Saturday, July 2, 2011

What Makes You Sleep?

If you've known me for any length of time, you know that I struggle with insomnia.  I've gone through the gamut of sleep aids (Lunesta, Ambien, Melatonin, etc.), but they either didn't work or they worked so well that I was zombie-ish for hours the next day.  After several years of "trialing," my doctor finally put me on Trazodone and it works wonders - at the right dose.  50 mg is not enough, but 100 mg is just right.  It has some side effects, but they are worth enduring to get a decent night's sleep.  I have stopped taking them a few times, and have not experienced any of the withdrawal symptoms other people have reported.  All-in-all, it's been my wonder pill to getting some sleep.  Not to say that I don't have a night or two of insomnia still, but compared to what my sleep was like before, it's 1,000x better!

I have established a ritual for bedtimes that helps as well.  I take the Trazodone, then head into the bathroom to wash up (my cleaning and moisturizing ritual for my face takes a good 20-30 minutes).  After changing into my jammies (I refuse to sleep in anything other than knee-length cotton sleepshirts), I settle into bed.  During the summer, I turn the fan on low.  Since I have a Sleep Number bed, I soften it until it my back is relaxed - it's not the type that displays the numbers, but it's fairly squishy.  It doesn't sound like it, but it truly helps keep my back in the right position to avoid waking stiff and sore (I have back problems at L4-L5 due to a car accidents and a few other traumas to that area).  I read a book on my iPhone (to avoid having to have a light on) until my eyes just won't stay open.  It works wonders.

I also listen to background music while reading.  My new iPhone 4 allows me to have more than one app open at a time, so I can run my eReader and ambient noise app concurrently.  I love Ambiance, but there is an app that absolutely blows it out of the water called NatureSpace.  NatureSpace is a true 3D sound environment.  The included tracks are so amazing.....Infinite Shoreline (ocean) literally sounds like the waves are moving from one ear to the other.  Night at Lake Unknown has amazing night sounds. The app is free, I highly suggest just giving it a try.  I was reluctant to buy the in-app sounds, but once I did I was so impressed. The only downside is that there isn't a sample of the sound, but I've never been disappointed in a purchase.  Right now, my go-to track for falling asleep is Helios Falling - it's like sitting in nature while night falls.  I also love Liquid Phase - it's very close to the sound of the waves at our favorite hotel on the beach - the Brookings Beachfront Inn.  The app has a sleep timer, which I set for 1 hour.  I've never, ever made it to the end of the hour without falling asleep.  

Ambiance has a huge library of free sounds, which you can mix to make custom tracks - although not 3D.  If that's your preference, I would suggest Ambiance.  If you want a terrific, perfectly 3D environment, NatureSpace is the perfect app.  While the catalog is not nearly as large, the sounds are perfectly produced, and the loops nearly undetectable.  They are great for blocking out noise, or allowing your mind to fall into a relaxed state.  I even like the thunder tracks!  Be sure to read the FAQ about earbuds vs earphones so you get the best experience.  BTW, I use $20 earbuds and the sound is still utterly fantastic.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.