The sound of rain

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Geez, no wonder I don’t post more often.  With all the false starts I’ve had on this, my 2nd Nablopomo post, I’m about ready to give up.  Yet, I shall persevere.

There is something about trying to write about the sound of rain that leads one to want to some how, some way, incorporate kitchy song lyrics about rain.  I finally had to search YouTube and find a recording of “My Favorite Things” from the “Sound of Music” soundtrack just to stop the loop in my head – “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, blah blah blah blah blah and warm woolen mittens, la la la la la la la la la laaaa, these are a few of my favorite things.”  And once I scratched that itch and the idea to try to incorporate that song into that post, what crept in in its stead?  “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” whose only lyric that I remember is the first and title line, “raindrops keep falling on my head.”  And back to YouTube I go.  Geez, whatever happened to BJ Thomas?  Oh, he’s in Branson, Missouri. That figures.

Let’s plow on, shall we?  Like most everyone I know, I have problems sleeping from time to time. Well, a lot of the time.  These problems can vary from trouble falling asleep, or it can be the ol’ waking up at 3:00 am and not being able to get back to sleep.  And while I have found the allergy medicine Benedryl to be highly effective in knocking me out and keeping me out, it packs a hell of a hangover if you don’t allow yourself an adequate amount of time to sleep.  And since I don’t even think about a sleeping aid until it is way too late, I usually don’t take a Benedryl except on the weekends when I want and need to catch up on my sleep.

I’ve always loved the idea of ambient noise recordings – babbling brooks, crickets, the gentle lapping of water on a lake, or the crashing of waves on the ocean.  However, the ones I have heard quickly go from soothing to annoying when it becomes obvious that it is just a 30 second (if that) loop.  It gets really distracting waiting for that damn owl to hoot again. And I know he’s going to – he does it every 30 seconds. And the point of these sounds is to lull me to sleep, not be waiting for the damn owl to hoot.  So, ultimately, I gave up on these in my quest for an effective sleeping aid.

That was until I found a free app for my iPhone, Sleepmaker Storms. After some experimentation, I’ve found my favorite setting is “medium thunder with heavy splatter.”  Actually, I don’t even hear the thunder, just the rain, heavy on the splatter.  I set the timer to 45 minutes, place the iPhone on my bedside table, and so far, I’ve found I’ve been falling asleep pretty easily.

There is something so soothing about listening to rain.  Sure, being outside in it can be a pain in the ass, or even dangerous.  Yet, inside, cozy and warm, knowing that is the best and smartest place to be, the rain invites us to curl up with a good book or movie.  The  rain  encourages us to stay inside our little cocoon and relax.  I like that.  And maybe that’s why it works for as a good sleep aid.  Crashing waves implies I need to be worried about applying sunblock, and hearing crickets and owls only make me wonder what other creatures are lurking outside that want to eat me alive.  But, the rain . . . the rain just says, relax, get your favorite blanky and a book, and then doze off into sleep, sweet sweet sleep.

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5 responses »

  1. I love listening to the rain, too. I have CDs with rain, thunder, whales, ocean waves, babbling brooks, and all sorts of watery sounds. I even have one of those sound machines you can buy at Bed Bath & Beyond or Linens And Things (I always forget which one went out of business!).

    I also love walking in the rain!

    If you ever need it again, get yourself a bottle of Melatonin. It’s a natural sleep aid. No hangover feeling if you don’t get enough sleep. Take one about a half hour before you want to zonk out. You can get it in the vitamin and supplement aisle.

  2. I know what you mean.

    Rain, especially heavy rain, makes me feel safe and secure. There’s a sense that no-one is creeping around outside.

    In Johannesburg in Summer there’s a thunderstorm every evening. It arrives like clockwork around four in the afternoon and often goes on until late into the night. The crime scenario is, I’m sure you know, quite bad over there. But I was always able to get a good night’s sleep when it was raining. On those nights, not even the ciminals bother going out. They’re probably at home getting a good night’s sleep too.

  3. LB, I also have insomnia, and fairly often only get 3-4 hours in a night before I’m wide awake with mind spinning. Sometimes on weeknights I take the sleep aid early–8 or 9 pm, and then know it will wear off by 6 am.

    We recently visited Minnesota, where I grew up. You mentioned lulling sounds; when we walked out in the late evening into my friends’ backyard we were met by the steady chirping of crickets–wow! A sound so deeply familiar it really resonated. It’s so lulling. I should probably try that.

    p.s. as a Beatles fan, I’m partial to “Rain.”

  4. Corina – Yup, I’m partial to the rain myself. In fact, I would probably do well living in a much rainier clime than here in the Bay Area. And thanks for the advice on the Melatonin. I used to have some of that stuff, and I do remember it being effective.

    Wisdomjunkie – thank you for mentioning that part of the appeal of rain too. You’re right, rain does feel like a bit of a watery shield against all the bad outside elements.

    tmc – yup, definitely a contender

    Omsbud – If my memory weren’t going I too would try and remember to take some kind of sleep aid early, but as it is . . . ain’t getting older grand?

    I guess it’s finding a sound that is really soothing to us and doesn’t include something that our restless minds can’t attach itself to. Once I start to recognize the loop that these noises generators use, I’m lost. Fortunately, the rain one I’ve found is just rain so the loop is really inconspicuous. Unfortunately though, I discovered this weekend that while this sound soothes me to sleep, it keeps the boyfriend awake. And that’s when I truly need it is when the boyfriend is here. Oy.

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