When you start a new job, some terrible things happen to your mind. You may find that you can no longer rest as easily as you did before. Anxious thoughts creep in, keeping you up nights.
After several sleepness nights, you start to look for solutions. Some will recommend benadryl or Nyquil. These work, but leave you feeling groggy the next day.
To truly cure insomnia, you must distract the mind. Silence is the enemy. Nothing sounds more hopeless than a quiet, empty room. Podcasts or talk radio may help to distract the mind and allow sleep to come, even leaving the tv on with the volume low can lull you into a sleep state. If the content is too interesting though, you’ll find yourself more awake than before. The key is distraction, but not too interesting.
I recently tried using sleep tapes made by Dr. Michael Bruce to cure my insomia. I found it difficult not to laugh when the doctor sings “ONE TWO THREE” in a calming voice, but actually fell asleep using his system.
Back in the early 90′s I experienced similar sleep and even anger problems due to an anxious and youthfully angry mind. Maybe it was too much Nirvana, STP and Soundgarden. I was going to say Pearl jam, but I seem to remember falling asleep to the soothing sounds of the final track entitled “Release” on their abum TEN. Anyway, on a quest to quiet down the fires in my brain I began to try listening to ambient music like Brian Eno, Nerve Net and the Shutov Assembly.
Because it had cool album art, I bought an album an electronic artist unknown to me called Plastikman, Sheet One. I guess they’d call it minimal now. Back then I called it all electronica, and it turned out to be one of the better relaxing sleep helpers of the time.
Through the BMG music club of all places I discovered the wonders of the Aphex Twin and I Care Because You Do and Selected Ambient Works II went into my steady sleep rotations.
I got 777 – System 7.3 – Fire and Water, Future Sound of London – Lifeforms all to help me sleep. I needed to relax, to calm down.
I bought a terrible cd called Mountain Streams or some generic name. It would have been good, but they put classical music in the background. For some reason classical doesn’t ever relax me. Maybe I watched A Clockwork Orange one too many times, but it always puts me in the mood for a bit of the old ultra-violence.
The best sleep aid I’ve ever found was found in 1993 at a newly built Costco. It was a 5 or 6 disc set called Echoes of Nature. It was a bargain at 20 dollars.
My favorites were Ocean Waves and Thunderstorms, both still available at amazon used and super cheap. They are the best white noise sleep recordings I’ve ever found. They never failed to lull me into a deep 3-4 hour sleep before I had to wake up for work the next day. (Times were tough back then)
Around that same time, I used to take a shot of meyers dark rum every night before bed, until this old man named Ray told me that’s how you become an alcoholic. I knocked that shit off real quick. I’d rather be a sleepless insomniac than a drunk.
I mean what’s wrong with seeing living shadows everywhere you go. And thinking demons are following you, then confronting the satan worshiper who works at your job and telling him he better tell them to knock the shit off or else. And the kid say WELL WELL WELL I’m not sending any demons after you. Or when you’re walking with your girlfriend and sister at college at night and it’s dark and you keep quickly looking at the shadows and trying to figure out if they’re ghosts or demons and never once thinking that you could be delusional and insane from lack of sleep.
Nothing. Nothing at all.
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