(Turn on music at the bottom for the full experience)
In a world of endless information, we are part of the ever-expanding internet era. The soft glow of our phone’s light may caress our face as head meets pillow, but inevitably it keeps us up later at night when we find falling asleep nearly impossible. The snake and the tail, oxymoron becometh, it succeeds in perpetuating a cycle of worsening sleep habits that lead us to pull out the phone in bed. I’m guilty of it, so so guilty of it.
Every day is harder than the last to disconnect and relax, as our free-time is eaten up by the 24-hour news cycle and too often doom-scrolling. Is there anything that can help us reach Dreamland? Because I can’t keep taking melatonin – Every. Single. Night. Alas, the same phone that connects us, shackles us, keeps us addicted, can also be the key to unlocking better sleep, if we choose to try something new!
But first, the elephant rudely placing it’s proverbial butt on top of my mind, pushing down on my migraine-prone brain: society! Society tells us – and we buy into the idea – that we have to ‘earn’ rest, and that a successful life is only one of constant work, full of overtime and little sleep. Is it though?
“Sleep when you’re dead”, one high school teacher proudly filled malleable brains and left a damaging impression on my late teens to early-20s, feeding us an idea that took me years to shake. I believed that I somehow wasted time if I relaxed or slept too much. After all, we have limited time in this life. But that’s just it – this same logic is an argument against the mantra.
Right now, life is tick-tick-ticking. What do we do with it?
It seems you’re either ambitious or a lazy failure, and forget artistic mediums! Silly me, I bought what society was selling, scooping it right up…
HA! HARD PASS on that view – thank you, bye. If I had kept on this gridlock route, I’d be in law school right now and drained; the path towards working weekends and 10 hour days, doing what I’m good at but leaving me no time to do what I love. I do not need the ‘next step’ of this pre-set path to achieve success.
The reality is allowing ourselves space and releasing built up tension will lead us to happier healthier lives; enabling us to enjoy and achieve our hopes and dreams in the time we have. You don’t have to give up your health and sleep. If you do, it likely leads to grinding into oblivion faster – an early emotional grave dug before one can achieve said goal; too burnt out to enjoy reaping what you sow.
The ‘grind-culture’ mantra is a slippery slope, cascading into always seeking the next stage of our lives, the hallowed time when it will finally ‘pay-out’. Then we have lost and forgotten to appreciate the years slipped by. Another unnecessary casualty of the grind.
It is no wonder so many people break themselves down to the brink. Stress unaddressed builds up until the bottle bursts, like a volcanic mix of Coca-Cola and Mentos (shout out to 7th grade volcano projects everywhere), on the unsustainable highspeed stress highway. Hello collision-course!
Now, I’m here to tell you – yes, its okay to take a break, disconnect and unwind. YOU DON’T NEED TO ‘EARN’ REST AND SLEEP, YOU ALWAYS DESERVE YOUR HEALTH!
Better yet, the internet can be a place for good, where you can find a relaxing niche in that small portal called your phone. Sounds to unwind to, to lay back and sleep to, to zone out to as the mind drifts and recharges.
Talk about burrying the lead with my wordy soapbox, oops…. but stories like mine are often why many people find a home in ASMR, needing an outlet they never knew was right for them.
One such place is Twitch and YouTube, home to a world of ASMR streamers, triggering Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Here you can connect to chill communities of people all tuning in and, like me, discovering that the sensation of sound is the perfect salve for your soul – hugging your ears and leaving you tingling as you drift to sleep. The world is a little less lonely here, and woes melt away. You may just discover a sound you never knew could calm your restless mind, so oddly satisfying.
If you find what’s right for you, you may not even realize you’re beginning to drift off to sleep, finally. There are so many wonderful, underutilized apps that can help too. You deserve a break, a rest, a rehabilitating sleep, I hope you find it.
One of my favorite humans, Mary, is also my favorite ASMR streamer on Twitch, truly up and coming. With mystic vibes and a caring community in chat, the allure of tingly-ASMR is comforting.
The perfect example of self-care coupled with success, she’s opened up the first ASMR Spa in Maryland, incorporating her Esthetician training with her love of ASMR!
Riddled with anxiety and depression, I will never regret getting the Headspace subscription, if only for the enchanting sleep-casts. I fall asleep to now and again.
FKA Relaxing Melodies, I use this app as a writer too, to get in the mindset of a scene. From rain to forest sounds, I fall into my creative writing easily. It is also wonderful for making your own compilation of sounds to DJ your own sleep noise.