Bedtime Stories with Phil Matarese

Brought to you by DreamCloud


Welcome to Bedtime Stories, a new series where we reveal the strange and enlightening nightly rituals of the people bringing you better sleep: Our staffers. Today, we’re talking to content marketing manager, Phil Matarese.

Current nighttime obsession:

Right now I’m kind of into the moon—studying its phases and how they affect everything else on the planet, including my moods. So, yeah—I’m significantly weirder than I may appear.

Hibernating spirit animal:

Definitely a bear—I wake up disoriented, hungry, and a little grumpy.

Weirdest dream I’ve ever had:

There are too many to choose from! I’ve always dreamed a lot and remembered my dreams in fairly high detail. I was even into lucid dreaming for awhile, where you practice controlling the narrative of your dreams and recognizing that it’s not real. In one particularly odd lucid dream, I asked an old man who resembled Santa Claus, “You realize we’re dreaming, right?”

He said, “If we’re both dreaming, whose dream are we in?” I woke up horrified and stopped practicing lucid dreaming. I should also mention that I was absolutely obsessed with Santa Claus as a boy.


Bedtime ritual I swear by and why:

A few years back, I started listening to meditation audio on YouTube as I fell asleep. They really relaxed me. Those guided meditations turned into lectures on Eastern philosophy, which (oddly) turned into 1960s sales training full of positive affirmations. Now I listen to self-actualization affirmations every night. It helps me fall asleep and change any automatic thought habits that aren’t working for me.

Midnight snack I can’t resist:

Blue corn tortilla chips and hummus. Nothing about eating a few hundred unnecessary calories before bed is good for you, but it hasn’t stopped me so far. Maybe I should get some audio tapes for that.

Weirdest place I’ve ever slept:

In a van, covered in mud, with three other people, in the middle of South Dakota.

I went on a cross-country road trip in college. We were about 25 days into the trip, and the weather had been perfect. That night, in the Badlands, at least two strong thunderstorms collided right on top of us—tents destroyed; water everywhere; mud everywhere. We took shelter in the van, tried to sleep, and drove home the next day. The fun was over.

Wise words of sleep advice:

Sleep deprivation is not a badge of honor. You need 7-9 hours every night. For real. And if you think you can function on three or four hours, you’re clearly delirious from sleep deprivation, which proves my point.