A good night’s sleep is essential to our health. Without it, you risk spending the entire day feeling groggy, grumpy, and overwhelmingly anxious about that time you accidentally ran over a hitchhiker at the side of the road while driving home from work late one night.
Here are five sleep hacks to help you wake up feeling rested, refreshed, and less dreadful about the eternal damnation of your soul.
White noise machine
Incessant thoughts have a way of keeping us up at night: Stressing over a big work presentation, worrying about whether or not you turned off the stove, replaying in your mind the time you were driving home from a late-night meeting and you couldn’t for the life of you remember the name of that actor who played the head guard in The Longest Yard—you know, the one with the pointy face and big forehead who seems to be in practically everything? After a while, it started to drive you crazy, so you decided to take your eyes off the road for just a split second to look it up on IMDb, and when you looked back up it was too late to swerve out of the way of the guy standing on the shoulder with his thumb out and a terrified look on his face.
The soothing sounds of a white noise machine will help drown out those thoughts and lead to a more peaceful night of sleep. (William Fichtner is the actor’s name, by the way. And the hitchhiker you ran over was named Ron Goins, you learned after rifling through his possessions.)
Weighted blankets use deep pressure stimulation to reduce stress hormones and increase melatonin levels. Just make sure the blanket isn’t too heavy. After all, you don’t want to feel like you’re being buried alive, much like how you buried that hitchhiker’s body way out in the woods, and just as you were dumping the last shovelful of dirt on top of him, you could have sworn you heard a dull groaning sound coming from the earth, but you told yourself that it was probably just your mind playing tricks on you, because he was clearly dead. After all, you did check his pulse before burying him, didn’t you?
Wait, tell me you checked his pulse. No no, it’s fine! I’m sure it’s fine.
Focus on your breathing. To breathe is to be alive and present in the moment. As long as you have breath in your lungs… You know what? Let’s just move on to the next one.
Turn off your phone
Staring at your phone is what got you into this mess in the first place. You’re only putting yourself in a bad mood by scrolling through depressing headlines just before bed. You’re also not doing yourself any favors by obsessively Googling “body found in woods off Highway 6” and “hitchhiker still missing.” What’s done is done. Nothing can bring back Ron Goins. Besides, it’s been four months. If the police had any evidence linking you to the crime, you’d know by now.
When in doubt, go with a tried and trusted method. Chances are you’ll fall asleep before you reach the tenth sheep. It might also help to ease your mind if you recount your steps on that fateful night, just to reassure yourself that you covered any trace that you were ever there.
Start with the body, which you carefully loaded into the back of your trunk after making sure that there were no witnesses around. From there, follow the dirt road you took to reach the secluded section of the woods. After you’ve mentally reburied the body, remembering with vivid detail the feeling of your shovel piercing the– Wait, the shovel!
Did you remember to put the shovel back in your car after you were done? Or did you leave it leaning against a tree while you sobbed uncontrollably and devised a story to tell your wife about why you were home so late and covered in dirt? And wasn’t that the same shovel your father-in-law gave you as a 40th birthday present, the one with your name and address engraved on the handle, which you threw in the trunk of your car and completely forgot about until that night?
Dear God! If the police ever find that shovel, you’re fucked, man! What the hell are you still doing in bed? Get off your ass and drive back out to those woods! How can you even think about sleeping at a time like this?