Susannah Taylor: I’ve found a sleep game-changer

We have all heard that we shouldn’t be sleeping with our phones by our beds. Scientists have proven that the blue light they emit is messing up our circadian rhythms and therefore our sleep cycles. Yet still our phones lie next to us like a small bleeping security blanket. But what if someone could invent a non-digital bedside contraption that was so innovative it would make us forget our phones altogether? Well, they have, and it’s called Morphée.

This music and meditation box is my new bedside companion. Image: Marta Puglia.

Every now and again something lands on my desk that really stops me in my tracks – and Morphée is one of them. An ingenious, digital-free music and meditation box created with the help of French health experts, Morphée’s primary goal is to help us sleep. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, it is beautifully designed, round in shape, about 7cm tall by 10cm wide, and when you remove the wooden lid you’ll find three curious-looking protruding golden keys.

In a nutshell, it works like this: when you turn the keys you can listen to various nature sounds, guided meditations and breathing techniques to help you relax or drift off to sleep.

The first golden key points to a choice of different ‘themes’ such as body scanning, breathing, movement, visualisation, ‘cardiac coherence’, naps and nature sounds. The second points to ‘sessions’ – with eight sessions per theme, you can choose to listen to eight different types of nature sounds (from a crackling fire to birdsong, for example). Alternatively, you can listen to a voice (you can choose male or female) which takes you through different visualisation meditations, from ‘the lake’ to ‘the rice fields’ or various guided breathing techniques. The third golden key adjusts the duration of your sound session – either eight minutes for a quick relaxation or 20 minutes.

There are 210 session combinations, and you can charge it up (battery life lasts a week if used once per day) and plug your headphones in if your partner doesn’t want to listen to the sound of thunder and rain when they’re hitting the pillow.

I have been listening to Morphée since I got it a few weeks ago, and I’ve become very attached to it. While I don’t suffer from insomnia, I turn it on in the daytime and listen to the sounds of waves crashing on the shore or crickets in the hills while I work (I find the radio distracting). Other exercises I love are the cardiac coherence sessions which help slow my breathing and therefore my heart rate when I’m stressing over deadlines.

Then there’s the ‘chestnut tree’, where a woman’s voice guides me through some fields to a beautiful tree where I lie down under the branches ‘in the soft carpet of the meadow’ looking in my mind’s eye at ‘clouds billowing across the sky’. Bliss.

With over 100,000 sold in France, and retailing at £79.95 (from, Morphée is definitely on to something big. With its tactile design, immersive stories, music and nature sounds, it may well be the distraction we need to put our phones to bed, rather than being in bed with us.

My pick of the stocking fillers

For your thoughts

With pages for feel-good goals, meal planning, gratitude lists and areas of reflection, this journal is perfect for anyone wanting to up the wellness ante in 2021. £24.99,

For the eco-sipper

Every Ocean Bottle sold funds the collection of 1,000 plastic bottles from the most plastic-polluted areas in the world. Combining style with sustainability, these are also built to last. £40,

For a twist on deodorant

Buy the aluminium case (in five colours) then pick a nature-derived, aluminium- free refill (in six scents). From £12 if you subscribe to regular refills or £25 for a one-off order of case and three refills.