I greatly dislike tossing and turning and being unable to go to sleep when I want to. What I dislike even more is when I just drift off to sleep and a noise wakes me up. I’ll be honest. I really don’t like being awakened at all in the middle of the night. Usually, it’s my dog scratching or moving around, but it could be my kids randomly crying out in the next room, my husband making a noise, etc. You get the idea.
One option to avoid this is to take sleeping pills so I am in a deeper sleep. There are a lot of drawbacks to this method, though. Most of the over-the-counter sleep aids are just Benadryl re-packaged and increased in price. (It’s true. The active ingredient in both is diphenhydramine .) Also, I don’t really like taking medicine unless I really need to and a doctor would laugh at me if I tried to get sleeping pills so I could stop being awakened by random noises. (And rightfully so.) There is also the possibility of my body getting dependent on them, etc. The risks outweigh the benefits, in my opinion.
Another option is ear plugs. They hurt my ears, though, and I need to be able to hear my children if one of them wakes up with a legitimate problem.
The solution I have discovered is to use a sound machine in my bedroom. It covers over those little noises that wake me up, doesn’t make my ears hurt, and I can still hear my kiddos in the other room if they really need me to. (I’ve written before about ways to make sure you can hear your kids and still get a good night’s sleep.) It has made a world of difference just to have that light background noise covering over all those little things that was causing me to not sleep very well. I’ve started waking up only when I am supposed to–when my alarm goes off.
If you’d like to do a little experiment of your own, you can try this free white noise generator. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t help you to sleep better.