- Jakey Boehm is an Australian TikToker known for his interactive sleep streams.
- Boehm is one of many “sleep influencers” who have built live audiences while napping.
- See how much he earns from his audience through TikTok Live’s gifting feature.
At 11pm any night, when most people are resting for a good night’s sleep, Jakey Boehm starts his workday by activating the “Live” function on his TikTok app.
Boehm, a 28-year-old Australian TikToker, is a “sleepfluencer”, a social media creator who films content while he sleeps – or tries to sleep – in front of thousands of fans in real time. The fans, in turn, do what they can to keep him.
Boehm has earned tens of thousands of dollars from his fans since he started live streaming in March. In May, he earned $34,000 from TikTok Live, according to screenshots of his TikTok dashboard seen by Insider.
“It’s seriously life-changing money,” he told Insider. “The first week, I made about $5,000, and that’s when I thought, ‘This is great, I can do something really crazy here.'”
The trend of sleep streams on TikTok and other social media platforms is not new. The creators filmed themselves dozing in
Some sleep influencers simply place their phones next to their beds and close their eyes, waiting for their followers to send them gifts and chat with each other while they rest. Others, like Boehm, gamify the idea of live streaming in their sleep, creating opportunities for their fans to try to wake them up.
Boehm has coded a script that reads chat from his live streams to activate different sounds or activate distracting items in his room when he receives a “gift”. One present turns on neon lights, for example, while another turns on loud music.
Within a month, he was making so much money that he stopped freelancing as a web developer and committed to streaming full-time. He now has around 400,000 followers and works 49 hours a week, going live every night from 11pm to 6am.
How Boehm Uses TikTok Gifts to Gamify His Sleep
Using TikTok’s gifting feature, Boehm created an elaborate system to allow users to interrupt his sleep — and help him make money.
He assigns a different distraction to each gift he receives and shares it with a key hanging above his bed. If a spectator presents you with a cap icon, for example, a noise will be emitted imitating FBI agents knocking on your door; a gift from a duck will trigger a quacking noise. The bigger the gift, the louder – and longer – the interruption.
Gifts are one of TikTok’s live stream monetization tools.
Gifts come in many forms, such as a rose, a bottle of perfume, or a donut. Each gift corresponds to a set amount of coins. A rose, for example, currently costs one coin, while a bottle of perfume costs 20 coins.
Users can buy coins for cash and use these coins to buy the various gifts for live streams. These gifts convert into diamonds that the streamer accumulates and can exchange for cash. Exactly how much money these diamonds are worth – and what percentage of the gifts TikTok takes home – is a black box.
Boehm has managed to be in the top 50 streamers on TikTok Australia for the past five weeks, and as of the week of June 6, he was in the top 30 with a total of 634,000 viewers over seven days.
“I love to watch for hours on end to see if the big expensive gifts come out,” Toni Rice, a regular viewer of Boehm’s live streams, wrote to Insider in a DM. “You don’t see them often on TikTok. It’s always amazing to see, and the room goes crazy too.”
Boehm isn’t the only one attracting viewers. TikTok sleep influencers @omg_letmesleep and @best.olty, who follow a similar interactive format, also have an impressive following. (Insider was unable to contact them for comment.)
But not all sleep influencers are created equal, and some, like Eliza Diaz, a 23-year-old streamer with around 422,000 TikTok followers, simply film themselves sleeping in an effort to help others relax.
“Just like when you yawn and provoke someone else to yawn, it’s the same thing,” Diaz said. “When you see someone sleeping, you get tired and fall asleep.”
Creating the habit of disrupting followers’ sleep can be a mixed bag, wrote Sophie Bostock, a behavioral health scientist, in an email to Insider.
“Disrupted sleep can lead to conditioned arousal, where your sleep becomes lighter as the brain learns to anticipate interruptions,” she wrote. “I suppose the flip side is that if this behavior makes you financially secure and you worry less about paying the bills, it could have positive impacts on sleep when you’re away from the camera.”
That money — and seeing his audience grow — has motivated Boehm to stick to his unusual sleep schedule, at least for now.
“I kind of enjoy doing that. Seeing the page grow consistently gives me a lot of joy,” he said. “It’s almost like an addiction, you’re just trying to get to the top all the time.”