A Toronto Transformation

insomnia

What Keeps You Up at Night?

full moon over the CN Tower, Toronto

I’m usually a pretty solid sleeper.

Of course, usually I sleep in my quiet apartment with the reassuring hum of my white noise machine gently roaring in my ear to keep all the misophonia-inducing sounds of the night away.

But still.

With the exception of the occasional interruption from my super active bladder or a terrifying nightmare (side note: do you guys ever wake up with tears on your face from sleep-crying? No? Yeah, me neither…), I can usually count on a good night’s sleep.

Not so, last Thursday night.

I hopped into bed around 10:30, suitably worn out from work, followed by Barreworks, followed by lugging groceries home, I read a little, then turned out the lights, closed my eyes and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I guess the sand man had other plans.

In the whooshing dark, my mind was free to wander, and wander it did, to some very dark places.

Maybe the reason you can’t sleep is because you’re going to die tonight.

Wait, what?

Maybe a piece of the clot in my leg broke off today and is headed for my lungs as I’m thinking this!

I mean, that’s entirely possible. Cue me thinking through an elaborate scenario wherein I call 9-1-1 and drag myself out of my apartment to wait for an ambulance only to die alone on the sidewalk. Relaxing stuff, to be sure.

I wonder what all my exes are doing right now?

Oh good grief.

My parents are going to die one day.

Shutupshutupshutup!

I’m probably going to miss out on having kids from waiting too long to find the right partner.

Oh, thanks for chiming in, biological clock!

Israel-Palestine conflict, Ebola, ISIS, fracking…

Eventually I gave up and went back to reading. But John Irving was no match for my brain’s bizarre determination to focus on problems I have little to no control over.

In the wee hours of the morning I couldn’t stand it anymore and took an advil nighttime, which finally did the trick.

Ideally though, I’d like to find a way to beat insomnia sans drugs.

So what do you guys do when the late-night wakies strike? Do you have tips for turning your brain off and beating insomnia? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Little Luxuries – Sleepmate White Noise Machine

Sleepmate white noise machine

One of the most double-edged blessings in my life has got to be my hearing.

I can often hear things others can’t. It comes in handy for avoiding sneak tickle-attacks and eavesdropping.

BUT, it also means that the littlest, most far away noises are enough to keep me awake at night.

A dripping faucet down the hall on the other side of multiple doors will do it, the rustling of a plastic bag in the hall, or god forbid, the ticking of a clock

Once, when I was in high school, my parents bought a lovely new clock for the bathroom. They found it buried in the bathtub under 40 towels the next morning. (I couldn’t get the batteries out).

So you can imagine the difficulty I had living in a tiny dorm room the summer I interned at a magazine.

If it wasn’t the cornucopia of loud, night owl neighbours I was surrounded by, it was the mice that used the vents as a rodent superhighway keeping me angrily tossing and turning.

I was a sleepless wreck UNTIL my brilliant mom did some research and found me a Sleepmate white noise machine. At first I found the tiny machine’s whooshing roar (and the fact that I could no longer hear every little nighttime sound) unnerving, but after a few nights and playing with the machine’s settings, I was sleeping through the night like a happily sedated baby.

Now I’m so used to it that my response to hitting its on switch is practically Pavlovian and it takes no time for me to drift off amidst its comforting lull of white noise.

My only complaint is that it’s not small enough to cart around with me on sleepovers.

Do you guys indulge in any little luxuries for a better night’s sleep? What are your sleep tips and tricks?

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