An exploration of sleep and insomnia, with a single destination in mind:
a good night's sleep.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nightwave Sleep Assistant: We'll Take Any Help We Can Get

The Nightwave Sleep Assistant falls into the category of "we'll take any help we can get."

This might help you fall asleep; then again, it might just become another gadget that is happy to sit on your shelf after being tried for a night. But it's not terribly expensive, and there's no way to find out whether or not it works for you without trying.

The Nightwave is a small, battery operated device, about the size of a pack of cigarettes. (An aside: I long for a world in which nobody knows what the size of a pack of cigarettes is.)  It emits a blue light that changes in intensity. In theory, the light accomplishes several purposes. It relaxes you; it synchronizes your breathing; it keeps your mind from focusing on those things that prevent sleep from winning. The Nighwave has a timer, so the light shuts off by itself.

The Nightwave is like a sound machine for your eyes. It does for the visual part of your brain what a sound machine does for the auditory part of your mind: It takes you to another place. It calms you. It makes your eyes heavy and lulls you to sleep. But unlike a sound machine, your partner won't complain about the thunderstorm noise inside your bedroom. With a sound machine, you can't close your ears. But all you have to do to shut out Nightwave is close your eyes, which is the device's primary mission.

Back the original question. Should you try this? Will the Nightwave Sleep Assistant help you fall asleep? I found that it definitely does keep my mind clear, opening a space for sleep to step in. On some nights it's helpful, on others, the Nightwave doesn't make much of a difference. But it's worth a try if you have trouble falling asleep.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dream About Dreaming

From a reader of the Cleveland Park Listserv comes this suggestion for falling asleep. If you dream about dreaming, you may slide gently into dreamland:

If I pretend to describe to someone my most recent dream (or any dream, it seems, including someone else's!), I fall always asleep before I get to the end of the dream. I've often wondered if it had something to do with a dream state, since nothing else works. My mother used to review the plot of the last movie she had seen, but this never worked for me.