Every night, a stranger's voice in a meditation app soothed her to sleep. Then Amanda Hess sought out to hear her in person.

Last year, during a stretch of anxious nights, I stumbled upon an app that offered to help me fall into a deep and restful sleep. It would do this by, essentially, programming my phone to lull me into unconsciousness. Now, every night, I crawl into bed and scroll aimlessly through my phone in the dark until I have exhausted all of its mindless distractions — email, Instagram, a virtual wooden-block puzzle. Then I open one last app.

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