About Me


I like darkness and silence when I sleep. It’s actually something that keeps Donnie and I from sharing a bed when we sleep because he likes to fall asleep watching TV which is both bright and loud. When we all shared a hotel room recently for his triathlon, NONE of us slept until he fell asleep, which was late since he was restless before his big race.

Most nights, this is how I sleep. I wrap one of our king-size pillows around my head to cover my ears and, if I position myself correctly, block the light form my eyes. photo (3)This method also helps me take naps, which is very integral in my survival. I find time to schedule naps on the weekends if at all possible, as those are my long-run days and I need it desperately. I wrap my head in my pillow cocoon and can usually sleep fine.

The entire family will be going to Chattanooga for Donnie’s Ironman and I’m trying to figure out how we’re going to make this work. The kids are more like me, needing darkness and silence to sleep. So! I’m thinking about investing in ear plugs and sleep masks. Have you ever used these things? Do they work? I saw an article recently about items needed for dorm survival and I think it mentioned good sleep masks and ear plugs. I need to hunt that article down. We don’t want to mess with Donnie’s system to fall asleep since he needs everything perfect for his race, but if any of the other three of us are cranky from the lack of sleep, the day will be MISERABLE for us all.

Do you sleep in a pillow cocoon? Do you use sleep masks or ear plugs? Or are you like my husband and need something obnoxious like a television to fall asleep?

18 thoughts on “Sleep.”

  1. I sleep with both ear plugs & a sleep mask every night. It makes a huge difference! I got the highest decibel ear plugs at bed bath & beyond. It takes a bit of playing with them to make them feel comfortable, so try them out with you & kids before bedtime. Also, don’t buy the cheapest sleep masks – they don’t block out enough light to be worth it. I love the Velcro masks with extra padding around the bottom to block out the light. I swear, adding a sleep mask & ear plugs totally changed my sleep world for the better!!

  2. I use a sleep mask now. It was pretty cheap on amazon. It is AMAZING for napping during the day. I don’t use earplugs anymore but I did in college and they were great.

  3. I bought a sleep mask from Amazon, but my son took it. He uses it every night. He falls asleep with it on but ends up pulling it off in the night. At least it seems to serve the purpose of helping him fall asleep. It does have extra padding beneath the eyes and seems very soft and comfortable.

  4. I use a sort of pillow cocoon … I have an ancient floppy down pillow that molds perfectly over my head to cover my ears and eyes, but can be sort of pushed away from my nose/mouth. I’ve gotten so psychologically addicted to the weight, I can’t sleep without something over my head now, even in a perfectly dark and silent room! I’ve never tried a sleep mask, but I often use earplugs while traveling. They’re not always super comfortable and they usually fall out during the night, but they get me to sleep. And if the pillows in a hotel aren’t floppy/bendy enough for me, I’ll fold a towel and use it to cover my head/eyes. Not ideal, but combined with the earplugs it gets the job done. (God, I sound like such a high-maintenance weirdo. Probably because I am.)

  5. I’ve been using a sleep mask for the last eight or nine years and have a REALLY hard time sleeping without one now. They take a few nights to get used to, but are so worth it if you’re like me and distracted by even the light of a charging phone. I recommend a padded one with fat straps. I’ve never had luck with ear plugs, but I use a white noise app on my phone for some quiet background noise. It helps me block out other things and is very soothing. You can choose from a variety of sounds like rain, waves, crickets, etc. Good luck with the sleep – and with Donnie’s race!

  6. Kim DETESTS snoring and between the dogs and I, some nights we rattle the house down. She started wearing ear plugs and loves them. She wears the generic foamy ones but after several nights they start to bother her ears. I’m going to get her some good, more comfortable ones.

  7. I always wear earplugs to sleep and have for many years. I wear the cylindrical foam ones you can get from the grocery store but I finally bought some on Amazon in bulk. I just wear them until they get dirty and then toss them for a new pair. Roll them between your fingers, tuck them in and let them expand to fit naturally. The kids might need you to cut the regular earplugs into a smaller size to be comfortable. I find the foam ones get more comfortable the longer you wear them (as in, the new pair is not as comfortable as one that’s worn in a bit).

  8. My husband needs silence to fall alseep and I prefer to fall asleep to the tv. I used to just go to bed before him so I would be asleep before he came to bed, but then I discovered that I could sleep with a headphone in from my phone or ipad and listen to a show without my husband being disturbed. With the screen brightness turned down and flipped upside down, the light doesn’t bother us, either. It’s probably to close to the race for Donnie to get used to that, but it could really help for future hotel trips.

  9. My wife needs sound and light to sleep. I need darkness and quiet, but I hate the way most sleep masks press against your eyes. Enter this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00BXILY2Q/

    They come in all sorts of prints, and they saved my sleep. I also use earplugs, but I don’t know what brand I’m using now. I use an alarm to get up, so here are my tricks. I just use one earplug, closest to my spouse, and lay on my other side to block the noise. I end up on my back in the night and then one ear can hear the alarm. Or I inset an earplug loosely, so it falls out during the night (I toss and turn). I hope these tricks help. They saved my sleep and sanity. I use them every night. Seriously, the mask is amazing.

  10. It’s more expensive than masks and ear plugs but… Our kids need dark to sleep and that freaks me out in hotels. We now get two adjoining rooms. We put the kids to bed in the dark room and the adults watch TV in the other room. The same idea could work for you… room for Donnie to have his space and TV, room for you and the kids to sleep quiet.

  11. On the flip side, could he use an iPad or something to mimic the TV, but with headphones and much less light to disturb the rest of you?

  12. Earplugs and sleep mask (kitty eyes with ears, if you want to know) every night. I even took them camping last year. Necessity. No one wants to see *this* woken up unexpectedly. No one…

  13. I need cool, pitch black and quiet/white noise… Unless I’m restless and need to sleep but can’t… And then I put on an mp3 track from iTunes of guided meditation for deep sleep. It’s a self-hypnosis kind of deal and it works so well to calm my brain down and put me to sleep. It’s wonderful especially if I have to be up the next day way too early.

  14. I also cover my head with a down pillow to sleep and can’t sleep without the weight of it on my head. If anyone is snoring, I also wear earplugs, but now that I am divorced, I don’t need them anymore.

  15. My 4 year old son wears a sleep mask every night because his Sing n Snore Ernie Doll wears one. I think it really does help him sleep. And we are dependent on sound machines.

  16. I use Hearos brand foam ear plugs with the pillow cocoon and it works great! I haven’t used a sleep mask but I’m sure I’d love it if I did 🙂

    With the ear plugs, you really have to roll them tight into a tiny cylinder before you put them in your ears. Then they expand and muffle the noise. I use them b/c my husband snores.

    Good luck!

  17. Yes, both work, but you need to get a sleep mask with a wide comfy strap, and good padding under the eyes around the nose. This and ear plugs are necessary accompaniments whenever I fly or travel or stay over at friends’.

    Light is a lot easier to block out than noise – has Donnie considered headphones with a long cord? That’s what I use if I’m up late and sharing a space with my parents or partner while travelling or staying at someone’s house.

    Good luck to Donnie! (and you, poor pillow cocoon)

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