I started wearing foam earplugs at night when we were trying to get Dylan to sleep through the night. They didn’t block the noise, not by a long shot, but they gave me a slight sense of removal from the situation that helped me grit my teeth and bear a few extra minutes of crying (before I inevitably got up and dealt with him because OMFG ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN THIS SHITUATION) (please enjoy my upcoming sleep training/potty training/bedwetting/disciplinary books: Consistency Is the Key To Success!).

I can’t sleep without them, now. There’s something about the ritual I go through every night — folding over a page in my book and stacking it on the nightstand, turning off the light, and scrunching up the earplugs before settling them in my ears — that’s like putting a cover on a birdcage. I like the muffled, fuzzy way I hear things, as though I’m buried deep in a soft pillow, or already half-asleep and dreaming. Our house isn’t loud, exactly, but it’s set up just like our old home: all three bedrooms are clustered together at the end of a wood hallway. Every snort and snuffle is magnified, and the instant I hear a kid shifting around in bed, I’m sent right back to those no-sleep nights of Dylan’s, instantly bathed in a full-body anxiety, waiting for someone to erupt into wakefulness with a blurry, rising cry: eh-heh, eh-heh, eh-heh, EHHHHHHHHHHH.

Not that anyone wakes up like that these days, but I guess I haven’t quite shaken the memories. This is the same reason I jump like a startled forest animal when someone coughs, because YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BARF ARE YOU????

Anyway, I’ve also found that earplugs an essential item for tent camping, because they make all the difference between lying there wide-eyed and straining to hear the hook-handed psycho killer/slobbering grizzly that’s surely lurking just outside the flap, and actually, you know, sleeping. Too bad they don’t eliminate that 3 AM appointment with stumbling out in the pitch-dark and nervously peeing on your own foot, but I guess you can’t have everything.

I forgot them a while back when we were visiting JB’s parents’ house, and it was awful. AWFUL. I honestly felt like my nerves were lit up like a Christmas tree. I could hear people breathing. Molecules were banging around and the fibers of the sheets were making noise and ugh. The worst. Clearly they’ve become a habit, and I guess that’s not great … but I’ve had worse addictions, is all I can say.

This is the part where it probably seems like I’m going to wrap things up by saying this thrilling post was sponsored by Sealy Posturepedic Mattresses or something, but really, I’m just curious: do you have any sleep requirements? Something you absolutely must have — a pillow, a sound machine, a fistful of Unisom — in order to fall asleep?

Screen shot 2012-10-23 at 1.25.47 PM

Pink! Because like the Bic for Her, they’re for LADIES.


175 Responses to “Shuteye”

  1. Heather on October 23rd, 2012 1:37 pm

    White noise machine set to “ocean” on full blast in our bedroom. This is also left over from when our children were infants. I cannot imagine sleeping without it, the silence keeps me awake, I totally need noise to sleep.

  2. Kate on October 23rd, 2012 1:38 pm

    I’m with you. I had to sleep without earplugs the other night (because the last pair in the box had been used waaay too many times – they no longer sprang back after I squooshed them)and it was the loudest, longest night of my life. I had to go downstairs to the sofa and I could still hear my husband snoring, the clock ticking and chiming every gd half hour, the traffic, the dog shifting and sighing. I am addicted as well, and I will never run out of them again. NEVAH!

  3. jennb33 on October 23rd, 2012 1:38 pm

    I can not sleep without our sound machine. Conversely, if I am still reading when my husband turns it on, I become like Pavlov’s best dog and my eyes start slamming shut automatically.
    It is awesome.
    And I love my tempurpedic mattress, too.

  4. Chloe on October 23rd, 2012 1:41 pm

    So just to be clear, you can just LEAVE your earplugs sitting adorably on your nightstand like that, and the cat doesn’t hijack them without 30 minutes and eats or knocks them irretrievably under something? Because I can’t ever leave earplugs out. Just sitting there. Not even in a bowl. Huh?

    Erm… I really hate to sleep in pants. Undies only, please. Also my feet must be covered by the blankets, and either a ceiling pan or stand fan on. But I generally manage to fall asleep in the rare cases where I can’t have it my way (but camping trips = worst sleep EVAR).

  5. Eric's Mommy on October 23rd, 2012 1:42 pm

    I sleep with a stuffed Humpty Dumpty over my ear (don’t judge). I cannot sleep without something over my ear, if I don’t I hear EVERYTHING. I wore ear plugs for awhile, my Husband has sleep apnea and snores LOUD but they gave me bad ear infections :(

  6. Erica on October 23rd, 2012 1:43 pm

    I have a white noise app on my phone that MUST be running a combination of rain and crackling fire. Oh and the ceiling fan. I can’t stand for the air to be still.

  7. Sheryl on October 23rd, 2012 1:43 pm

    Oh, yeah. Law and Order (either SVU or Criminal Intent) playing on Netflix on the laptop on my nightstand. I must have the dulcet tones of rape and murder investigation on in the background or sleep isn’t happening. Also: window open, ceiling fan on the “gale force” setting.

  8. Michelle on October 23rd, 2012 1:45 pm

    So glad I’m not alone in my earplug addiction! I swear that since having kids every sound is magnified, of course only while I’m trying to sleep. Including my husband’s snoring. I also became addicted to my body pillow during pregnancy (7 years ago) and an extra pillow over my head to block out even more noise, and any light that creeps through the blackout curtains. Whenever I’m sleeping away from home it’s so embarrassing to have an extra suitcase just for my pillows. But not embarrassing enough to wean myself off of them.

  9. Lisa on October 23rd, 2012 1:45 pm

    I’ve slept in ear plugs since about two days into our marriage (so almost 22 years). My husband breathes like Darth Vader, and triggers my misophonia like whoa. Which ALSO triggers my anxiety about HAVING misophonia, which means no sleep for me.

    Even if I’m by myself, I have to have my earplugs in. Even when I had babies: earplugs. I can’t sleep without them.

  10. Penne on October 23rd, 2012 1:47 pm

    Window open, fan on low, Get Some Zzzz’s tea. Which I recently noticed “can be habit forming.” No duh.

  11. pam on October 23rd, 2012 1:49 pm

    white noise machine (stole it from the kids) set to beach noises, which i don’t even hear anymore, but i know if i turned it off i’d never sleep again.

    but the big one is my breathe-right nose strips. i buy them in bulk off eBay, and must wear one every night, lest i wake up thinking my nose is trying to smother me (thanks a lot, small nostrils.)

  12. Janet in Miami on October 23rd, 2012 1:54 pm

    Fan. Loud old fan. Can’t sleep well without it.

  13. Emily on October 23rd, 2012 2:00 pm

    The nights when my husband goes away I sleep with my cellphone & house phone on the nightstand, and a flashlight and dandelion weeder under the pillow next yo me. And if he’s home, I can’t go to sleep if he turns out his light before me.

  14. Ang on October 23rd, 2012 2:00 pm

    Every summer I become addicted to the fan and then in the fall I have to TRY to wean off of it. This year it was easier than usual. Plus Bennadryl for nights when I know I won’t sleep without it, about once a week, sometimes more. And my daughter is addicted to her white noise machine too!

  15. JudithNYC on October 23rd, 2012 2:01 pm

    Noise machine for me and if I am feeling specially tense a fan too. And I have to be sure all the windows and doors are locked. I don’t obsess over the windows and doors, it’s not like I have to check them but if I know one is open cannot sleep.

  16. Cindy on October 23rd, 2012 2:03 pm

    Must smear lips with chapstick and have hands lotioned. You’d think I’d have baby-soft skin, but the dry air of SE Washington leaves me feeling/looking like an alligator.

  17. Jan Ross on October 23rd, 2012 2:05 pm

    I don’t judge anyone ( but stuffed humpty dumpty – hee) because my husband and I both must have a fan to sleep. It’s really a pain because we are travel writer/photographer so have to pack our fan. No small carryon only for us because that sucker holds the fan. If anyone else needs a small, loud travel fan, we found the Vornado from Target is perfect after much experimentation and telling sales people that we wanted a loud fan, not a quiet fan. Thank God we are married because nobody else would have us. If the power goes out and the fan turns off, we both snap awake instantly.

  18. Lucy on October 23rd, 2012 2:05 pm

    I work nights, so I’m asleep while the rest of the world is busy going about life. Sound machine on “Babbling Brook,” ceiling fan on medium, phone set to “Do Not Disturb,” and 3mg of melatonin.

    I used ear plugs for a few years, but the sound machine is far superior. I sleep like a hibernating bear when I’m camping, but probably has something to do with that babbling brook I always try to camp by…

  19. Lindsey on October 23rd, 2012 2:06 pm

    I like a fan blowing right on me. I can hardly sleep without it. When I travel I bring the same foam earplugs you talk about, and those kind of help, but I always miss my fan. I can’t believe how rigid I have become in my old age about sleep!! Sort of glad to know I’m not alone :).

