September 7, 2005

What's disturbing your sleep these days?

For me, it's acorns.

(They fall, from some distance, onto the roof over my bedroom, intermittently, and then roll off. It's surprisingly loud when everything else is quiet.)

38 comments:

nina said...

You have to go with ear plugs. It's the only way.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't think I could sleep with earplugs in. I've never done that. The pressure would distract me constantly. Also, what if there was something I needed to hear?

Ann Althouse said...
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Goesh said...

I sleep soundly having no such distractions, but you may want to play some soft nature-type music, like ocean waves, a running brook, etc. in the background so your mind does not instantly focus on the sound of the acorns.

Justin said...

Frogs outside my window. I didn't notice them until our power went out one night. Suddenly, I couldn't hear anything else.

And I have to recommend against ear plugs. The one time I tried them, I dreamed that people were talking to me but I couldn't hear what they were saying.

Ann Althouse said...

Goesh: The problem is that I'm asleep and then there's a loud noise. Music would have to be too loud to mask it, and it's not that I'm just perturbed by it and can't fall asleep.

Meade said...

Barking dogs make me want to strangle their owners.

Do you have a finished attic? If not, insulating the attic ceiling could help. It would also reduce ice dams on the roof when snow melts and refreezes. And, if bats are still getting in, it might be an opportunity to solve that problem.

But even a mighty and venerable oak tree goes through decline and death. This one's time may have come early. Then again, some judicious pruning by a professional arborist might be all you need to get back your REM's.

LDM said...

Alas! That I would'st dream of an acorn
verily I could'st convert'th it into brazen porn
hence rising up from me a mighty oak less forlorn
than God's current puny gift he provide'th me with which to adorn
-Lonely Donut Man

Nick said...

Chipmunks! Damn things are everywhere... and they actually do chip! And they're loud! It's worse then having a rooster in your backyard cause they'll do it for hours on end.

dax said...

Tree frogs.
They don't keep me up, you just hear them.
They are especially loud if you're napping on a hammock outside.

Ann Althouse said...

Lmeade: There is no attic above my room. That's a big part of the problem. As to arborists, their (very expensive) work done last winter seems to have encouraged the acorns. But no way would I take down a large tree to save me from acorns! My grandmother had two huge oak trees removed becauuse she got tired of all the acorns on her lawn and driveway. I like to think she was in mental decline when she did that terrible thing.

Charles said...

Maybe a net at an angle to catch them and route them out to the yard by the side of the house?

the Rising Jurist said...

Sunlight. Awful, painful sunlight.

Meade said...

Ann, sure you're sleep deprived, but don't take it out on her (the memory of your dear granny)!

Simon Kenton said...

At my previous house, it was a set of very active raccoons courting, mating, and leading the subsequent brood in romps - all on the roof. It was charming to see them marching in order, adult ahead and 4 little ones in a row. But it was old-getting, too.

Whenever I thought of 'doing something' about the raccoons, I thought of a friend's dog, Precious, and stayed my hand. That dog attacked me - everyone else who visited the ranch too, for the matter of that. When I'd show up, I'd grab a billet of stovewood and say, "Precious, you don't want to play stick, do you?" Then I'd carry each of my children to the door, one by one, facing Precious all the way as she danced along the edge of the path, lips curled back, fangs slavering.

Precious and I were both as fast as snakes, but my attention could be distracted by the child in my arms; hers never. From time to time she would be able to dart in and slash my calf. But "Nemo me lacessit impune;" she never made it unscathed. My wife-to-be, whom I did not court on roofs, remarked mildly that she had never seen such a dog. And the owner, with the kind of weird vicariousness that we mostly associate with Hells Angels owning rottweilers, would say proudly that in fact, very few breeds can be counted on to bite instantly and reliably. "How nice," we would grit out.

Precious went down to hell, some of my flesh doubtless still in her teeth. It was a large boar raccoon that did it, enticing the dog to dancing fury, until she charged into a stock pond where the boar waited. He drowned her. So I owe the breed, and never let their nightly amours move me to more than grumbling.

Be said...

The events of my workday will often keep me awake at night. I think I've got to start meditating again or something.

Perhaps you'll get used to the sound? Up at camp, we have a similar problem with pinecones. It's annoying at first, but gets kind of comforting after a night or two.

Michael Cummins said...

I second the motion to use earplugs. I have a nice set of soft, plastic, triple flanged ear plugs that block everything. Blissful.

You get used to them pretty quick.

If I need to be awakened, my wife's elbow in my ribs is quite effective :)

Scipio said...

Acorns, nothing.

Squirrels.

Susan said...

Yes, Dax, tree frogs! When they first moved onto my property I thought surely it was something the size of a pterodactyl outside my window.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't live in a rural area, and there are city ordinances against owning farm-type animals, but someone who lives near me owns a rooster.

