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Dream Weaver

New app offers PBS painter's voice as sleep aid


If you're having trouble perfecting the art of falling asleep at night (a common problem once you've reached a certain age), forget counting sheep and try a brush with greatness.

A new app on Calm.com offers to introduce you to la la land with the soothing voice of Bob Ross, the late artist who hosted PBS' "The Joy of Painting" from 1983-1994.

The audio-only "sleep stories" may not make you a better painter, but Ross' calm instructions from some of his show's classic episodes, coupled with the scrape and hiss of his brushstrokes, are designed to put your mind at ease.

"You don't need the visual," a physiology professor tells The New York Times. "Just his voice and sounds could trigger a relaxing state."

The Calm.com project has been approved by the estate of Ross, who was 52 when he died of lymphoma in 1995. "We asked ourselves, 'What would Bob do?" said the president of Bob Ross Inc., Joan Kowalski. "Using his voice to help put people to sleep? Well, he would love that."