  20. KateB on October 23rd, 2012 2:06 pm


    These are the best and I’ve tried them all. The box is HUGE.

    I take nightly sleeping pills, use a white noise machine, must use the ear plugs AND a face mask (the slightest hint of the sun wakes me up), and my husband uses a C-PAP machine so his snoring doesn’t wake me up. I am a peach to sleep with, let me tell you.

  21. Laura on October 23rd, 2012 2:07 pm

    I have to have some kind of sound- radio, tv, podcast, whatever. I’ve been like that since I was a kid and I know it is because my parents used to listen to a radio show at night and it was soothing. I also have pretty bad anxiety and night times are hard so the sound is distracting. I cannot fall asleep if it is quiet.

  22. Ashley the Accidental Olympian on October 23rd, 2012 2:11 pm

    I not only am unable to sleep without ear plugs (once took toilet paper and wadded it into my ears when I was without those blissful babies) I am also becoming obsessed with using a sleep mask. The whole midnight sun in Alaska thing in the summer was irritating the first summer, so this summer I got an eye mask. Now it feels so lovely in my no hearing, no seeing world I am still using the mask in the WINTER. When it’s dark always.

    I am so cute to sleep next to.

  23. Francesca on October 23rd, 2012 2:12 pm

    Any dark material over my eyes. Often a t-shirt of some kind but I have been known to try and fit a pair of size 2-4 Spider-Man undies over my eyes in pure desperation. I’ve had this idiosyncrasy for some time, before children. It’s strange for sure but it works and it leaves my husband rest assured that no one else would want to share a bed with this freak!

  24. charlene on October 23rd, 2012 2:13 pm

    I have my cpap machine, my feather pillow to snuggle/pluck/twist maim to calm me and my face mask. I have scared my 8yr old with this look. I’m a freak sleeper and there is no apologizing for it.

  25. Linda on October 23rd, 2012 2:15 pm

    This thread is killing me. Who feels better knowing they’re not alone in their freaky sleep requirements? MEEEEEE.

  26. Valria on October 23rd, 2012 2:20 pm

    OMG, this thread is killing me. I keep coming back to check the comments. Gold Linda!

    I got nothing to add however, no earplugs, no noise machine, no clothes. I’m the person you hate, closes eyes and falls asleep in 5 min. Anywhere with any light/noise combo. (Yes I realize I just jinxed myself)

  27. liz on October 23rd, 2012 2:21 pm

    Interestingly,.I can do either earplugs or white noise, preferably a fan. I have 6″ fan that travels with me for this purpose. I was forced to try earplugs at burning man (lack of electricity and lots of noise) and was surprised at my success. I still haven’t completely solved the foreign travel conundrum – in Germany I fried the fan inside of 2 minutes (220v outlet fail), followed by forgetting my ipod at my cousin’s apt; in Morocco I didn’t even try for a fan, but the earplugs did me fine for every night after the first, when the sunrise call to prayer jolted me wide awake at 5 a.m. The other reason for the fan is that I don’t like the sealed-in-tupperware feeling without moving air, whether it be an open window or a fan or whatever. That will keep me as awake as noise or utter silence.

  28. pdxhadey on October 23rd, 2012 2:22 pm

    This is going to sound ridiculous, but I HAVE to wash my face and brush my teeth before I go to bed. (Does this count?) If I happen to fall asleep without having done that first, I will actually wake up with a start, and not be able to get back to sleep until I get up and do those two things. What can I say, I’m HYGIENIC…

  29. NancyJ on October 23rd, 2012 2:22 pm

    I only use earplugs in the summer if the air conditioner HAS TO be on at night. Sometimes my hub and I have a standoff on that issue. If it was on at night when i went to bed, the rule before the earplugs was – if I wake up in the middle of the night, it goes off. But between intense heat and hot flashes this summer even I needed it on. So I used earplugs. Totally did the trick!

  30. Elisabeth on October 23rd, 2012 2:23 pm

    We live in Southern California, where people can survive comfortably for most of the year without air conditioning, but in the summer months, we leave our fans running 24/7.

    Our first winter here we learned how deafening the silence can be when trying to sleep that first night without the humming of the fans. It took forever to get used to! Thankfully, I was able to solve this the same way I solve almost any other problem in my life: by looking for an iPhone app. The white noise app saved me!

  31. Amy on October 23rd, 2012 2:27 pm

    I’m addicted to the same pink ear plugs. They’re what has kept my mouth-breathing-like-a-pipe-organ husband alive the past seven years.

    I prefer a cool room, dark, and quiet (thus, ear plugs).

  32. Julie on October 23rd, 2012 2:30 pm

    A fan, always a fan, or a white noise app if I’m traveling. I can’t sleep without something making consistent noise, but it can’t be waves or anything that’s not constant. This is even if I’ve taken an ambien, so I’m really screwed when it comes to sleep.

  33. Julie on October 23rd, 2012 2:33 pm

    Oh! And I can’t do ear plugs because I then hear my heart beating more and it drives me CRAZY.

  34. Melissa on October 23rd, 2012 2:34 pm

    Uh, my husband snores like a freight train and sleeps on the couch. No animosity, but we are very well rested.

    I sleep across the foot of the bed on a room darkened by blackout shades with the alarm clock face down (watching time tick away makes me tense). I must fall asleep with the sleep timer set to 30 minutes starting at Jay Leno’s monologue. No socks ever and one foot sticking out from under the covers. Also, bathroom fan running. I also have a pair of “sleeping glasses” that are mangled and bent that I wear as I drift off (I’m pretty blind) that I take off and set on the pillow next to me. That way if a kid cries I don’t have to search for them. I can be ready to go. I wish I could add a picture so you could see how mangled they are.

    I’m glad we are a a little crazy.

  35. Brianna on October 23rd, 2012 2:42 pm

    Fan on high, pointed right at me. Four pillows. One for my feet, one between my knees, one to hold onto and one for my head and I must be able to hear the Pink Floyd Rock A Bye Baby CD over the baby monitor. We recently went to Italy and my husband and I couldn’t fall asleep until we put on the kids music (no, the kids weren’t with us). We’ve listened to that CD every single night for 4 years.

  36. Morgan on October 23rd, 2012 2:48 pm

    My #1 necessity is a sleep mask. I started using it in college, and even in a dark room with blackout curtains, I still have to have it on. My boyfriend and I also sleep with our window AC unit on all year. Even when the heat is on, we still have our AC set to 61 degrees to keep the fan running all night for the white noise. I swear, I am so lucky he’s a silent sleeper, or I would banish him to the guest room. Also, I HAVE to fall asleep laying a certain way: mostly on my stomach with one knee bent so one leg is at a right angle, and with one hand curled into a fist under my chin. Sounds completely insane, I know, but what can I say? I’m a little OCD.

  37. Katharine on October 23rd, 2012 2:48 pm

    1. as dark as possible; light-emitting CLOCKS don’t work, or even the rising/falling glowing light from a Mac laptop

    2. closet door CLOSED, not cracked, not ajar, not all the way open, CLOSED (since childhood)

    3. certain bouncy pillow

    4. husband sleeping peacefully beside

    5. tempurpedic mattress, everything else unfortunately feels like a board

    6. pants, not shorts

    If I’m missing some of these elements, a white-noise app on my phone or Alton Brown’s show “Good Eats” on my laptop will sometimes do it, but to sleep soundly through the night, I have to have all six. (Camping AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA did that ever suck.) It makes me feel like Marie Antoinette, but here we all are, right?

  38. willikat on October 23rd, 2012 2:49 pm

    I need my two pillows, and I arrange them crosswise so my arm can go around one and the other arm goes underneath. And now my sleep requirements are changing, as I get more and more pregnant. I do prefer the sound of a fan but I can go without it. I also like to sleep like a burrito in my covers, which makes me a terrible sheet-stealer. Oh! And feet tucked in, always. But fantastically, I am a really good sleeper. (I thank my lucky stars every day).

  39. Courtney on October 23rd, 2012 2:49 pm

    Eye mask. Bought it for flights to Europe last fall, and now it’s like my security blanket. I just can’t seem to shut out the external stuff in our very dark bedroom without it. Downside: sometimes I get sweaty and it results in pimples.

    Earplugs anywhere but at home. I’m usual fine at home (for now, ask me in a month when I have a newborn), by in other places I’m all *whatsthatsound!?” Ticking clocks are THE WORST.

  40. willikat on October 23rd, 2012 2:50 pm

    Oh! Yes, my bedroom door MUST be closed.

