28 Nov 2016

Torpid tales: the podcast boring listeners to sleep

From Nights, 7:12 pm on 28 November 2016

Drew Ackerman, aka ‘Dearest Scooter’, is the creator and host of the sublimely soporific Sleep with Me, a podcast that aims to bore insomniacs to sleep.

It is downloaded about 1.3 million times each month and Ackerman has now made 465 episodes for his grateful, slumber-starved listeners.

Drew Ackerman, creator and host of "Sleep with Me"

Drew Ackerman, creator and host of "Sleep with Me" Photo: Supplied

Despite spending a considerable amount of time scripting his stories, Ackerman says he’s fully aware that few listeners will get to the end of a yarn – if he’s doing his job properly.

Ackerman, who by day is a librarian in San Francisco, says he was inspired by memories of a troubled childhood, when difficulties at school kept him awake at night. He sought comfort in radio and would listen to late night comedy shows.

“I never forgot those two things: the pain of not being able to sleep and the escape that the radio show brought me.”

Later, as an avid listener of podcasts, he struck on the idea of making “meandering bedtime stories for grownups”.

“I aimed to exploit my own natural ability to expound on almost anything, I guess.”

He says the secret to the perfectly torpid tale is balance  

“Finding a pace where people would fall asleep to it and feel comfortable, but not so slow they’d start thinking about their to-do list for the next day.”

Telling his daughter folk fairy tales inspired him to write dream-like tales.

“Some of it is written and some of it is my natural inclination to bore people I guess!”

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Nights

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)