Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Sleep clinic.

The people, I am not sleeping. Not right now, and not lately.

Possible explanations:
  • excess of adrenaline from recent projects and regimens?
  • character flaw?
  • too damn jittery?
  • not writing? 
I don't know, but something's gotta give.

I've never been a particularly prodigious or accomplished sleeper. I think there are some people for whom sleeping is a great gift. I'm pretty sure I need to do an overhaul of my sleep process.

[NOTE: the above sentence is one of those indicators that I just need to chill. the. eff. out. Good Lord.]

I remember, returning to my meandering, when I was a high schooler and I had a stereo, which was a thing, kids, with a "tuner" and a "turntable" and, if you were lucky, a "cassette deck" which allowed you to make mix tapes. I used to check records out of the library and if I really liked them, I would tape them, and then I would listen to them over and over until the tape broke. I remember the 120 minute tapes being particularly susceptible to breakage. Anyone else remember that?

Sometimes I would play a record or a tape to help me sleep. I repeatedly checked out this album by a prog-rock/jazz group called Mandrill. Maybe they were geniuses, I don't know. I liked them, and particularly the last track on this one album, which was lovely and--sorry--flute-y, and it, maybe, relaxed me. Or seemed like it should relax me.  I also remember one night, lying in the dark, listening to the Doors, "Rider on the Storm." That song is pretty much just endless. And lulling. And, it must be said, a little tedious. Did it put me to sleep? I really can't say, but it's emblematic to me of music that might be sleep-inducing.

I'm super-hopeful that tonight will be the night I turn this nonsense around. The night I fall asleep without noticing myself not sleeping, and wake up mostly refreshed, and then that will be that. Just in case, I've put together a sleepy playlist. I'm not going to listen to it--hell no. I don't sleep with music anymore--that's just asking for it. (Sometimes on a plane, I can drowse to music. But on a plane, all bets are off, and that's the truth.) Anyway, I put some drowsy songs and some songs with "sleep" in the title, and also "Riders on the Storm" and the Mandrill track. Even if I don't listen to this playlist, I hope that putting it together will be an offering to the gods that regulate sleep. Maybe they'll let me fall in without incident. We'll see.


  1. I also have that problem sometimes. I could be up all day working, come home dead tired, and still have trouble going to sleep.

    I started sleeping with a small heater at the foot of the bed. For some reason, when there's heat at my feet, it helps me fall asleep. I also put on old TV shows or audiobooks that I've seen a million times. The more familiar I am with the material, the less my brain has to focus on to keep up. That solved my problem for the most part, but everyone's different I guess.

  2. I say listen to that playlist! Maybe it will help?!

  3. What about Santo and Johnny, "Sleepwalk"? A song for drowsy nights if ever. Though possible too summery for our weather.



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