New Discovery.

Does anyone else sleep with a sleep mask on?

Our room is huge and very bright during both day and night. There are two large windows on two different walls, one of which faces a streetlight, and the other faces a building with security lights. So, at any given time in the night, I can totally count the number of pashminas that I have stacked up on the dresser. Bright.

After a year or so of living here, I realized that I am constantly "foggy". Most days, I wake up with my head full of cotton and it takes me ages to bounce back (and a double-shot of espresso) to jolt me to life. I have blamed this on everything I can think of. At first, I thought it was our bed. Then, I blamed allergies. Next, I blamed Kurt. Finally, it occurred to me that while I get plenty of sleep, it's probably not of the highest quality.

Besides the brightness of our bedroom, there is also quite a bit of noise from the street. Regular traffic, yes, but also the lovely noise from morons who pull over to use the bank machine and leave their stereos going full blast, windows down, doors open. Every night. And while it doesn't always wake me up completely, I'm guessing that the noise, mixed with the light, probably has me up multiple times each night and I don't even know it. Meaning that the really deep sleep that we all need (but which requires no interruptions and complete darkness) was probably not even happening, most nights.

Any new Mom would probably say "big effin' deal". But considering that I have lived here for two years, I've potentially gone a very long time without regular, proper sleep. So new Mom's can stuff it. I may not be waking up because of a screaming child, but is Tupac any less annoying at 3:00 a.m.? And again at 5:00? On a Sunday?

The last time I flew home, I purchased a $3.00 sleep mask at the airport, thinking that it might help me actually sleep on the redeye. And it did. So, I tried it at home during a formerlly impossible afternoon nap and guess what? It worked wonders. So, combined with earplugs (which I have slept with regularly for years, on and off), I brought it into the regular bedtime routine and I can't even tell you what a difference this has made in only one week. ONE WEEK. I wake up after fewer hours of sleep, feeling better. The cotton is gone. The IBD diet doesn't allow for caffeine, so I've been going without my double-shots for 11 days problem. I don't wake up until the alarm goes off (an hour before I normally get up, but Kurt leaves early), and today I felt so good that I got up with him (again, ONE HOUR before I would normally get up) and we made breakfast together.

I'm going to invest in a "real" one because I'm not positive that my $3.00 wonder will last much longer, but I am so thrilled that such a simple thing can make such a difference.

Our new place, by the way, is much, MUCH quieter. When we visited on Sunday, I stood in the backyard and just listened and all I could hear were birds, frogs and wind. Lovely.


Heatherness said...

I sometimes use one, like if James is wanting to read and I want to sleep. But will he wear one when I want to read? NOOOOOOO. He just sits there and sighs a lot, until I turn the light off.
I even bought him one that says "Service Me" on it, but alas, it goes un-used and he unserviced ;)
I also sleep with earplugs almost every night due to a certain someone who also snores now that he's in his 30s.

Anonymous said...

I've been using one since I was a teenager. For most of my life, I couldn't sleep unless the bedroom was as dark as pitch. I used to make cardboard cut outs that fit snugly in all of my bedroom windows to eliminate the light that leaks through venetian blinds and drapes. I was a little bit obsessive about it. Then I discovered the sleep mask. What bliss.

As time has gone on, I've found that I don't need my sleep mask as much as I used to. I'm becoming less sensitve to the issue of sleeping in semi-dark environments - maybe it's old age. Now I save it for those times when I wake up in the middle of the night and cannot fall asleep. It's kind of like a security blanket for me now.


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