  41. Shannan on October 23rd, 2012 2:54 pm

    TV. Every night. But I must go through each channel to find something even though I usually end up with The Family Guy or an old movie. The channel flipping part usually takes longer than falling asleep. Even when I am soooo tired I can barely channel flip, I MUST channel flip.

  42. Catherine on October 23rd, 2012 2:57 pm

    white noise app on my iphone!

  43. Lucy on October 23rd, 2012 3:03 pm

    Have to start my night lying on my left, then turn onto my right just as I’m about to go to sleep. Cannot sleep at all if my husband is facing me.

  44. Kelly on October 23rd, 2012 3:05 pm

    Must have my ears covered. Can not sleep if I feel air breezing over my ears. This is unfortunate because my husband can’t sleep unless a fan is on. Solved by wearing hoodie to bed (v. sexy btw). Also must go to sleep on my side and have blanket tucked between my knees because I’m getting old and the joints hurt stacked on each other. Phew! Feel a little less weird now.

  45. Donna on October 23rd, 2012 3:21 pm

    Oh, this was fun — I’m feeling pretty ‘normal’ now about my little orange foam-y earplugs. I may have to force my “Earplugs? Why on earth do you wear EARPLUGS?” friends to read these entries! :) I started wearing them after many many many nights of ruined sleep and escalating levels of resentment because of my husband’s snoring. But a couple of years ago, he lost some weight and the snoring gene, too! :) I’m now able to sleep without the earplugs most of the time but still sometimes use one in the “outward facing ear” just as a . . . .security blanket, I guess. (Have to fall asleep on my stomach with my head on my right arm.) And an extra packet or two ALWAYS stay in my travel make-up bag so I don’t have to worry about forgetting to pack them — just in case there is snoring or weird noises in strange hotel rooms!

  46. Krissa on October 23rd, 2012 3:29 pm

    HOW do you sleep in ear plugs?!?! Because I love that fuzzed-out sound/feeling, but I cannot abide the pressure in my ear canals. The weird latex ones that…I guess it kind of lays OVER your ear hole? That was even worse. Maybe it’s because I sleep on my side?

    I need a sound machine, now that the apt complex has turned off the swamp coolers and I can’t sleep in the silence with my love snoring/shifting/breathing SO LOUDLY GAWD. I actually shushed him last night, much to our mutual morning amusement.

  47. honeybecke on October 23rd, 2012 3:30 pm

    One foot out at all times.
    A “u”neck pillow to support my side sleeping neck, two flat as hell feather pillows stacked juuust so under my head, and two fat pillows for between my knees. Fluffy down duvet gathered and hugged in my arms which also must be under the flat feather pillows. All of it. Every night.
    Oh I love this thread. We’re all a bunch of nuts. But! Sleep is not to be fucked with!

  48. Megan on October 23rd, 2012 3:33 pm

    I’m also one who needs an eye mask, a very specific one that won’t brush my eyelashes. When I travel I pack it in my carry on just in case I get stuck in a strange city without my carry-on luggage and I have to stay overnight. I have backups and I fear the day they stop making the one I like.

  49. melanie on October 23rd, 2012 3:38 pm

    I have to sleep in sleep pants and tank top which my husband finds ridiculous in the winter (as your legs stay covered more than your arms), but i dont like how restricting sleeves feel LOL… other than that and a fairly firm mattress I am pretty good to go. OH except I cannot sleep wearing socks and often in the winter one foot will be hanging out of the covers, my Dad always did this too so maybe its an inherited quirk.

    And on my gosh can I second the cough OMG are they gonna puke part… my daughter is pretty darn good at that particular trick, and I just gotta say on the rare out of town nights where I sleep in the same room as my children, I cannot help but wonder about all the co-sleepers out there, I mean how are they not walking zombies??

  50. Cynthea on October 23rd, 2012 3:39 pm

    cool/cold-ish room, a blanket at least (not for warmth necessarily, it’s more like I need the weight of it to snuggle with), foot sticking out of the covers to regulate body temp, on side curled up and preferably it’s raining for real. If not, may I present my iphone.

  51. Kelley O on October 23rd, 2012 3:44 pm

    1. teddy bear I’ve had since 1990 whose head is smooshed from sleeping between “the girls” for 22 years (I’m almost 49)
    2. bayou sound track on old MP3 player all night
    3. tempurpedic pillow, left arm underneath it straight out
    4. a down pillow behind it for my left hand so it doesn’t get cold sticking out in the open air
    5. preferably at least one cat between my feet, two if it’s really cold
    6. NO SNORING BED PARTNER!!!! (not even a snoring cat is allowed)

  52. Sande on October 23rd, 2012 3:46 pm

    Socks on feet because I can’t afford a pedicure and snagging the sheets is not an option. Closet door closed, bedroom door open. Fan on medium or high blowing on me. Sound machine in baby’s room coming through the monitor. Video monitor on all night making a nice nightlight. Preferrably a non-snoring husband beside me, but that NEVER happens. I have to fall asleep before him or else I am up all night. Vaseline on my lips. Body pillow against the rail of the waterbed…yes people I just referenced the 1970’s waterbed. Brushed teeth and washed face…and empty bladder. LOL

  53. Kim on October 23rd, 2012 3:47 pm

    Xanax. But now also, after years of having trained the husband I require NO LIGHT, NO SOUND, NO SENSE STIMULATION in order to sleep, we ended up with a great new TV in the bedroom and now we fall asleep to the ID murder channel every night. I don’t get it.

  54. beth on October 23rd, 2012 3:56 pm

    try wearing your earplugs in walmart! Totally improved experience!

  55. Meagan on October 23rd, 2012 4:10 pm

    I’m a horrible sleeper. I’d love some random sleep requirement that let me sleep consistently. Instead I end up with dependencies that become MORE variables contributing to insomnia.

  56. Sarah on October 23rd, 2012 4:17 pm

    A fan, even in the dead of winter. I cannot sleep without it and I’ve now created fan addicts out of my husband and two small children. We’re a nightmare when we visit somewhere…

  57. Gigi on October 23rd, 2012 4:24 pm

    Ha! I loved this! And may have to add ear plugs to my routine.

    I need three pillows – one between my knees, one to hug and one for my head. TV on, but on very, very low and no other noise. In the summer no pants, just undies and a top. In the winter; long pants tucked into socks because holy hell those sheets are cold in the winter.

    (Long time reader; VERY bad commenter)

  58. deanna on October 23rd, 2012 4:25 pm

    I worked 12-hour night shift (7pm to 7am) for years, thus necessitating frequent daytime sleeping. i lived in NYC at the time, so i had a lot of street noise to deal with. i tried plugging my ears, but because i am apparently a houdini when i sleep, they always came out. i tried white noise (fans, tv/radio to static, iphone apps) all to no avail because the street noise was still too loud. i ended up having the best luck sleeping with the tv on (i would usually end up falling asleep to the today show! ha!) and have been unable to sleep without the tv on since. there were a few trips where i slept in a room with no tv…thank god for my iphone! not the best thing, but also not the worst. im just happy to have been able to not have to need meds… and now that i work a normal 9-5 type job, i sleep solid….with the tv on!

  59. Nicole on October 23rd, 2012 4:25 pm

    Yeah, I suck at sleeping. 1-2 glasses of red wine… Body positioned on my left side… Vornado fan set to high and blowing directly up my nose… dense pillow between my knees, feather pillow under my head and light foam pillow on top of my head – eyes covered by the pillow and nose and mouth exposed to the wind tunnel that is my room. The temp should be below 70 (preferably 65) and the blankets should be down. All that pomp and circumstance and I still wake-up 5 times a night for no apparent reason. Add 1 husband with severe sleep apnea and a 4 year old with asthma and it’s a wonder I sleep at all. I’ve decided that sharing a bed is highly overrated.

  60. Rhea on October 23rd, 2012 4:33 pm

    No advice, I’ve got my own issues with no successful answers. Question though….night stand, where from?

  61. Maureen on October 23rd, 2012 4:34 pm

    I’ve slept with earplugs since 1984. I used to live on a farm that had air cannons to keep the birds away, so I started using them then. I am addicted and can’t sleep without them. Probably why I was able to marry my husband, who snores like a bear!

  62. Laura M. on October 23rd, 2012 4:36 pm

    Mack’s purple ear plugs. All the other brands I tried made my ears itch something awful all day. My man snores and sometimes gets told, even if I have ear plugs in, to “turn the other way!” But I shoot out of bed screaming nonsense when I have nightmares some nights and he said that one night he was worried I would jump out the window. (We are on the 3rd floor.) There are no ear plugs for your lady going bonkers in the middle of the night and then wanting to be comforted, so I guess my little purple ear plugs ain’t too bad. :D

  63. Amie on October 23rd, 2012 4:45 pm

    ME TOO!! OMG this post made me feel validated in a way – I thought I was the only closeted earplug addict out there! That soothing sound of the foam expanding in my ear canal takes my heartrate down and turns my brain off so to speak. LOVE.

