iPod Dreams

I rarely fall asleep quickly when its bedtime. It generally takes me 15 to 30 minutes to get to sleep. About a year ago I decided to listen to some relaxing music before sleeping. I woke up two hours later with the music still playing in my earbuds.

Several months later I started downloading audio books and podcasts to my iPod. Like most time-crunched people, I didn’t find time to listen to all the audio on the iPod. I’m a reader and have tried to reserve 15 – 30 minutes for reading before sleep. One night my eyes were tired so I listened to a book rather than reading. I woke up two hours later, listening to the book.

Lately I put the earbuds in and start a good audio before I turn out the lights. I’ve discovered that I drop off to sleep more quickly when I’m listening and, when I don’t drop off to sleep more quickly, I’m learning or being entertained as I wait for sleep to infiltrate my senses. It’s a win-win situation.

Here’s what I’ve learned about easing into sleep hooked to my iPod.

  • Listen to relaxing audio, whether music or spoken word. I don’t listen to music that is fast or hot (Hendrix) — I listen to music that is smooth and soothing (Pat Metheny). For the spoken word, I don’t listen to dramatic, high energy audio (Mad Money by Jim Cramer), but instead I listen to voices that are conveying meaningful information without being loud and emotional (Eckhart Tolle is a good example).
  • Set the volume low.
  • Lock your iPod (disable the controls) so that the volume and/or selections won’t change if you roll over on the iPod while sleeping.
  • Make a selection that is 15 – 60 minutes long. I’ve awaked at 3am with U2’s Vertigo blasting in my earbuds, because the music I had selected had ended but I hadn’t limited my selection.
  • When I wake up with the earbuds in, I pull them out and stuff the iPod and the earbuds under my pillow. This the quickest way to get everything out of the way and not disturb others (spouses, pets, etc.).
  • If you sleep with cats (I do), you have to make sure your earbuds are under the pillow. (Look at this link to see why: Punctured Earbud).

Often I often don’t remember much about the spoken word audio that I was listening to, but I like to think that I absorb some of it while I’m asleep.

Please leave a comment if you listen to audio on a portable device while falling asleep — share your experiences.