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Currys PC World’s Sound Asleep

Currys PC World is launching an album called Sound Asleep. If the title doesn’t exactly scream PARTY!, that’s intentional – the makers hope their efforts will help listeners drift off.

The project was inspired by a survey conducted in the UK by Atomik Research, showing that a third of respondents are struggling to sleep at night (and who can blame them, after the year we’ve had?). Further, 40% of people use white noise from devices or appliances including smartphones, hairdryers and vacuum cleaners to help them fall asleep.

So, Currys PC World commissioned this album: a series of soundscapes created by music producers Obelisk and sleep expert Hope Bastine, made only using sounds produced by various household appliances.

(Before you think this story can’t get any weirder, you should know the tech sounds were recorded in the Currys PC World shop in Staples Corner.)

There are three seven-minute tracks, “Kitchen”, “Living Room” and “Home Office”, and each one is made up of the tech noises you’d typically find in the corresponding room, to produce the sweeping, soporific sounds.

For instance, the featured performers on “Kitchen” are a Bosch dishwasher, Bosch and Hotpoint washing machines, Siemens and Russell Hobbs microwaves and a Sodastream. Their somewhat aquatic sounds are mixed to amniotic effect.

“Home Office” features vacuum cleaners, a printer, laptop and a fan. The faintly mournful beeping is like an electronic version of whale sounds (as I listen, I can picture a pod of Henry and Hetty vacuum cleaners rolling free).

“Living Room” is an airier track, featuring speakers, a vac, a fan and a 4K TV.

But the big question is: will they actually help you fall asleep?

Having heard the tracks, I can testify that they’re very soothing. I was most affected by “Living Room”, which I actually had to switch off to continue writing, lest I pass out at my makeshift desk.

The tracks have been specifically engineered to help you to drop off. The seven-minute running time is no accident: that’s how long it takes to fall into the alpha sleep state.

Obelisk founder Karl Sadler said: “The home tech has been recorded at very low frequencies, which creates a repetitious, humming, abstract sound that we hope helps people to settle down, switch off, and have a good night’s sleep.”

Corin Mills, Currys PC World Director said of the project: “We’re aware that some of our customers use our products as background noise to help them sleep. We hope that the nation enjoys listening to the tracks we have created, and hopefully gets a good night’s sleep in the process.”

Not only are the tracks relaxing, but getting music from vacuum cleaners and washing machines is a nice reminder of the magic in the mundane.

Sound Asleep will be available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music from today (Friday, 30 October).

For more help in getting a good night’s sleep, check out our round-up of the best sleep trackers we’ve tested. You could also have a look at our review of Kokoon sleep tracking headphones. And to help make mornings easier after a less than perfect night’s sleep, we’ve found the best light alarms that’ll wake you up gently.

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