    Now if only they actually blocked out the marching band at the nearby high school that has decided to practice outside at 6AM. SERIOUSLY.

  64. Kim on October 23rd, 2012 4:45 pm

    My cat is 18. About 12 years ago, he started insisting on covering my eyes while I sleep. It can be by his tail across my eyes, him laying across my eyes, his paws shoved up in my eye sockets, etc. At first, I thought it was annoying as hell. After about 2 years of this crazy, Then I started to notice when I travel for work that it’s hard to get to sleep without the furry eye mask.

  65. Randy on October 23rd, 2012 5:07 pm

    If I don’t have my glock by my bedside, I get all nervous-like.

  66. Kelly on October 23rd, 2012 5:46 pm

    I started wearing earplugs because one of my dogs LICKS. He LICKS and I can’t deal with the sound of his tongue LICKING and it’s the worst, most terrible sound on the entire planet. He might not lick anymore, actually. Or it might be the other dog that licks now. I don’t know. Like you, I can’t sleep without them, and I won’t.

    I’m going, with Pen, to stay at my parents’ place for a month and was thinking of not taking any (mine are orange!), because they don’t have any dogs, so why would I need them? I think I know now that it would be ridiculous of me to leave them behind.

  67. Melissa on October 23rd, 2012 5:47 pm

    So I didn’t bat an eyelash at your sleep requirements, because apparently a lot of people have very specific ones. What I keep going back to is that you FOLD YOUR PAGE. That is a high crime in this household, which is why it’s littered with bookmarks.

  68. Jamie on October 23rd, 2012 6:03 pm

    My husband and I lived by a hospital ER and then by a railroad. White noise machine AND fan plus blackout curtain, no glowing light or clocks (electrical tape covers pretty well). He also takes melatonin each night but I get weird dreams from it so none for me. Must have plain Chapstick. No touching or breathing on each other. This was difficult for the five years we slept in a full sized bed, but now with a king size it is magic.

  69. jobonga on October 23rd, 2012 6:27 pm

    Fantastic mental pictures going on here! My favorite is @Kim with the codependent cat rituals – I’d like to hear from the cat, too.

    I can sleep anywhere with all kinds of noise. Maybe this is because I fall asleep within minutes of being still and I love sleep, but I have to coach myself through the torturous process of getting ready for bed each night. It’s just five steps (remove contacts, floss, brush teeth, wash face, pee), but if I don’t do them all, I will end up dreaming about flossing all night. I break it down to percentage points and once I get to 60% I am flooded with relief that it is highly likely I will unlock pillow victory once again.

  70. kelli on October 23rd, 2012 6:27 pm

    Couldn’t help but ask – are you reading A Visit from the Goon Squad? Do you love it? I read it this summer and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it!

  71. Tessa on October 23rd, 2012 6:40 pm

    No socks, left side, 1 foot out, mypillow, noise machine, ceiling fan set to “helicopter”. Yeah, buddy.

  72. Christine on October 23rd, 2012 7:13 pm

    I have to brush my teeth and wash my face. Then thick layer of lotion on my feet and hands. And I’m talking like Eucerin, none of that pansy ass body lotion for me. Even when I was binge drinking in college I would wake up in the middle of the night to wash and lotion up.

  73. Diane on October 23rd, 2012 7:13 pm

    My white noise machine and two body pillows I became addicted to during pregnancy 2 years ago. and no socks no matter how cold it is. This is so awesome how ” normal” this thread makes us all feel.

  74. Kate on October 23rd, 2012 7:15 pm

    There are lots of things I like when I sleep or when I’m going to sleep but I HAVE TO HAVE chapstick on or I’ll lie awake thinking how tight my lips feel even though they’re not chapped.

  75. Grace on October 23rd, 2012 7:25 pm

    A fan most definately. Sleeping on my right side in the fetal position with my husband’s knee pressed up against my rear end. I ask if I “can have a knee” when going to sleep.

  76. Mary on October 23rd, 2012 7:44 pm

    This guided sleep meditation by Andrew Johnson has saved my very sleepless soul. I don’t know who Andrew Johnson is, but I have a lovely picture of him in my mind as basically perfect and angelic, and pretend he’s actually speaking directly to me with his soft little Scottish accent. “Go to sleep. Go to sleep. Go to sleeeeepppp.”


  77. kim on October 23rd, 2012 7:45 pm

    Wow! 75 comments and counting. I guess I am not alone!

    I, too, need earplugs to sleep. (A few months ago, I bought several packages of the rubber kind, with a post attached, from the internet). I also need a sleep mask. I have extras of both, and I keep them in my travel toiletries bag at ALL times, so I am never without. You should do the same!

    I also, most of the time, must listen to an iPod (audiobook, the same one over and over) while I am trying to fall asleep. (I switch out the iPod for the earplugs during the inevitable first pee break of the night). I also need a pillow between my legs. And a smaller pillow below the small of my back. And, of course, a nice high layer (which usually means 2) of pillow for under my head.

    My dirty sleep secrets are now exposed.

  78. Kami on October 23rd, 2012 7:49 pm

    Fan, pitch black, and husband in bed. This only happens twice a week, therefore I sleep shitty five nights a week. Sighs.

  79. Lisa on October 23rd, 2012 8:23 pm

    I’m a really light sleeper & my husband snores like a freight train. I seriously worried when we were dating that I might never get a decent night sleep again when we were first together. I started wearing earplugs & it helps, for sure. Like you, I can’t sleep without them now- even when he’s out of town or when I travel for work. Why is it that the person in the relationship who snores is also the one who sleeps like the dead? A tree could fall next to my husband when he’s sleeping & he wouldn’t stir, whereas me, I can hear a spider walking a block away and not only do I wake up, but then I can’t go back to sleep for hours. Not fair, I tell ya!

  80. Deb on October 23rd, 2012 8:30 pm

    My hubby used to snore so bad I would wake him up cursing at him. I wore earplugs for a while, but they gave me horrid ear infections. Then I made him get his sinuses roto-rootered and that helped.

    But I must listen to Old Time Radio as I fall asleep. Dragnet, Gunsmoke… can’t sleeep without it, have been listening for 15 years. It’s comforting. I listen to one 30 minute story, get up and pee one last time, and fall asleep. If I don’t pee, then i just lay awake knowing that I will soon have to pee.

  81. Lillian @ Elle The Heiress on October 23rd, 2012 8:35 pm

    I have to have my feet covered, even if it is freaking 100 degrees inside (which happens), I have to have them covered. I also like to sleep with either just one sock on or both socks only partially on (up to my arch). And I can’t just go to bed with them like that, I go to bed with both socks fully on then decide which way I’m going to do it and use just my feet (under the covers) to fix the socks the right way. I also have a pre-bed routine which includes setting the security system before going upstairs, then getting everyone ready for bed, then going back downstairs just to make sure I really did set the alarm, then I can go to sleep.

  82. Jennifer on October 23rd, 2012 9:12 pm

    I love this! I had no idea there were so many fan users out there! I’m feeling so normal. :)
    I must have a loud fan on. It just drowns everything out. I cannot sleep without it — even in the middle of winter. If i dont have it, I hear every god damned little noise, breath, grunt — and it makes me want to rip off faces.
    Also, no pants. Hate pants. Only panties and a tank, please.

  83. Kim on October 23rd, 2012 9:23 pm

    I love my children and my husband, but DO NOT come between me and my earplugs. THe big ol’s neon orange ones. I’ve been known to make 11pm trips to strange drugstores when I realize I’m without them.

  84. Victoria on October 23rd, 2012 9:43 pm

    QUIET! I NEED QUIET! And cold (coolish, at least) and comfortable (read: smooth) sheets, and nakedness (pyjamas get all wrapped up around me) and earplugs if it’s not completely silent (WHY MUST PEOPLE BREATHE SO LOUDLY?) and my nightguard, and.. sometimes, it’s not dark enough so I have to cover/hide the light and omg I’m crazy aren’t I?

  85. Jessica V. on October 23rd, 2012 9:44 pm

    Fan on, 3 pillows (2 under my head, one between my knees), shorts and a tank top with a shelf bra (must. have. boob/stomach separation). Oh and an Ambien.

    BTW – whoever it was that admitted having used a pair of Spiderman underwear to cover their eyes is my new favorite person. I snort-laffed loud enough to scare my cat.

