Sleep is my favorite pastime.
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I first started having sleep issues when I was a freshman in college. It's a crazy time in one’s life. You move into a strange place. Everyone around you is a complete stranger. And your future is entirely in your own hands.
I remember being very overwhelmed when I moved 6 hours away from home. While I made friends and had a lot of fun, my sleep schedule became non-existent and I lived off of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Drinks. I know, I know. I shudder just thinking about it. I would call my mom regularly to complain about the fact that I hadn’t had a full night's sleep in MONTHS.
People are always coming in and out of my dorm room
People are so loud in the hallway
People are partying next door
I pulled an all-nighter studying
In hindsight, I think that I was, in fact, the problem. (But that’s neither here nor there.) Point is, I was sleep-deprived and 8 a.m. microeconomics was becoming the bane of my existence. It was a recipe for disaster.
Luckily, my mother, Julie, is an absolute angel. She heard me loud and clear. She would send me amazing care packages with makeup, candy, holiday decorations for my dorm room—and a white noise machine from Amazon. When I first unpackaged it, I was skeptical. What was my roommate going to think of it? Am I lame for using one? I threw all caution to the wind and decided that I simply needed sleep. I needed to start taking care of my body and hunkering down in my classes. So I gave it a try.
My mom got me the Marpac Dohm white noise machine. It’s very small and compact, so it fits in any room (which is especially necessary when you’re living in a tiny dorm). I first decided to use it one week when my sleep was averaging at 4 hours a night. I got back from my microeconomics class and I was in desperate need of a nap.
The noise machine has two settings—high or low—for the amount of white noise you want. Living in campus dorms, I needed the strongest noise protection possible. I turned it on to its loudest setting and slept like a baby for hours. It sounds just like a strong fan, so it produces a very natural and smooth sound. It drowned out virtually all of the noise from outside my door. I was no longer waking up every 10 minutes with every footstep or shout from the hallway.
My roommate ended up loving it too. We both started actually sleeping through the night and were able to take sacred nap breaks during the day. Since we both had very different schedules, the Marpac Dohm white noise machine helped us so that we could get ready in the morning without waking each other up or move around while the other was napping. We were much better roommates for it.
Once I started getting back on a normal sleep schedule, my life (and my college experience) completely transformed. I was able to focus better in my classes, I had more energy to work out, and I had much needed me-time among the chaos that is freshman year. I could still soak in the excitement around me, but had the option to block it out when I needed a break.
Now fast forward six years. I still have my same ol’ white noise machine from freshman year of college. I use it every single night to enjoy uninterrupted sleep. While at one point it helped to have energy for grueling college classes, now it helps me have enough energy for my 9-5 job. Of course I don’t mean that it will magically solve all of your sleep woes or help you fall asleep faster. But when there’s a loud storm brewing outside or obnoxiously early construction going on outside (we all know the feeling), it sure can help.
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