How often have you found yourself tossing and turning in bed with worries running rampant in your mind? In our society, two rather disastrous notions have been pushed for decades: that you can sleep when you’re dead and that using your imagination for worrying is completely acceptable. When we worry, we let our imaginations get the worst of us. I created Michelle’s Sanctuary over five years ago after struggling with falling to sleep and staying to sleep. Hypnosis and guided meditations were a salve for my insomnia but there was something missing. I found that if someone kept telling me to breathe and relax that I only became more frustrated. Instead of breathing deeper, I became more aware of all that I was doing wrong.

You know that feeling before a vacation? When you imagine what life will be like in a peaceful setting, exploring a new landscape, losing yourself in the present moment? Every night we are given a chance for a mental vacation and escape from our waking lives. I began to create immersive sleep stories that incorporated elements of meditation and ancient practices while giving a new location to explore. Sleep stories have the fluidity of a dream, allowing you to gracefully float across the bridge that connects your waking life to your sleeping life. You deserve this time every night to feel safe, content, and to use your imagination to make yourself feel good. A sleep story is like a dream because anything is possible.

Picasso once said, “Everything you imagine is real.” And if you’ve been kept awake imagining things that have yet to happen, you understand how real they may feel. At Michelle’s Sanctuary, my mission has been to normalize and celebrate the imagination as the tool that will pleasantly shape your experience in your body. By listening before bed, you set yourself up for deep sleep and healing dreams. If you haven’t tried a sleep story before, I’ve included a variety below. Schedule your sleep vacation each night. It’s time to dream away.

  1. Experience an island with a magical healing pink salt cave overlooking a turquoise sea and starry sky.

2. Cuddle up and seek refuge from a tropical storm as the soothing sounds of rain bring you to sleep.

3. For cozy winter vibes, escape to a chalet on a lake as a blizzard rages outside.

4. A mystical castle in Scotland awaits in this sleep story for adults.

5. Do you have trouble staying asleep? It’s frustrating to awaken too soon, but this meditation and visualization can help you fall back asleep quickly.

6. Like a dream within a dream, Summerland captures the best moments in summer from a camp on a pond to a boardwalk carnival to a sleepy lake beneath a crescent moon.

7. If you feel nostalgic for an earlier era in a city of artists and dreamers. Every week the Laundry Club meets in the launderette of a brownstone, enjoying friendship and baked goods while the sounds and smells of the laundry is met with the patter of falling rain outside.

8. This time in history has been challenging. But perhaps you could enjoy an escape to the future where the world is at peace and a futuristic home caters to your every desire and need.

9. The storybook village of Colmar awaits in this story, with a cozy bed and breakfast and romantic canal.

10. If you have a sweet tooth and want to reconnect with your inner child, perhaps a trip to Candyworld is needed.