  86. Monique on October 23rd, 2012 10:36 pm

    Winter I must be cocooned in my blanket like a burrito, with the blanket tucked under my feet. Summer I must have only the sheet, and only between my legs. I don’t know why. I position myself on my left side, almost on my stomach, arms under the wadded up feather pillow, fall almost asleep, startle awake, then roll over to exact same position on right side and fall asleep for the night. Why don’t I just start out on my right side, you ask? Because when I do, I startle awake, roll over to left, startle awake and back to right. Which is when I sleep all night. WTF, Brain? Also, here’s my guilty admission. As a young child I worried about the vampire under my bed getting me in my sleep. My child brain reasoned that he could only get me if one of my body parts was hanging over the edge of the bed – finger, knee, foot, whatever. So I couldn’t fall asleep unless every part of my body was completely on the mattress and not in danger of hanging over any edge. Now I am 48 years old, 5′-10″ and I STILL cannot sleep if any body part is near or (gasp!) actually hanging over the edge. Shudder.

  87. Lola on October 24th, 2012 3:19 am

    I must have the noise of a fan and 2 pillows. It used to be awful when I travelled, no fan! Until I found an app to simulate.the noise. :-)

  88. Denise on October 24th, 2012 5:41 am

    I have a bizarre one. I have to sleep with a pillow over my head – not covering my entire head, just the top down to my nose. That started when I was a teenager, and the sun would come in and wake me up at dawn every day in the summer. I’d put the pillow over my head to block it out so I could go back to sleep, and it became a habit. Now I absolutely can’t get to sleep without it!

  89. cakeburnette on October 24th, 2012 5:49 am

    I PREFER to fall asleep with the TV on, but hubby doesn’t love that, so it isn’t a daily necessity. (Although at home, we do compromise and I fall asleep with the TV on a sleep-timer.)

    But I wanted to comment on the fact that my oldest child was a TERRIBLE sleeper for the first 6 weeks of his life (would only sleep about 20-min at a stretch) and I STILL am not over it…even though he’s FIFTEEN now. And we STILL ask him if he’s going to throw up, EVERY TIME HE COUGHS, ESPECIALLY IN THE CAR (because he threw up all over the place and in the car A LOT).

  90. Hillary on October 24th, 2012 5:51 am

    I have to have a fan. Seriously, discovering the power of a fan to drown out all the background noises that constantly woke me up changed my life. I am totally dependent on it now though, even for naps.

  91. warcrygirl on October 24th, 2012 5:54 am

    I need a dark cool room and my pillow. Whenever I travel I take it with me. I also need my CPAP but I’m hoping that will be temporary.

  92. H on October 24th, 2012 6:21 am

    When I read the post but before I read the comments, I thought I didn’t have any bedtime routines. After reading these and thinking more about it, I do. Wash my face, floss, brush, mouthwash, Burt’s Bees on my lips, wash my feet, lotion feet, lotion hands, read – then turn out the light, lay on right side with sheets/blankets pulled tightly around my neck, then turn on my stomach, feet pointed inward with right tucked under the left foot, hands under my thighs – and sleep.

    My favorites here: Spiderman underpants, cat eye mask and dandelion weeder. LOVE!

  93. Melissa Anderson on October 24th, 2012 6:26 am

    My only question is do these ear plugs block out enough snoring for sleep? My husband snores…it’s awful..I find myself on the couch a little too often and sometimes I can still here him down there (2story). I’m also worried if I go to ear plugs..I won’t hear my children in the next room if they need me or start to hurl. I LOVE these stories, LOVE them!

  94. ericka on October 24th, 2012 6:26 am

    my sleep necessity used to be (pre-children) a sleep mask, but like many others here it is now a white noise machine. in fact, last saturday in the wee hours of the morning we had a power brown-out and the noise machine turned off and i sat straight up in bed. power came back on and back to sleep i went. so bizarre.

  95. MEP on October 24th, 2012 6:37 am

    I started wearing earplugs at night for the exact same reason!! I have always slept with a fan, but because my daughter and I slept in the same room, the white noise was not enough — I needed SOUND BLOCKING. I eventually broke myself of this habit, because the insides of my ears were raw, but it was difficult. The fan helps. I don’t use earplugs at home anymore, but I keep a box (not just a pair, a box) of them in my suitcase so I am never without them while traveling, or I would never sleep.

  96. Katie on October 24th, 2012 6:44 am

    Yes, earplugs here, too. CANNOT sleep without them, even if I’m exhausted. I feel like an old woman packing them everywhere I go but when I used to travel with college basketball teams on buses, I even used to break them out then. If that doesn’t scream “old woman” I don’t know what does.

  97. akofaolain on October 24th, 2012 6:47 am

    I have to have the white noise machine set to “waterfall.” But now I earplugs!

  98. akofaolain on October 24th, 2012 6:47 am

    i meant…now I WANT earplugs. :)

  99. Mandy on October 24th, 2012 6:52 am

    Stuffed animal hugged up to me (I am 39, I have no shame), closet door closed (so the demons can’t get me, again, no shame)& some type of white noise, either a fan, air conditioner or white noise sleep app.

  100. cagey (Kelli Oliver George) on October 24th, 2012 7:18 am

    My #1 requirement is that I have to read. Even for just 10 minutes, I HAVE TO READ.

    I do prefer to have some sort of noise and currently have a ceiling fan and regular fan serving duty.

  101. Tricia on October 24th, 2012 7:21 am

    Cool dark room, Squishy pillow to hug. hair off my neck, cool pillow on neck to fall asleep (ive been known to flip it several times). Ear plugs — husband snores. pillow over my head if husband still dares to watch tv when ive decided its time to go to bed.

    oh, and melatonin.

    Im pretty sure i could sleep without the melatonin, but who wants to take that risk!

  102. Claudia on October 24th, 2012 7:21 am

    Yes. I have to have some kind of white noise thing going – the fan (at home) or this wonderful device I bought for traveling because you can store a rotating fan in the overhead bins when flying. :) I use earplugs at night for awhile but they hurt and once my husband turns off his noisy stupid book light, I can sleep. They don’t block the snoring anyway so no need to keep them in. I also have to have complete darkness. No seeping light from around the shades, no blinking electronic lights. This is hard to do and it killed me when I realized I’d left my sleep mask (which was wonderful) at the beach house last summer. Need to buy a new one.

  103. Jen on October 24th, 2012 7:27 am

    I cannot sleep without a fan. And it can’t be a fan that makes clunky noises or anything…it has to be a smooth, white noise. Thank God I have a smartphone now with a white noise app for when a fan isn’t handy. Sleeping at other people’s houses used to be MISERABLE if I couldn’t find a fan to haul into wherever I was sleeping. I’d hear every creak, breeze, tick of the clock..ugh.

  104. Sarah on October 24th, 2012 7:45 am

    I wear hearing aids and take them out at night. On the nights I have to sleep with them in (to hear the baby, or I am the only parent home) I have a really hard time sleeping.

  105. Kizz on October 24th, 2012 8:01 am

    Wearing earplugs terrifies me. Instead of me letting go of the idea of the freaky monster or the sick dependent or whatever it amplifies them. I have earplugs in ANYONE COULD SNEAK UP ON ME AND THEN WHAT! GAH!!!!!!!

    I like to have some kind of light available when I sleep. Really don’t like having open eyes and closed ones be the same amount of vision. That’s it, though.

  106. Maggie on October 24th, 2012 8:06 am

    Between having kids and my husband starting to snore a few years ago, I seem to have developed a number of sleep rituals/habits that I find it difficult to sleep without. I used to need a sleep mask and earplugs. Then it was sleep mask and sound soother or fan on. Finally, I managed to combine them into a fuzzy headband with built in speakers to play soothing wind sounds that also covers my eyes. Sometimes I feel like the princess and the pea with this stuff, but without it, I don’t sleep because everyone else is making so damned much noise. Why is it that men are so noisy and yet sleep through everything? Unfair.

  107. Redbecca on October 24th, 2012 8:21 am

    Ha ha haaaa. Loving this one!

    White noise machine – the big heavy duty one, mind you, no wussy apps here. I’ve got tinnitus and without the white noise I’d go completely batshit in two days. Also the lip balm, and I now have to sleep with a small blanket over the covers draped over my thighs or those muscles cramp in the “cold” under the quilt and sheet by morning. I also loathe drafts on my neck and our bed is under the window so I sleep with a pillow between the top of my head and the headboard.
    My husband snores like crazy and some nights I don’t even notice it and others I want to commit murder. Ear plugs don’t work so must think of other ways to fix this problem.

    My kid is also a hair-trigger barfer and like you every time he coughs total panic sets in. He’s had allergies/sinus problems the last three weeks…it’s been very stressful!

  108. artemisia on October 24th, 2012 8:35 am

    I love falling asleep with earplugs, but wake up an hour later with hurty ears. The only ones I can tolerate for longer are the Howard Leight Max LITE. (Same as the link above, but smaller.)

    I used to require the covers be over and tucked under my head. I slept in a cocoon. I’ve gotten over that, but only recently.

    I MUST floss, lotion up hands and feet, and smear mint chapstick on my lips before crawling into bed. MUST.

