People have many talents as society continues to churn out our future Picassos and Streisands. Am I a person of said talents? No. Not even a little bit. However, I do pride myself in being able to excel in an activity that others see as a means of basic survival: sleep.
I take sleeping very seriously. In fact, I prioritize my sleep above anything else. I could sleep through torrential downpours, the sound of a massive tuba playing in my ear, and the obnoxious sirens of ambulances and cop cars speeding down West Tennessee Street three times a day. This may not be considered a talent to the public, but to me, this is a gift. My roadmap to comfortable and effective sleep is quite simple, so if you’re interested in having sweet, whimsical dreams, here’s what I do for a good night’s rest.
1. Listening to music
I find that music helps me unwind and slip into my thoughts quicker than silence. When I’m having trouble sleeping, my primary solution is to grab my laptop or phone and search for playlists that have slow-paced songs. I tend to lean more towards classical music or instrumental film soundtracks.
I went on a camping trip to the Great Smoky Mountains last semester with a friend of mine, and we were having a difficult time sleeping. It was extremely cold, and we were afraid that a bear was lurking outside of our tent, so our anxiety was through the roof. My friend luckily packed her AirPods and had some playlists downloaded, one of which contained Studio Ghibli instrumentals and Harry’s House. Going from “Merry-Go-Round of Life” from Howl’s Moving Castle to “Grapefruit” by Harry Styles may seem like intense whiplash, but the calming vibe emitted from both songs eased our fears and knocked us out; we suddenly slept like babies in 25 degree weather.
2. ASMR Videos
Before I’m accused of being a lunatic and given the most severe side-eyes known to man, allow me to explain myself. I was perusing through YouTube (as one does) and stumbled upon a Cardi B interview with W Magazine where she discussed her music career while doing ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). One minute I was listening to Cardi B talk about going platinum, and the next my eyelids were moving in slow motion and I was seeing four computer screens instead of one.
Cardi B may be weirdly talented with ASMR, but after that video, I decided to do some research and test out various ASMR channels. I fell asleep within five minutes almost every time. I didn’t just enter stage one of sleep; I skipped all the way to REM mode. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the tapping videos where random items are patted or scratched against the microphone, but when exploring ASMR, find what works for you!
3. Using LED Lights/Projectors
Sleeping is not only about feeling rested, but it’s also about setting the mood. As a dorm gift my freshman year, my mom bought me a star projector, which I thought was silly at first. As I began using it more, it not only created a tranquil and chill vibe, but its moving sky and twinkling stars made it easy to zone out. I can separate myself from my thoughts and doze off into the abyss. If you aren’t sensitive to brightness and are secretly afraid of the dark (like me), I found this to be an awesome and effective way to fall asleep. BTW: it’s a great alternative for a night light if you miss those days!
With these tips now in your back pocket, you can go get the sleep you deserve (and definitely hit “snooze” on your alarm…).