This App Uses Your Favorite ’90s Movies To Help You Sleep — Here’s How It Works

by Mika Doyle

Remember when you were a teenager, and you’d plug in some cheesy rom-com just 'cause you were bored and knew you’d probably just fall asleep to it? Well, daily self-care app Shine is channeling that ‘90s movie nostalgia with new Sleep Stories that lull you to sleep with retellings of those same movies you’ve seen like a bajillion times. The new category of in-app audio tracks launches on Oct. 30 and includes favorites like She’s All That, Clueless, and Love and Basketball.

“When we thought of what we love falling asleep to, it was those movies we've seen 100 times,” Shine cofounders Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi tell Bustle in an email. “Those ‘90s and early 2000s hits play on our nostalgia… They're just fun enough you'll want to listen and just boring enough you'll fall asleep.”

Bustle got to hear an audio preview of the She’s All That Sleep Story. It started off with a body scan meditation, which has you focus your attention on the physical sensations you feel over every inch of your body. Body scan meditations can help you build greater self-awareness of what you’re feeling both physically and emotionally, says Stanford Medicine, and how your physical and emotional experiences are connected. This body scan meditation instructs you to release the tension in your body starting from your toes all the way up your body until you are fully relaxed.

Once you’ve released all that tension from your day, the Sleep Story then offers some positive affirmations, like “you’re a hero” and “you’re all that,” reminding you that no matter what happened that day, you’re valued and awesome. Then it launches into your bedtime story, which is the retelling of the 1999 movie She’s All That, starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook. The narrator has a naturally soothing voice, one that is well-suited for bedtime storytelling. And in the background the whole time, there’s soft, meditative music playing. Is it time for bed yet?

Meditating before bed has actually shown to improve quality of sleep, according to Lifehack. When you meditate before bed, your mind wanders less, says Lifehack, and you get better REM sleep. But Lifehack says meditation doesn’t look the same for everyone. Some people prefer guided meditations, others prefer meditative music, while others prefer traditional unguided meditations, according to Lifehack. In fact, mindfulness meditation in general, whether it’s before bed or just sometime throughout your day, has shown to improve sleep quality, according to the JAMA Internal Medicine. There's no actual research on whether listening to '90s movies with some meditative music in the background can help you sleep, but it's basically the same principle as other audio tracks formulated for sleep — it might relax you enough to help you nod off.

“Our 2 million members have told us loud and clear: they're sleepy. They are busy, ambitious, and come bedtime? They're struggling to find rest in the midst of their anxious thoughts,” Lidey and Hirabayashi say. “We're pumped to launch Shine Sleep Stories to help people find that precious REM more easily.”

The Shine app is currently available for iPhone only, but an Android app is in the works. Subscriptions start at $3.99 a month for the annual subscription, which is billed as one payment of $47.99, or $7.99 for the monthly subscription. So take off those glasses, let that hair down, and let dreams of proms no high school could ever afford IRL carry you into the night.