Whatever gets you through the night
The weather has been fairly mild so far this winter, but it’s a raging blizzard in our bedroom with winds up to 150 miles per hour.
At least that what it sounds like.
Husband-Head has become addicted to the sleep sounds on his iPad, which he keeps next to the bed. It’s called “white noise,” and a person listens to it to help them relax and fall asleep.
However, Husband-Head’s idea of relaxing, sleepy-time sounds is a blizzard and pelting rain.
“Listen to that wind,” he said as he got comfortable in the bed. “Isn’t that awesome?”
No. The wind made me feel like the house was going to lift off blow away like in “The Wizard of Oz.”
But I realized that he liked the sound because it reminded him of growing up in Wisconsin.
“I used to play outside in weather like this,” he recalled.
“Your mother let you PLAY in a blizzard?” I said, horrified. “How awful! And when you came back in, did she give you a cup of scalding hot chocolate that burned your tongue?”
“No, but she put me in a snowsuit that was so insulated I could barely walk,” he remembered.
And those memories put you to sleep?
“Most people like soothing sounds like ocean waves or babbling brooks,” I pointed out to Husband-Head.
“You know, some people like to listen to the sound of vacuum cleaners,” he informed me. “They have that on here.”
That would be the last thing that would put me to sleep. My mother used to vacuum right outside my bedroom door to wake me up on Saturday mornings when I was a teenager.
“There’s even one with the sound of a dryer,” Husband-Head added. “And I think I saw one that had the sounds of a dishwasher as well.”
“Yes, the sounds of cleaning house are so Zen,” I agreed.
I tried to think of what type of sounds I would like to hear.
“I don’t suppose you have the sounds of a city council meeting on there, do you?” I asked. “Those will put you right to sleep every time.”
Husband-Head turned on the light and looked at the app.
“No, but they have the sounds of someone typing on a computer keyboard,” he said with a laugh.
Yeah, right. Nothing like the sound of work to relax you.
But actually, come to think of it, Husband-Head has been listening to sounds when he went to sleep before white noise even became popular. I remember when we were first together, I couldn’t understand why in the world he wanted the little desk fan on in the dead of winter when it was, like, 10 degrees below outside.
“It’s my airplane,” he had explained. “I like the noise.”
That was, until the fan vibrated itself across the table and fell to the floor.
“You’re airplane just crashed,” I had informed him in the dark. “That’s always a soothing sound.”
But after weeks of listening to the raging wind and rain every night, I finally asked him if he could change it.
“No, it’s good,” he insisted. “It drowns out the sound of your snoring.”
“What about yours?” I challenged. “You snore, too.”
“No I don’t, I’m quiet as a little church mouse,” he said, turning over.
That made me laugh.
“Are you kidding me? I can’t even hear my meditation tape with headphones on at night because you’re snoring so loud,” I accused.
Husband-Head was quiet for a moment.
“Yeah, and why are you listening to some guy with an English accent whispering in your ears when you’re going to sleep?” he wanted to know. “That’s worse than listening to wind.”
“He puts me into a state of deep relaxation and then gives me subliminal messages that help to make positive changes in my life,” I explained. “So even if I fall asleep, my subconscious still hears the affirmations.”
“You’re weird,” Husband-Head summed up. “But if you must, tell the sleep whisperer to give you messages that you need to give me a back rub every night.”
With that, he reached over and the blizzard started up.
After a few moments, I had an idea.
“Why don’t we listen to the sound of snow falling?” I suggested hopefully.
“That would be stupid,” Husband-Head retorted. “Snow doesn’t make any sound.”
In the end, we each went back to our own ways of falling asleep.
I put my headphones back on while the winds blew wildly in our bedroom.
Heidi Rice’s column appears weekly in The Citizen Telegram and on Sundays in the Post Independent.
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