  109. jen on October 24th, 2012 8:41 am

    fan blowing light breeze, ear buds in with white noise on ipod, sleep mask, no light! we have blackout shades and use our phones for alarms. must have loose blanket, wear long leggings (no shorts!) and cold pillow.

    you’re definitely not weird for having a certain way you need to sleep! :)

  110. Melissa on October 24th, 2012 9:34 am

    I can not sleep with clothing on. I sometimes start with just socks on but before I fall asleep they must come off. When I change the sheets I always unearth 3-4 pairs of socks. I also wear the sexy pink earplugs. Not due to children or my husband but my husband’s dog. She sleep in another room but she is an English Bulldog that snore louder than any human on the planet. I also have a post it note over my alarm clock because the lighted numbers annoy me.

  111. Halyn on October 24th, 2012 9:35 am

    Huh, this is fascinating. For me, I hate having anything on. Always naked. If for some reason I have to wear something, it’s panties and t-shirt. Anything else might bunch up or pull or just annoy me. Even if it’s very hot, I have to be covered up to sleep. A sheet works. White noise? NO. NO. A thousand times, NO. We’ve tried that, and I lay awake wondering if the noise of the fan or the dryer or whatever is drowning out the sounds of the zombies clawing through the door, or my daughter calling for me. I haven’t tried earplugs, because I imagine the muffling effect would cause the same reaction.
    When I’m done reading and ready to sleep, I take three or four deep ten count inhales and exhales, tell myself to relax all my muscles, then I mentally repeat to myself “I will sleep deeply and well. I will relax into a deep, restful sleep…” over and over again until I’m out. It works for the most part. I’m still exhausted when morning comes all too soon, but I don’t have that feeling of laying there frustrated because I can’t sleep. As soon as I start feeling panicky or annoyed that sleep is not coming, I cut off those thoughts and switch to the mantra. If nothing else, it forces my heart rate to slow and my breathing to ease.

  112. Courtney on October 24th, 2012 9:35 am

    I used to be the girl who would be asleep before my head hit the pillow and sleep soundly until morning. Until I had kids. At 5 and 3, they are still sleepkillers.

    My weird ritual has now become that I MUST fall asleep on my stomach. No matter how pregnant, no matter how sore my neck feels from the awkward straining. It’s bullshit, but yet, the only way to go for me.

  113. Megan on October 24th, 2012 10:01 am

    Up until I was 18 or so, I HAD to pray before I went to sleep or else I would just stay awake forever. PRAYING WAS A MUST. And then I went to college and became a godless heathen, and now I can sleep anywhere, anytime, on a train, on the street, whatevs. I’m like a hobo!

    Assuming I’m in my bed like a normal person, I need some kind of blanket covering me. Ideally I’d like the room to be as cold as possible so I can curl up beneath many blankets. Currently I live in an apartment where the building controls our heat/AC, so right now the heat is always blasting even though it’s been upwards of 70 degrees outside for the past few weeks. My room is a consistent 85 degrees, so I’ve spent a LOT of nighttime hours wrestling with a tower fan and blankets and wahhhh, lame. Last night I finally just pulled my shirt off and slept with a sheet over me, and it was the perfect magic combo!

    There’s like a 75% chance I shirtlessly wandered into the bathroom in our hallway, where my roommate’s boyfriend might’ve seen me, but whatever, I’ve got good boobs.

  114. Jane K. on October 24th, 2012 10:31 am

    ZzzzzQuil … magic.

  115. Julie on October 24th, 2012 10:32 am

    Off subject..I didn’t go through all 113 comments to see if anyone asked, but where did you get that awesome lamp? So perfect for bedroom ambience.:)

  116. Melanie on October 24th, 2012 10:44 am

    Noise and darkness. We have blackout blinds but the streetlight still bleeds through around the edges, so I really have to put up those curtains that have been sitting around for three years. (I’m a procrastinatrix and I am proud.)

    I use an air purifier, and a white noise machine. Mom bought us a fancy-schmancy Sharper Image multi-setting noise machine, but I have to use it in conjunction with something. Because I CAN HERE WHERE THE SOUND FILES BEGIN AND END, and will be up all night listening for JUST where they begin to repeat.

    I also cop to a bit of misophonia, as my husband will occasionally fall asleep with his mouth open and I’ll be treated to the sound of his PALATE CLICKING as he inhales.

    In short, white noise has saved my marriage.

  117. Jen_Ann_W on October 24th, 2012 10:48 am

    Until college, I couldn’t sleep with ANY amount of light in the room. I put a pillow over my alarm clock, had blackout curtains, the works. Now the light doesn’t bother me, but any repetitive noise makes me CRAZY. A fan or white noise is a must just to drown out any noise coming from the neighboring apartments. But if the fan ticks or wobbles or anything, I can’t deal with it.

  118. Antropologa on October 24th, 2012 11:47 am

    I need earplugs sometimes, but what I absolutely require is white noise that sounds like a fan. At home I have an actual fan and when traveling I have an app on my phone.

    Also an eye mask in the summer is a must(here in Sweden it’s light almost 24 hours a day in the summer). Actually, now that I am in the eye mask habit I wear one year-round. I recommend the Daydream brand in case anybody is in the market.

    Furthermore I need at least three pillows.

    I get a lot of flak from my husband about all my picky sleeping habits, but they work and they aren’t all that hard to come by, so.

  119. Barbara on October 24th, 2012 11:52 am

    We have been listening to Dr. Jeffrey Thompson’s “Ambient Music for Sleep” for 10+ years. We keep in on the iPods, iPhones and iPad so can listen to it anywhere! I also have to read to get sleepy, but not required…

  120. Karen on October 24th, 2012 11:55 am

    I used to be a Benadryl junkie, till I got pregnant. Now that we have the baby I have developed this super weird (to me) habit of sleeping with a pillow over my face. It drowns out the baby-anxiety I constantly feel and muffles the house noises but still allows me to hear her if she cries. The downside besides possible asphyxiation is that I wake up with a Sally from Peanuts-style pile of fuzz in the front of my head every morning from my bangs rubbing against the pillow.

  121. Emily on October 24th, 2012 12:18 pm

    This post just reminded me I need to buy my husband fresh ear plugs!

  122. Angella on October 24th, 2012 12:22 pm

    I wear earplugs because of the chickens. Or, more specifically, the roosters.

  123. adequatemom on October 24th, 2012 12:53 pm

    The tiny melatonin pill I take before bed helps me turn off my brain. And I have a pretty hard time falling asleep if I don’t get to read for a few minutes first. But the strangest requirement is Mooey – a stuffed cow I got as a gift when I was pregnant with my daughter, that I put under my chin every night before sleeping. Daughter has her stuffie to cuddle, I have mine …

  124. Olivia on October 24th, 2012 1:12 pm

    I’ve been wearing ear plugs lately and I think I’ll be dependent on them pretty soon. My baby actually sleeps pretty well most nights, sleeping 5-6 hrs and then waking twice before morning. But, I was waking up multiple times a night. When my husband came to bed, with his snoring, the cat coming in and out, cars driving down our street…Earplugs help a lot, and listening to my own breathing helps me fall asleep, too.

  125. Rachel on October 24th, 2012 1:52 pm

    It sounds so basic, but: a clean spot. I’ve traveled a fair bit for work, doing some really varied stuff, and I have learned to sleep under stages, below sound boards, on top of road boxes (those big wheeled cases you’ll see if you ever watch a concert load in or out), in tiny tour bus bunks, in ancient drafty travel trailers, and on convention center floors. As long as what is touching my skin is clean and free of dust (a tall order when your trailer has been in a dust storm for 2 weeks), I’m happy and comfortable.

    I really, really like reading before sleep, but it’s not a requirement.

  126. Suki on October 24th, 2012 2:05 pm

    Yeah, I went into reading this comments feeling like a pretty low-maintenance sleeper, and I came away feeling like the easiest sleeper on the planet, and incredibly grateful for it! We live between a fire station and a hospital and on a busy bus route, but have become so inured to the noise that we are legitimately surprised when people stay with us and bring it up. I am surprised though that I can still sleep in very quite settings. I have joked that God gives everyone a special gift and mine is sleep. My only quirk is that I MUST empty my bladder as the absolute last thing before bed- if I’m lying in bed and start thinking about it, I HAVE to get up and pee.

    I love how so many quirky sleepers have discovered that they are not alone through this thread, but I would also love to hear from the comically good sleepers out there- what’s the craziest place you’ve fallen/stayed asleep? I can’t decide between a Tool concert and a large-scale sporting event.

  127. Ali V on October 24th, 2012 3:00 pm

    Love all these comments. I need three pillows (two for my head, one to hug) and my ipod with an audiobook playing at low volume. If I’m very relaxed (ha) I can sometimes make do without the audiobook, but the story is usually necessary to distract me from nighttime-doom-worry-spiral.