Oh well, at least it is only noisy once a day.

Judith said...

For me it's bedbugs. Yuck. NYC has an infestation right now. I hope I don't have to buy a new mattress . . . .

Judith said...

Leight foam earplugs are great. You don't feel them and they block out everything. My old apartment was right on 8th Ave. and I had to use them to sleep at night.

Ann Althouse said...

Bedbugs! How awful! I guess I shouldn't mind acorns, knowing it could be worse. For me the worst thing has been realizing a bat is flying around in my room. What leathery thing just brushed my hand? What is that flappy sound? Fortunately, that hasn't happened in years, but I keep worrying about it. In fact, earplugs would scare me: there could be a flappy sound and I'm not hearing it!

Anyway, Judith, my mother used to always say goodnight with "Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite." Which always just seemed fanciful.

Robert Talbert said...

20-month old daughter with a cold AND a viral infection that has caused blisters to break out inside her throat.

You're either awake trying to medicate/console her, or lying awake wondering what more you could do.

Thank goodness for the greatest of all parenting axioms: "This too shall pass."

Mom Underground said...

Friends of the teens across the street. They arrive and leave at all hours of the night with bass vibrating and breaks a-squealin'. I'm ready to march over in my pj's and bust some midnight whoopass. Politely, of course.

Goesh said...

-and if they bite
get a shoe
and beat them black and blue

that is how that little saying ended, of course depending where and how one was raised and how bad the infestation was........

k said...

Big black walnuts. They drop on my bedroom roof, which DOES have an insulated attic. So that is no solution. The best part is when you listen to them ROOOLLLLL alll the way down the roof. And then you, subconsciously, lie there and wait for the next one. Which may or may not come.

Meade said...

k: I feel for you, I really do. I have been awakened numerous times by black walnuts falling and rolling down the roof... of my NEIGHBOR! They roll shingle by shingle down the roof and CLUNK into the rain gutters no less. One. At. A. Time,

Shh... let's not disturb Ann's tree-hugging sensibilities, but I suggested to my neighbor that there is likely close to a thousand dollars or more worth of lumber in his tree. The tree still stands. All I can figure is that he wears headphones.

dax said...

Susan - Isn't it amazing the sound that comes out of a frog no bigger than your thumb? Oh, and don't let there be an evening rain shower! Those little bastards will croak twice as loud well into the night!

Simon Kenton said...

Once I was fairly fit, at an elevation of 7000 feet, and was sent for some months to 20 feet (coastal Georgia). All that surplus air in the air meant my resting pulse dropped from mid-50s to 38. This isn't Armstrong level, but I could lay awake at night, running entire reveries in the interval between beats, wondering when the next pulse would go off. And when it did fire, the surge of blood in my ear would perceptibly lift my head up from the pillow. At 38 bpm, you've got time to wonder if it actually is going to fire, sort through a few consequences if it doesn't, get curious, start counting, wait, get a little anxious, and then finally have the sino-atrial node get back to business.

If you want to be an insomniac, nuts, squirrels, raccoons, and treefrogs aren't the only ways to go.

miklos rosza said...

At about 2 or 3 in the morning I can hear trains, off in the distance, as they blow their horns. I find this soothing. It sounds rather like buffered french horns.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry to break it to you Ann, but things are probably going to get worse. For the most part, the older we get, the less we sleep, and, in particular, the less we sleep soundly.

I was thinking to use my octogenarian father as a counter example, then remembered that he uses Tylenol PM every night. It works, if you are desperate - but I feel groggy the next day, so don't recommend that, unless you get desperate.

purple_kangaroo said...

That would be annoying.

What's disturbing my sleep these days? Try a newborn, two preschoolers who have reverted to bedwetting and not sleeping through the night, and a snoring husband.

White noise does help somewhat--for all of us.

Jennifer said...

Darn, purple_kangaroo...I was going to recommend a toddler and a pregnancy 8 months along to help you sleep right through anything else.

I'm so tired these days that the little man walks down the hall with his pillow and his water cup and climbs into our bed without me even noticing.

Oh well, so much for that theory. :)

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meade said...

Anyone considering using Tylenol PM as a regular sleeping aid should be aware of the risks to the liver, etc. due to the acetaminophen, a pain reliever and fever reducer.

The ingredient in Tylenol PM which causes drowsiness is diphenhydramine, an antihistamine sold under the brand name Benadryl. Ask your pharmacist for generic diphenhydramine and you will avoid the side effects of the acetaminophen and save about half the cost over Benadryl and even more over Tylenol.

Ron said...

Given how things are going, I'd say nuts of all kinds are keeping awake at night...

Pancho said...

You ought to experience Pecans falling from a great height onto your roof. I have one piece of arboreal advice. Never, ever plant a pecan tree close to your house. They shed different sorts of debris constantly.