listeners felt a little less anxious, a little more relaxed, and a little less inclined to fall into the black hole of social media.

From Anxiety to Shared Experiences

Newman’s gift lies in taking the threads of everyday life and spinning them into stories that listeners can easily relate to. It’s evident in the comfortable laughter over a dog’s unexpected antics or the sympathetic cringe at a young boy’s daring misstep. With each ten-minute  story, Newman reminds listeners that despite their individual anxieties and experiences, everyone’s woven together by shared human mistakes. Her podcast provides a space where listeners can trade in the stress of doom-scrolling for the soothing rhythm of life’s stories- peppered by some truly funny moments.

Unraveling the Human Experience, One Story at a Time

Ultimately, Newman’s “Anxiety Addict’s Bedtime Stories” is a fun antidote to stress-inducing apps and a simple and useful way to unwind at the end of the day. These are stories of awkward moments, funny accidents and those red-faced embarrassments that only happen to… everybody. Whether it’s the worst date you can possibly imagine or the time the cat got stuck in the wall, Newman finds the heart in every story.

The next time you find yourself doom-scrolling, stressed, anxious, or bored, tune into Anxiety Addict’s Bedtime Stories. Allow her tales to take you out of the dark parts of your mind. If you’re feeling brave, well, then now’s your chance to send her a short version of your own story. “Don’t worry,” as she says in the introduction, “all names are changed to protect the guilty.”

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