    I do sometimes use earplugs for working at home – but I have to guard them with my life from the cats as they are apparently the Best Toy Ever. I’m amazed you can leave yours on the nightstand.

  128. Jennifer on October 24th, 2012 3:14 pm

    I’m so sexy at night: my mouth guard, my earplugs, my heated rice bag, my heating pad…I might as well add some vick’s vap-o-rub to the routine and just be an old lady aleady.

  129. Laura S on October 24th, 2012 3:18 pm

    What an interesting topic! I have to fall alseep with the tv on. Before I set the timmer for 30 minutes I flip through the channels until I find a channel that doesn’t have extra loud commercials (or even better, no commercials). The program should be interesting enough to hold my attention and distract the voices in my head, but not so interesting that I want to stay awake to watch it. Once the tv goes off there should be no light and no noise, but I can’t sleep with earplugs or an eye mask.

    I also have a certain arrangement of pillows to support various body parts and/or snuggle with, and I don’t use sheets (just a light quilt under me and either a light quilt or comforter on top depending on the season)

    MUST sleep nude, I cannot stand to have clothes on in bed!

    DH and I have seperate bedrooms and after we made that switch a few years ago we both started sleeping so much better!

  130. Karl on October 24th, 2012 3:52 pm

    Another vote for a white-noise source. I built one (many!) years back to block out a crying baby. That baby is 26 and has her own baby now, but we still need the noise to sleep.

    I can nap with clothes on, but for a serious night’s sleep nothing but nudity will work.

  131. Eve on October 24th, 2012 6:08 pm

    These comments made me understand why I couldn’t sleep well since the boyfriend became an ex-boyfriend. He talks in his sleep/when he is falling asleep (pretty entertaining since he can also answer your questions). I tried a white noise app on the iPhone last night, made me realized that withtout him, it was too quiet, had a much better night of sleep :)

  132. Caitlin on October 24th, 2012 7:13 pm

    I’m exactly the same way! I started wearing ear plugs because my husband snores a lot, and now that we’ve moved to a place where his allergies don’t flare up as much, he doesn’t really snore. But I still NEED my ear plugs! (Mine are those pink ones, too!)

  133. honeybecke on October 24th, 2012 8:07 pm

    So I’ve been thinking…I think this thread could be the topic of a great coffee table book. I’d totally read it. We’d need pictures to go along with it of course, all instagram-collage-esque.
    Someone get on it.

  134. perl on October 24th, 2012 8:58 pm

    I also do the eye mask (thought it might help me convince myself “hey it’s time to sleep now”) and have done the white noise/fan thing since having kids (eight years now). But I have a super, super weird one that I haven’t seen mentioned here.

    I fall asleep *so* much more easily if I have been in the company of Indian friends or have been watching BBC earlier in the day. I can just hear nonsense voices chattering away and they lull me off to sleep so beautifully. Sometimes American voices work but usually not. I know it sounds creepy, it is very strange, and there is no explanation that I know of (other than the fact that I am very, very weird).

  135. goingloopy on October 24th, 2012 9:44 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only page folder (although I mostly use my Kindle now)…Also, I can’t stand the light being on anywhere in the apartment (it doesn’t matter if the bedroom door is closed, I can FEEL it being on), and I have like 5 pillows and they have to be arranged in a certain order. I need my own blanket/comforter because my boyfriend has dubbed me “the Human Burrito.” I personally do not see this as a problem, but he does. Heh. Also, it’s hard to sleep without a cat nearby….when I visit other people with no cat. Finally, Ambien, or I don’t sleep. Sometimes I don’t sleep even with it.

  136. Nolita on October 25th, 2012 6:37 am

    I have been considering getting earplugs so I can sleep through anyone else in the house getting up to pee in the middle of the night. I was worried I wouldn’t hear emergency calls for me but now I’m sold on just muting the sounds. Love the camp noise descriptions! I think I am also going to invest in a sleep mask but those don’t block out the images leftover from AHS and TWD, do they? I don’t have any must-haves to go to sleep but then again I am constantly sleep-deprived. I have made the Little Ones reliant on their lullaby music (2 hrs) for sleep and naps, so now they can’t sleep if the volume is not just right and they have trained themselves to wake up when the music is off or at a certain song. Time to add more songs!

    I need to set up a household whitenoise machine so we can all sleep more soundly(and not hear the hook-handed psycho killer/slobbering grizzly or zombies outside our windows).

  137. sharon on October 25th, 2012 8:10 am

    I don’t think those nights of waiting for the eh-heh, eh-heh will ever completely leave my mind and my son is 11. I find Benadryl to be quite helpful.

  138. Sara on October 25th, 2012 8:24 am

    Oh My God YES

    Everyone makes fun of me getting ready to sleep. I don’t even know how it started but I know it came in stages. Sometime when I was a kid I realized my sister in law slept with a fan in her face and I tried it and liked it and some 20 years later I now MUST have a fan in my face. I even take them with me on trips. I also have a sound machine that I started using about two years ago, on what I can only describ as the roaring setting. It lulls me to sleep. Sooo soothing.

    But, by far the one I take the most rap for is, I have to have an eye mask.

    It all started when we moved in here about 3 years ago and the fire detector has a green flashy light that flashes all friggen night long. I don’t really care about most constant lights, like the time on the clock or what not, yes I know it changes but it doesn’t flash. This one flashy light drove me insane. My first thought was to cover the light up, but we have really tall celings and no ladder and so yeah. As a joke a friend got me an eye mask that said something about a princess and I tried it and it worked. Since I’ve bought several others settling on one favorite.

    Recently on a trip I left mine at home and had to go purchase one at 1am because I couldn’t fall asleep, everything was so bright and my eyes needed their comfy pillow!!! wow

    Just call me princess Sara

  139. Kristin on October 25th, 2012 9:34 am

    Also earplugs, I love the 3M orange ones and buy them in bulk. Sleeping without them is virtually imposible, I don’t understand how people can sleep with all the noise, even though technically, there is hardly any noise at all. Lip balm is also important to me to fall asleep and putting in the ear plugs and putting on the lip balm are signals to my brain that it’s bed time, I’m asleep less than a minute later.

  140. Rosie on October 25th, 2012 9:59 am

    Earplugs saved my marriage. I see that commenters will know that I am not kidding. I was also told by an my early childhood family education teacher (I’m in MN, and we have these amazing classes)that my kids are not going to quiet down – I needed to wear earplugs when I could not take their *normal to other people* noise that would drive me to insanity. I took her advice and became so much less yelly. Earplugs. Who knew they would be so key to my life.

  141. Nolita on October 25th, 2012 10:07 am

    Lip balm! I didn’t realize it was a thing in my bedtime routine until I read that last comment. If I am not on my belly, my eyes don’t want to be shut for some reason so I’m am going to add earplugs and a sleep mask (pillow) to my routine starting tonight! P.S. Love that lamp!

  142. Janet on October 25th, 2012 10:15 am

    I have the exact same set of earplugs, Linda. Could not live without them. Like many of the other posters, I have to have the room cool, dark, and quiet but my husband snores so I have to wear the earplugs or I would have to kill him!

    I use to have issue with my ears not being covered (when I slept) due to a bad experience I had with a damn spider climbing into my ear when I was a child. To this day I still get kinda creeped out if my ear is uncovered. I guess the ear plugs do double duty for me.

  143. Em on October 25th, 2012 11:19 am

    Like so many others, I NEED white noise. NEED IT. Usually it’s a fan or an air purifier. I also liked to be tucked under the blankets, and my husband will tell you I steal them regularly.

    Your description of wearing ear plugs intrigues me though, because it reminds me of what snorkling “sounds” like, and I really like it. I might have to invest in some. (And they will definitely be pink.)

  144. Kristiina on October 25th, 2012 12:38 pm

    White noise machine, ear plugs, lip stuff, hand lotion, pillow between knees….and when my husband gets the “jimmy legs” or loud snoring, I escape to the guest room (it’s stocked with earplugs and it’s own noise machine!)…and I always hear the kids when they need me. It’s the supersonic mom ears ;)
    Love this post!!

  145. Sonia on October 25th, 2012 12:56 pm

    Cool, dark room, body pillow to throw a leg over, lorazepam, and a fan. I used to throw a leg over my snoring husband, and take diphenhydramine. Since he left, diphenhydramine seems to make me remember my nightmares. Lorazepam either stops them from happening, or keeps me from remembering. Now that I’m not listening to someone snoring, I LOVE sleeping alone!! Still need the fan for the white noise. I started my son on that too, and now he uses a noise machine set on ‘waterfall’.

