My husband snores. My dogs bark at animals that come too close to the house at night. Owls are loud. All of it wakes me up. I still manage to sleep but it’s often irritating sleep. So I was thrilled to try out the cute, cozy Sleep Phones ($40 in black, grey, or lavender.)
Itâ€™s a simple idea: A fuzzy head wrap with earphones built in. Connect it to a smart phone, iPod, or whatever you have. (There is a wireless version for $100, too. I tried the wired ones.) So it plays whatever sounds you choose to calm you into a blissful slumber and block out the all the sounds that might wake you. It works. I snoozed right through all the usual disturbances when I wore it at home. And it was even better when I was traveling. Itâ€™s a comfy way to block out airplane noise. And, if you donâ€™t mind sliding the wrap over your eyes, too, it serves double duty as an eye mask. On a plane a caught a few winks. In a hotel, it brought familiar sounds instead of the unfamiliar and made sleeping easy.Â Unlike earplugs, I can hear things if I want to. It just moves the sounds to the background.
So, mission accomplished. And the solution wasn’t even expensive. (Especially since the company sent me a pair to try.)
But these cute little ear pajamas went a step further and Â opened up a new area of listening choice for me. What is the best thing to listen to while sleeping, I started to wonder? The company offers an iPhone app that plays calming sounds like the ocean or restful tunes. But it got me wondering about language tapes, audio books, dream-altering music and stories. Could I enhance my dreams? Teach my subconscious Icelandic? I have only just begun my exploration of sleep listening but I will say this: Listening to James Joyceâ€™s Ulysses while asleep delivered amazing dreams. I slept soundly but when I woke felt as if I had traveled into a strange version of Dublin. It very much made me want to listen to Joyceâ€™s Finneganâ€™s Wake while sleeping. That book is notoriously difficult for the waking mind to grasp as it designed to represent the thought processes of the nighttime mind. Would my sleeping mind enjoy that? Unfortunately I could not find a recording of it. My search continues.