A few weeks ago I discovered a new use for something we have dozens of around the house: ear protectors. We have pairs of them in the basement, in the garage and in our backpacks for traveling. I even have a pair in my purse which came in handy at a loud concert last fall. The new use came to me when I was trying to get to sleep one night. With the numerous colds and sinus infections that Johnnie and I have traded between us and with the granddaughters all winter, sleep time can be kind of, um, noisy.
So I was lying there trying not to give up and slip into another bedroom when I thought about ear protectors. I got up, found a pair in my desk (when I'm writing and Johnnie's on the phone chatting with someone, I put them in to help me focus), popped them in and voila! I was asleep in just a few minutes, with Johnnie's snoring reduced to a distant rumble. I tell you, I was saved!
Last weekend I went to The Christmas Tree Shop, which has lots of house decorations and weird things for fairly inexpensive prices. Not a Christmas tree in sight. It's probably one of the most misnamed stores around, in my opinion. (Looks like they're mostly in the Northeast, from Maine to Kentucky.)
I was by myself which was rare in itself so I indulged in poking among all the junk and treasures throughout the store and taking my time. In the health and beauty aids area, they had a sizeable display of ear plugs and the packages were rated on the back on how many decibels they reduced, noise-wise. So I picked out a package of these beauties, rated at 33 decibels of reduction, the highest rating of the packs displayed. They actually have a brand name: Howard Leight by Sperian - never heard of them or him before but they really do the trick for me.
They work great. I've been able to sleep through Johnnie's latest cold with no problem. In fact, this morning he was awake before me and switched out the shower head in our bathroom and I never heard a thing. Awesome. This is a far better solution than sleeping separately, according to me. And there are times when sleeping separately isn't an option, when we have company or both granddaughters stay overnight and we put them in our two extra bedrooms. I can still hear if there's an emergency but the sounds of Johnnie's snoring become gentle susurration.*
Extra benefits: I don't hear the dogs with their early weekend morning agitating about going outside or the window shade clicking against the window casing in a light breeze. Both of which wake me up, usually annoyed. If the dogs really need to go out, they come to the side of the bed and bump it, guaranteeing that I get up.
*I've always wanted to use that word but there's not much call for it in the technical or marketing writing that I do. It means whispering - isn't it cool?