All it's missing is a lullaby or two

Published November 23, 2010

I’ve not been sleeping well for the past week or so, nothing major to complain about, but just a lot on my mind. I downloaded an app (as recommended by Eric the Baker) called Sleep Machine. I’ve always been skeptical about the idea of white noise helping you to drift off, but if there’s an app for something, I am usually curious to test it out (see: running a 5k race).

There is nothing groundbreaking in the Sleep Machine app, but it does what it does very well. You can pick up to three distinct sounds, and save your preferences for different situations. Personally, I only like listening to one at a time or I get confused. I’m a bear of very little brain.

I really like the sound of rain and have loved listening to RainyMood before. As an aside, I fundamentally disagree with the note that says you should try listening to music along with the thirty minute sample. It just makes it harder to hear both music and rain. Odd.

There are a lot of water-based choices on Sleep Machine, from lapping waves, to a babbling brook, to a rushing waterfall, right up to a thunderstorm. I’ve liked listening to the thunder, but now that winter is drawing in, I’ve found it makes me feel cold.

I browsed through the other options, discarding trains, dishwashers and the hum of a wine glass (seriously?), until I landed on a crackling fire. I assumed that if I listened to that whilst trying to drift off, I would wake up in a panic thinking the house was burning down. Quite the opposite, the crackles were the most relaxing sound I’d heard, and made me feel toasty warm. The brain is a very strange thing, I find.

The thing I like most about the app is that you can set a timer, so that the sound fades out after a certain duration, meaning you don’t have to worry about draining the battery or waking up confused and disorientated and thinking your house is burning down. (You can even use it as an alarm to wake you back up again, but waking is the least of my troubles!) Couple that with my new iPod Touch which has speakers, and you don’t even have to try and sleep with earphones in.

That’ll do me. Of course, roll on the time when I can go back to falling asleep at the drop of a hat, but for now, Sleep Machine is an interesting experiment to pass the time.

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