Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Could you turn that music up? I can still hear myself think!

As I'm certain each of you has experienced more than once in your lives, the best things always seem to come up at the most inopportune time. The secret to paper-training that new puppy pops up while making your office's Starbucks run, that award winning novel plot forms while using the toilet in the movie theater, you figure out that calculus problem in the middle of writing your Art History thesis, or you have a blog worthy conversation in bed—when your roommate has work in the morning.

On occasion I have been known to listen to music as a sleep aid. Sometimes as a de-stressor, sometimes to clear my mind, and especially when I have a catchy song stuck in my head. I first started experimenting with this in junior high when I got a cd player in my room and cds that didn’t come from the teeny bopper section of Sam Goody. Fast forward to now, my nighttime nocturnes guidelines:

  •       continuous loop=/=constant relaxation
  •       anything louder than an angel’s whisper is too loud
  •       English language need not apply
  •       should be music I know well

I need my music to gently ease me into sleep and if I don’t know where the song will go: ng. If I can easily understand the lyrics, then lulling will not happen. Music louder than a vague guide makes me pay attention to it—not productive. And the first one is just obvious; it is the one thing Amy and I have in common.

A few months ago Amy requested that I play an album for her to fall asleep to, and I was startled at how loud she wanted it. Turns out, while I use music to get my mind and body relaxed, she uses it to drown out her mind’s voice. She only requires this every once in a while, when she’s feeling intellectual, existential or just plain content (and there was something about an orange glowing evening involved there); but I will use it if I’m stressed or if I don’t have time to wind down before bed.

For me, ideal lullabies should have a soothing melody (Tchaikovsky, Madonna’s “Something to Remember” album and Shibata Jun are all good for this) or be discordant, that is to say, the tones don’t quite ‘go.’ I don’t know what it is about minor notes struck in disharmony that soothes me so. Examples being Japanese koto music, and Jero’s enka covers). These needs and preferred music are static for me.

Amy likes to listen to slightly melancholy songs with unrefined vocals. She says she can get lost in an unrefined voice, though I can’t understand how that works. Depending on her mood, her relaxing music can change drastically and the only one she could recall for me was “Rainy Day Lament” by Joe Purdy. She thinks it is rich and unrefined; I think he sounds drunk.

The music I like to sleep to does not work for her and I could not even hope to sleep to hers. Hell, some of it (enka on my end and, well, her’s on her end…I know that sounds bad, but she just loves to listen to earworms!) neither of us would usually choose to listen to recreationally. Well, that’s it for me folks, time for bed!


  1. It's funny what we can and can't get use to when sharing a bed! lol I used to be able to fall asleep to music but can't anymore for some reason.

    This is JustAddGlitter from Swap-Bot, happy swapping! :)

  2. My sweetie likes to listen to CDs too, to fall asleep. Mostly not music, but audio books. She says it keeps her away from brooding and thinking about unpleasant things. Most of the time it's ok for me, but sometimes all I want is silence. :D

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