  146. Rosie on October 25th, 2012 1:33 pm

    As a kid, I used to be able to sleep anywhere, anytime, in any position (you’d be surprised).

    Alas, no more. Now, take an over-the-counter sleeping pill, read for a while, then turn on the TV to something that’s only mildly interesting but not annoying (the Discovery channel is GREAT and the History channel used to be before they went all apocalypse and ancient aliens all the time) at a low volume that I have to strain to understand, a noise machine set to white noise, and a face mask. And my feet have to stick out from under the covers because they get hot. And lately I’ve added a pillow over my head to block out any other noise and light. I rarely fall asleep in any time less than an hour. Oh, and I haven’t slept in the same room as my husband in months because he snores.

    Do I win?

  147. Rosie on October 25th, 2012 1:36 pm

    Also, in reading this thread, I’ve added several things to my Amazon shopping cart. I love sleep, sleep does not love me.

  148. Rosie on October 25th, 2012 2:51 pm

    I keep thinking of more things. The door must be shut so that the cats can’t come in. About this time of year, the air gets so dry that I have to have the humidifier on. Sometimes, I still get a dry cough and have to have a cough drop, which can last for half a night if you tuck it just right (I’m sure that’s terrible for my teeth, plus I’ll probably choke on it some night). If there’s nothing on TV that fits into the mildly interesting category, I put on a mildly interesting podcast. I haven’t yet found earphones that are comfortable enough to sleep in (and again, I’ll probably strangle myself on the cord some night). And my pants must be adjusted just right on my stomach or hip so that I can’t feel it when I’m lying on my side. My phone charger has an annoying blue light, so I have to block it with a coin.

  149. Nancy on October 25th, 2012 5:12 pm

    Box fan for white noise, fluffy comforter year round, generally need to sleep with my fist tucked up by my mouth. Earplugs on nights when I really need to sleep – or I’m sick. Or just want to tune out the world or potential wake ups from the kids. We just retired DH’s giant old rusty box fan – turns out a new one from Walmart is even louder!

  150. Willa on October 25th, 2012 5:46 pm

    I have, sadly, become addicted to ibuprofen p.m. I had gotten to where I would wake up several times during the night and just lie there worrying about everything under the sun, and had a *horrible* time going to back to sleep. With 1 ibuprofen p.m. (generic), I can sleep ALL night, usually waking up about 5:00 to go to the bathroom, then fall back asleep. I hate to admit the addiction, but like you say, there are worse ones. :)

  151. The Other Megan on October 25th, 2012 6:46 pm

    No Must Haves, but when I need to sleep for serious, I get out the earplugs, too. I never snooze more deeply than when I’m wearing those suckers. The only reason I don’t use them every night is that I just can’t get over the icky “there’s something in my ear get it out GET IT OUT” feeling they give me for more than a night or two.

    When my brain is spinning and clawing like a squirrel in a box, nothing shuts me down like the Andrew Johnson hypnotism apps. They’re on both Apple and Android now, I believe. Side effect: whenever I hear a Scottish man speak, I get a little sleepy.

  152. threewildthings on October 25th, 2012 7:44 pm

    I have a bedtime habit that also comes in the form of two pink things (yikes, that sounds pervy). Two Benadryl tablets. They put me out so quickly and into such a deep sleep, I’m hooked. I figure they’re pretty harmless. If I don’t take them, I’m staring at the ceiling for an hour, going over and over the trivial minutiae of my life and trying to turn my brain off.

    I might have to try the ear plug idea. With three little boys at home — heck — I might even try them out during daytime hours too. Thanks for the tip!

  153. Stephanie on October 26th, 2012 9:28 am

    I need to stop reading this thread at work because I am laughing my ass off! SO great to see people as jacked up as me.

  154. Jennifer on October 26th, 2012 10:52 am

    OK I have to get in on this. I’m a pretty easy sleeper – can sleep through noise, lights in the room, cars passing by outside. Can sleep in camping tents, in planes, passenger seat of the moving car etc. But the one thing I MUST have: my night-guard (fits over teeth, minimizes damage from overnight mouth/tooth grinding). And I can’t snap it into place without first brushing, flossing, and gargling with the fluoride rinse. I guess I’m a bit of a tooth-obsessive.

  155. Joanna on October 26th, 2012 5:07 pm

    Body pillow! I need something to snuggle with or I cannot sleep.

  156. Michelle on October 27th, 2012 6:48 am

    Eye mask and one (just one) ear plug, which I take out and put in the other ear when I roll over. I started doing this back in my single days when I lived next to a freeway and a car dealership – wanted to drown out the L.A. traffic but still be able to hear the ax-wielding maniac entering my apartment.
    Now I use it to drown out my husband’s snores without completely deafening me to any cries of peril from my 4 year old in the night (we *just* got through a round of croup which ended in a dash to the ER because he literally couldn’t breathe, so I’m still a little shell-shocked)

  157. Fidi on October 28th, 2012 12:38 am

    The husband! I don’t sleep well when he is away, much better when he is in the house and best when he already sleeps and I hear his peaceful breathing next to me. (I have one of the rare species who rarely snore.) Oh, and I need a blanket and a pajama. Otherwise I will dream that I am naked whih is almost as annoying as dreaming of having to pee.

  158. Shawna on October 28th, 2012 4:48 pm

    I’ve only become aware of it relatively recently, but I suspect I’ve always been this way: I cannot fall asleep without the backs of my hands pressed to something (pillow, mattress, my own shoulder, etc.) I think I may also need a pillow or blanket snugged up against my belly too (spooning with me at the back also works for this).

    I know it’s weird – especially the first thing – but what can you do?

  159. joaaanna on October 28th, 2012 7:06 pm

    I always, always must have a fan blowing. Freezing cold house, don’t care, the stagnant air drives me insane. Now that I have a baby, I have a monitor on, but a sound machine in his room set at wind or ocean or something… third one down on the left is the only thing I know. Now I must have his sound machine playing coming on over the monitor. A pillow between my knees, a cuddle pillow, start on my right, eventually turn on my left, then return to my right. Zzzzzzzzz. (I always get excited when I turn from my left to my right because I KNOW I’m about to fall asleep.)

  160. Telegirl on October 28th, 2012 8:46 pm

    I agree with the ibuprofen PM to get to sleep. And I have used the pink earplugs but don’t be as freaked as I was the first time you used a Q-tip afterwards. :)

  161. Jennifer on October 29th, 2012 7:14 pm

    My fan.. every night … even when it is freezing in the winter.

  162. Steph on October 29th, 2012 11:05 pm

    I have to sleep with a box fan on. Every night, no matter WHAT the temperature.

    It all started a few years ago when I kept getting woken up by my husband getting ready for work (2 hours earlier than I needed to be up). It would drive me crazy, so eventually I turned to a box fan for white noise. It’s very helpful.

    I’m pregnant now, so I’m not sure if I’ll be using it once the baby is here… but we’ll see.

  163. Jenn on October 30th, 2012 4:11 am

    I didn’t like ear plugs, but I always wear a sleep mask to block out light, and nearly always have a fan on near my head for white noise.

  164. anne on October 31st, 2012 7:58 am

    I have to have NPR on. My station plays BBC news from midnight till 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday; I leave it on all night. Weekends are problematic because there’s a jazz show on from midnight to five and I can’t stand jazz… so I tend to resort to scratchy a.m. talk radio. Cannot sleep without the voices.

    This comment section has been very funny to read! Thank you. :)

  165. sooboo on November 2nd, 2012 9:58 pm

    I swear I am not high maintenance in any other arena except when I sleep. Must haves: earplugs (must be wax, not foam), dark room, door 3/4 closed. I always sleep on my side and I need something small (like a t-shirt or small blanket) wedged in the small of my back. I also take 1/2 a generic sleeping pill most nights. I started wearing the earplugs because my husband snores but even when he got a c-pap machine, I cannot live without them. Earplugs are definitely habit forming. So many noises at night!

  166. sofunny on November 5th, 2012 3:09 pm

    (oh my, these were so funny to read. I agree with honeybecke that someone needs to start a book on this topic, complete with pictures.)

    1) Closet doors closed ALL the way
    2) Entire body in bed; No appendages hanging out.
    3) Have to change into clean, no thong, underwear, and tank top.

    Business time:
    I have to start off reading a book on my back. When I turn on my left side, I know I’m getting sleepy and I bookmark (no folding!) my page, turn off my light, and fall asleep on my stomach. Happens every time.

  167. Kim on November 18th, 2012 12:41 pm

    I remembered my own weirdness (on top of the blessed, blessed earplugs (and I do stillhear my kids, promise)) I need an extra pillow perpendicular for my top arm, and I tuck the blanket and comforter under the other hand. Partly that’s a blanket steal preventer, but it also makes a sling on those nights when I get shoved to the edge of the bed by little people.

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