Last night was one of those nights again. In the living room, I felt tired and sleepy but once in bed I was wide awake. I tossed and turned and when the zzzzzz’s failed to come and get me I gave up trying to sleep and lay staring at the ceiling. After a while I practiced some relaxed breathing, I counted backward from 100, concentrated on muscle relaxation, nothing helped.
If you’re about to suggest a sound machine … I have one of those, a Christmas present from my son, but I can’t use it. The machine has all sorts of sounds: three types of rainfall, three kinds of ocean waves, three kinds of city noises, three types of white noise, three types of birdsong and three types of whale song.
Now before I go on I have to mention that I have four cats: Charlotte, Holly, Halley, and Greyson.
The first time I used the machine I selected birdsong because I like birds and their chirping and singing is quite relaxing. The first bird had hardly opened its beak when Holly and Greyson lifted their head in alarm and looked at each other as if to say … ‘I heard a bird. Did you hear it too? Is there a bird in the room?’
They wasted no time. They got up and went around the room. They looked under the bed, behind the cabinets and eventually figured out where the sound was coming from and came to inspect the sound machine. Even in the dim light of the moon, I could see that they didn’t trust this thing one bit.
While Greyson was sniffing and pawing the machine, Halley walked in. Halley has a permanently surprised look on her face which in this case seemed to ask ‘What’s going on here?’
Okay, if bird song freaked them out, how about whale song. I flipped through the three options and quite frankly … that freaked me out. Whale song might be attractive to female wales, but it doesn’t do a thing for me. Holly, Halley, and Greyson didn’t like the high pitched sounds either. They were walking to and fro clearly very upset by this so-called relaxing noise. A little later Charlotte joined the gang. She didn’t look scared but rather upset. Her face said it all … ‘Can you keep it down, I’m trying to sleep!’
Okay, if they didn’t like birds and I didn’t like whales, how about some rainfall sounds. I skipped the option of rain accompanied by thunder and lightning, also skipped rain falling on a tin roof, and selected regular falling rain. The cats all settled to sleep and so did I.
After about five minutes I was feeling nicely relaxed but darn, now I had to go to the bathroom. Out of bed, into my peignoir and off to the loo. Back in bed I listened to the falling rain and felt all nice and cozy under the duvet. I didn’t fall asleep right away but listening to the rain make me relaxed and after some time I drifted off. That is until … I had to go to the bathroom again. Darn, this listening to falling water definitely had an effect on my bladder.
Next up, rolling ocean waves. I realized that this was also water, but after two trips to the loo I was fairly sure, there would be no more trips to the bathroom. These rolling waves brought on another problem though … scenes of the movie ‘Cast Away’ and the TV series ‘Lost’. I pondered the question, what would I do if I found myself stranded on an island? If it was with Tom Hanks or Matthew Fox I wouldn’t mind so much, but being all alone on a deserted island … I’d go mad!
Okay, so the only two things remaining were city noises and white noise. White noise being a spinning fan, a sloshing washing machine and something that I couldn’t quite identify. Before I could decide which one I wanted I drifted off to sleep.