Last night, I went to bed with Harry Styles. Thanks to the Calm app, you can too. This week, he collaborated with the meditation brand to read a sleep story titled, "Dream With Me." The 30-minute narration is intended to lull listeners into a satisfying night's sleep thanks to his sensual British voice.
When I first realized that a Harry Styles bedtime story was entering the world I thought, "Where?" "How?" and "What are the ethics of taking a sleep aide at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday?" But by the time I actually settled in for the story, I had my doubts about whether Harry could direct me into a Watermelon Sugar slumber. (This is, after all, the same man who made us horny for produce and tiny mustaches in 2020.)
Still, I wanted to give the Consent King the benefit of the doubt. So I slipped into my softest pair of pajamas, applied some essential oils, and sipped a glass of white vino for good measure. (All in the name of journalism, they say.) Everything was arranged for an ideal night's sleep. The only problem: listening to Harry Styles whisper sweet nothings into my ear made me want to do anything but nod off.
From the get-go, Styles' attempt at a lullaby is mildly erotic. After introducing himself ("Hello, I'm Harry Styles"), he promises, "Tonight we're going to think about anything you'd like. So first let's visualize some scenes to see us through the night." I know how to take direction, immediately conjuring dreams of Harry's cardigans and that Target candle that reportedly smells like him.
But instead of counting sheep, I may as well have tracked the amount of times my mouth gasped open in mock scandal. I don't want to spoil too much of Harry's pillow talk, as it's best experienced in the privacy of one's own mind. But the singer takes listeners on a tour of several sexy scenarios. There's getting caught in a rainstorm in a "dreamy moonlit town," snuggling on a raft where we "drift for endless hours," and sitting in a cabin "as a fire crackles in the corner, just for me and you."
Turns out Styles' sometimes rhyming, always rhythmic delivery is counterproductive to the REM cycle. "Inhale the morning air as we explore just me and you," is an actual sentence supposed to inspire you to doze. It made me want to fall asleep in the way the Hot Priest™ from Fleabag made me want to go to a church confessional booth. That is to say, for all the wrong reasons.
(A photo of him recording said sleep story doesn't help matters.)
Instead of drowsiness, the experience left me slightly confused. At one point in the recording, Styles coos, "The tenderness we feel when we are close, two minds as one, surrounds us and connects us, but we've only just begun." But begun what exactly? How are we defining This Thing between us? By the end of the story, I was left wide awake and wondering: wait, am I dating Harry Styles?