Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hello Darkness My Old Friend.

In a recurring theme that just seems to keep coming up and coming up, which I guess is the basic definition of recurring.

Growing old is not for the faint of heart. 

Case in point. I used to be able to sleep, any time and any where, without a care in the world. Heck, I perfected the art of the continual nap in the car through boring countryside on innumerable family car trips. I don't even remember most of Cape Cod other than my nap. Some people just have skills. I have slept through thunderstorms while flying in a little plane. I was tired, we had just spent the day at Disney World. It seemed like the right idea at the time. If we were going to go down I would rather have been sleeping when it happened.

Sleep is a beautiful thing. But in the last few years sleep has been a bit more of a difficulty. Specifically sleep has been an issue at times since we moved to Chez Knit. The reason for this is multi-headed, like the Hydra from Jason and the Argonauts, and just as nasty (another movie reference just for YOU LaurenLeap). 

When our little neighborhood was planned, long before we moved there, someone had the bright idea to put in street lights with million candle wattage light bulbs in them. 

"Hey! We sit at the top of the hill. Let's make sure that EVERYONE in town can see where we live. AND we can contribute to light pollution. Who needs to see the stars!" 

There is one of those monstrously bright street lamps situated just outside our bedroom window, shining oh so brightly. It didn't take HHBL and I much time to realize that this street light was going to be an issue for us in the sleeping department. At OCK we left the shades up at night. Neighbors weren't all that close and there was very little light from outside, just our small driveway light at the end of a long driveway. Our bedroom was blessedly dark. In fact, I would cover up my bedside clock at night to cut down on the ambient brightness, just to make it extra dark. 

Dark is good if you are sleeping, or Dracula, or the virals from Justin Cronin's "The Passage" trilogy. 

Just as an aside, you MUST read these books. Don't be intimidated by the fact that each of them is about as long as the Oxford English Dictionary and cover 1000 years, but not chronologically and have a boat load of characters that might or might not be killed off at times and vampires, and descriptions of the wet sound of people being, shall we say, dismembered. The last in the trilogy came out at the end of May and I re-read the first two books before powering my way through "The City of Mirrors." 2111 pages read in the space of two weeks. I might have been a bit obsessed. They are brilliant. READ. THEM. Your PSA for the day is that these books have adult themes in them and are not suited for younger viewers.

Where was I? Oh yes, darkness. 

So, there are the street lights of perpetual brightness (SLPB). There is also the fact that if we keep the blind up in our bedroom the light from the SLPB shines right onto HHBL's pillow and therefore right on his face. The SLPB also makes our room pretty darn bright. Also, even though we lower all of the blinds in the living room, there is still light that shines through the windows on each side of the front door, thereby lighting up the living room and thereby bringing light into our bedroom which happens to sit right off of the living room.  I can hear you saying, "Why not just keep the bedroom door closed at night?" Well, that would make sense except that it then messes up the air flow and makes the room hotter at night which ALSO messes with our sleep. This is why I sewed that light killing curtain last year. It blocks most of the light that makes it through the shade. But in order to have the window open and get a bit of breeze in the summer, you have to pull the curtain aside, thus negating it's light murdering effect. And we won't even talk about what I had to do to block the light coming from the half moon window above the bedroom window. Like I said, many headed Hydra. 

And then, about 18 months ago, HHBL's sister and our niece stayed overnight with us as they were making the obligatory college tour. My sis-in-law has sleeping issues too, and I happened to notice the eye mask that she uses. Actually, when I first saw it my brain thought, "That is a REALLY oddly constructed bra!" Thank goodness I didn't actually say that.

As a thank you for letting them invade our upstairs for 24 hours, this arrived in the mail.

Look! It's a strapless eye bra. I told her thank you and how excited I was...which I was, cuz, EYE BRA! I tried wearing it at night for a couple of days but, just like wearing ear plugs, it takes some getting used to and I just didn't want to try that hard. So.....I stuck it in the drawer of my bedside table and basically forgot that it was there.

Sorry Laura!!!

But about a month ago I discovered it, languishing in the back of the drawer and a thought occurred to me. I said to myself, "Self, lets give this thing another try. You just didn't give it enough effort last time and summer is coming up when you want to have the window open and the bedroom door open and, be an adult and wear that eye bra!"

Mother of all that is holy and good! This thing is magical. It fastens with adjustable velcro in the back but even when tightened is totally comfortable. The bra effect means that the mask doesn't push up against your eye lashes, your eyes are happy and bathed in darkness. It took a couple of days to get used to wearing it and not to want to rip it off of my face but once the eye bra and I came to an understanding we are now firmly in love.

This is NOT a paid advertisement (oh how I wish), it is just me saying that if you have trouble sleeping because the light is bothering you, you need one of these eye bras. You will find the link below. And if Bucky wants to send me one then I would gratefully except the "Brambly" version.

Then my eyes will look just like Kim Kardashian's tatas, only without the whole sex tape fiasco (was it REALLY a fiasco or a carefully orchestrated PR move, hmmmm) and I will not, VERY THANKFULLY, be married to Kanye West.

The Bucky Eye Bra (really called the Bucky Eye Mask, I just like my name better)


  1. Wow - great solution - even if late. We are fresh air sleepers and put solar shades on the outside of our windows to help block some of the light at the bottom of the partly closed blinds. But even worse, are the early, early morning sounds of the country - roosters above us and below us. We use a white noise device with rain or ocean sounds to diminish the noises we hear - works so good that we travel with one now, too.

  2. I've used eye masks when I I can sleep on the plane. I've never tried one at home but my lack of sleep isn't from the light it's the fact my brain won't shut off.

    I like your name for the mask better they'd sell more with it!


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