Roisin Gorman’s Open Letter… on sleep technology

‘My snoring is so bad that my husband has romantically suggested a bit of harmless nasal reconstruction’

Actor Jamie Dornan’s Belfast accent is lulling in his new sleep aid podcast on Amazon Audible

Go to sleep with Jamie Dornan? I thought he’d never ask. Although any Fifty Shades fans have been there, done that and worn out the fantasy, I am still stuck on his earlier serial killer role so any encouragement to sleep from Jamie takes on a more menacing note. In six 20-minute slices of Sleep Sound with Jamie Dornan on Amazon Audible, he’s dipping his slippers in the sleep market, where celebrities go to sound out their most velvet tones. As we focus on areas of life I didn’t know I should be worried about, sleep technology has overtaken the slightly more pedestrian milky drink and a warm bath as precursors to a good night’s kip. Gadgets like Fitbit and Apple Watch can monitor your every bedtime move and raise you from slumber at the optimum moment, hopefully about lunchtime. They can report back on your sleep patterns and the quality of your kip, and it’s no surprise the earliest adopters are the under-25s, as if they don’t have enough to be anxious about without coming last in a sleep score competition. The market is crowded with tech like hypno lights, sunrise lights, speaker pillows, temperature-controlled duvets and a mattress accessory which gauges your nightly movements. I’m feeling more stressed already. The sleep app industry has become a crowded multi-billion-dollar marketplace where users can drift off to white noise, the whispers of a remote Swedish woodland, waves on a beach, or the background buzz of a busy café. Is it starting to get too noisy now? Companies like Calm — which has over two million subscribers — has recruited celebs including Harry Styles, whose Dream with Me has caused a few night sweats of the non-menopausal variety. While Matthew McConaughey just has to drawl his way through Wonder. Although Mary Berry’s A Very Proper Tea Party makes me want to sit up straight and take my elbows off the table rather than nod off. Jamie Dornan’s take is more of a sleep talk to lull you to snooze town, offering some gentle encouragement and sharing the sounds of nature, all overlaid with his sultry delivery. Maybe those with bladders of a certain age category should lay off the rain noises at night. But he deserves huge credit for services to the Belfast accent, which usually sounds like someone threatening to come round and do your knees. My sleeping issue isn’t really my issue at all, because I’m usually fast asleep when I rattle the double-glazing to shattering point. A quarter of us are regular snorers and half of people indulge occasionally. Lovely Jamie admits he’s in the regular category. Our tech includes a chin strap, a jaw holder, and a shock bracelet. I’m not feeling the love here. Mine is so bad my husband has suggested surgery. There’s nothing like a bit of harmless nasal reconstruction to put the spark back in the bedroom. So far, I’ve resisted. I shared a hotel room last year with a friend who’s a bit on the deaf side and reasoned the snoring wouldn’t bother her. I wakened the next day to learn she’d spent the night listening to my strangled pig snorts and counting the seconds until I started breathing again. It’s probably the tiniest bit of sleep apnoea and I like to think of us as the deep-diving whales of the human world. The look on her face suggested she wouldn’t mind if I took a swim with the fishes. I bet Jamie wouldn’t have cared.

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