You wouldn't know it to peer into my red speckled eyeballs, but I'm getting to sleep better these last two weeks. Nothing else has improved about my sleep habits. I'm still waking up several times a night, and I could still lounge in bed until mid morning if I didn't force myself to get up. Most of all, I still can't bring myself to go to bed as early as I know I should. If I could do that, I would get up earlier and work more efficiently through the day, the way normal people do.
But I said I'm getting to sleep better. Once I do finally pester myself into going to bed, and once I've read a couple of chapters, I turn out the light and turn on my Nature's Soothing Sounds (as seen on TV). You get full volume control, and seven different choices of sounds that ease you gently into the comforting arms of Morpheus.
That's the theory, anyway. Mom gave me this little digital device a while back, and I've been using it to good effect ever since. You can set it to shut off automatically after thirty minutes, and only once in the time I've used it have I still been awake to hear it stop. It doesn't solve all my sleep problems, but it helps.
Not all sounds are created equal, however. Heartbeat might be just the thing for babies, but it's a little too Tell-Tale Heart for me. The sound of Birds doesn't do much for me either, except make me want to take cover. And White Noise — what's that all about? That's worse than the background sounds I'm trying to mask.
I have an on again/off again relationship with Brook. I like the sound of water trickling over pebbles all right, but it has side effects that are not conducive to total relaxation. It also makes me think how far from the bathroom my bedroom will be in the new house.
Even though I'm no fan of winter weather, Rain is one of my favorites. That's all it is, just the sound of a light rain falling, with no dramatics. It's much better than the racket I had all winter when the rain would pound the bottom of the metal drainpipe just outside my window. Tink-tink-tink, all night long.
The sound of Woods is really the sound of chirping crickets, and it's another one I use fairly often. I haven't done a lot of camping in my life, but I do love sleeping under the stars on the top deck of the houseboat during the summer. I'm afraid the crickets sometimes evoke the stifling humidity of a summer night in Iowa, though, and I never did sleep well under those conditions.
My favorite by far is Sea Waves. Some of my best times have been on the beach, watching the power and majesty of the waves pounding on the shore, splashing in varying patterns against the rocks, and then receding into the vastness of the ocean. I could watch and listen to that show for hours, and I use this setting most of the time. Odd, isn't it, that the most violent sound of all is also the most soothing.