Thursday, November 4, 2010

I need (specific) sleep advice

Just to be clear from the outset, I am not not NOT looking for general advice on sleeping better. (Was that clear?) I've read lots and lots on sleep, and I'm gathering data to see a professional. But I have a couple specific questions where I'd love some help:

1. A sleep tracking device for iPhone. I stumbled across Z Tracker yesterday, and tried it last night, but it's not some annoying problems, and it seems to record only limited data (like how many times I woke up, instead of when each wake-up occurred). I think this sort of data will be invaluable to a sleep doctor I talk to, and there must be better programs out there. Anyone used a good one?

2. Ambient noise programs. I've never used one of these, but thinking maybe I should. On live on a mostly-quiet dead-end street on the Upper West Side, but it gets all clanky around 7 a.m., the worst possible time. (When I'm not done for the night, but least drowsy and least likely to fall back to sleep.) There are garbage trucks, clanking of street people sifting through the glass/metal recycling bags to get the aluminum, and I think delivery trucks blaring their horns at that awful Trump building a few hundred yards down.

So I'm thinking maybe one of those rain programs would help block that out. Or does the research show that those things only give the illusion of calm, and actually make people restless all night by adding a constant barrage of noise.

Thanks for any insight on either of those questions.


  1. My husband can literally be awakened by bare feet on carpet, so he uses a white noise machine to drown out ambient noise. It's just a "whoosh" sound with no personality (or brain input) all night long, and it really helps him. Good luck, sweetie.

  2. I made my own noise machine, composed specific playlists on my iPod that I play just loud enough to drown all other sounds, both external and internal (...).
    What works best for me is music that I've known for a long time, that is comfortable, soothing and "safe".
    I've struggled with insomnia all my life, and found this is what helps me best.
    Good luck, if you want more tips, I'll be happy to provide them.

  3. A loud fan works wonders for me. I don't aim it on me at this time of year, but I like the white noise.