Strangely, one of the things that “worries” me the most on a personal level is my ability to sleep in a grid-down situation. You see, I’m a light sleeper, I mean REALLY light sleeper and if you are too you know what I mean. Some might think that’s a good thing during times where you need to be on-guard and maybe it will prove useful some day, but in my normal life it generally sucks.
To combat this I’ve grown accustomed to sleeping with a fan turned on whether it’s needed for cooling or not. It’s so important to me that I’ll pack it if I go on vacation–not that this happens very often anymore–or anywhere there might not be something that makes steady noise. In fact, it’s those rare times that the power goes out and it’s dead quite that I’ll sit up at night awake for hours on end. The thing is, it’s not the absolute quite that’s a problem, it’s the odd and occasional noises that keep me up, from a gust of wind to my wife stirring and who knows what else.
So, I need a plan to combat that. I briefly contemplated sleep aids but I figure that last thing I wanted is to be artificially asleep when I may need to function immediately and without warning. Scratch that thought! In fact, a while back I posted about my grogginess when being awoke in the middle of the night in this post Think Twice Before Bringing Your Gun to Bed, which compounds my problem but that’s not the point here.
I then thought about simply powering a fan. While I can power a typical AC fan using my solar setup I don’t feel like that’s the best use of my power system so I’m thinking that’s not a great plan either. On the other hand, I do have a DC-powered fan that would probably get used if it were hot regardless but, again, it’s probably not the best use of finite power (in this case D-cell batteries) just so I can sleep.
I’ve also contemplated using ear plugs which might be my best bet but still not quite what I’m looking for. While they do help a bit it’s not nearly enough most of the time and likely more annoying to me than just not using them. And, yes, I have tried just a pillow over my head!
While noise is more of my problem, I can see how early daylight might be some people’s problem. In this case consider a sleep mask or heavy curtains. Of course, it might not be such a bad thing to be up early in the day to get work done. Remember, there was a time when people regularly rose when the sun came up and retired when it went down.
Many years ago my wife had me try a few different herbal concoctions that probably helped a bit but I’m not much of a herb/tea drinker so that plan didn’t stick, but may be a viable option in a SHTF situation.
All that said, I might just be so tired from a full day of hard manual labor or from pulling long security detail that it’s all a moot point, who knows. The point is that for those who have a similar problem (or those who live with people like this) it is a significant concern not to be ignored. I, for one, am not the nicest of people when I haven’t had my “beauty rest.”
If you have any great ideas, I would appreciate hearing them.