A podcast has been created that's so boring it could help people who suffer from insomnia to finally get some sleep.
If counting sheep, meditation, medication and everything in-between has failed to work for you, one solution could lie with listening to the droll rambling stories read out by Drew Ackerman in his Sleep with Me podcasts.
Ackerman, who has suffered from insomnia since childhood, creates weekly one-to-two-hour stories that try to bore people to sleep with dull tales on anything from the science behind mood rings to riding on a bus or walking around a shopping centre.
Each reading is devoid of any emotion and plots purposely refrain from traditional storytelling narrative as they go nowhere and tail off into 'labryinthe-like' tangents.
The 42-year-old describes his podcasts as "the podcasts the sheep listen to when they get tired of counting themselves" and has perfected the art of speaking in drawn-out sentences with a gravely, strained, monotone voice.
An article in the New Yorker describes the podcasts as "masterfully maladroit storytelling" and reveals Ackerman, who takes 15 hours to produce each episode, will painstakingly edit the pace and tone of his oration. He also "avoids any content that might elicit strong emotions in listeners" including words such as "spiders".
In the three episodes produced each week he recounts analysis of TV shows such as Game of Thrones (aptly called Game of Thrones Drones), but while this may sound like he's straying into interesting territory, Ackerman's re-telling dives into pointless musings on a character's costume rather than what happened in the show.
Ackerman claims that many of his listeners "fall asleep during the 20-minute introduction" but while many of the users who download the podcasts 1.3 million times each month from iTunes may swear by the series, neurologists and sleep scientists claim listening could actually be more harmful.
Experts believe it could prolong the drift into sleep as it serves as another distraction, and instead a routine of avoiding caffeine, alcohol and screen time before going to bed is best. Ackerman, however believes the podcast could work as "it isn't prescriptive like a doctor's orders—which present insomniacs with yet another opportunity for failure".
If all else fails insomniacs can turn to technology where there are many sleep aids on the market designed to help people drift off. IBTimes UK tested out the gadgets to see how effective they were.