Tag Archives: Pillows

I Can’t Sleep Without ________

Photo by Mehmet Goren from FreeImages.

You’ve filled in the blank, haven’t you?

Whether newborn or nonagenarian, we humans believe certain conditions must be met before we can journey to Slumberland.

My grandchildren all have possessed highly personalized bedtime needs. Several have required “loveys” before “Waaaaaaa!” has turned to z-z-z, including stuffed animals, a slip and an orange.

Photo by Raija Ylonen from FreeImages.

Positioning also is important. I read of a toddler who rejected his crib. Instead, he slept atop his nightstand. I get that. My daughter often napped under my rocking chair.

Sometimes routine matters most. One grandson demanded we sing “ABC Song,” “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jingle Bells” every night. In that order. Otherwise, we would cause a monumental tear in his universe.

When little devils finally settle into angel mode, eyes closed and breathing peacefully, we’re ashamed we considered a bedtime exorcism.

Most adults, though, try to exorcise their own insomnia demons.

Of course, we’ve outgrown silly childhood rituals. …

Really?

If that were true, we wouldn’t check locks three times before retiring. Fiddle with the thermostat. Line up slippers.

If that were true, the bed-linen industry wouldn’t be making millions. We each require 26 pillows, placed just so. Also, our aptly named comforters.

Image by JityPix from Pixabay.

Some, to their spouses’ dismay, must be swaddled or, more accurately, burrito-ed. Others substitute weighted blankets, gravity blankets and sensory compression blankets to achieve that huggy feeling.

Those names scare my sleep away. A gravity blanket sends my novel-writing mind zooming off on spaceships. A sensory compression bedsheet sounds like I’m sleeping in a hamburger press. As for a weighted blanket — I often throw off covers during the night. Smacking Hubby with a thirty-pound blanket might not help him sleep.

Just sayin’.

Some adults need visual/auditory stimulation on or off. I prefer that devices sleep elsewhere so buzzes and squeaks don’t keep me awake.

Superior sleeping habits don’t guarantee a peaceful night. Unlike babies, who rarely lie awake worrying about world peace, we adults embrace sleep-bashing topics the second our heads hit the pillows. I’ve counted sheep, only to worry about their welfare. Warm baths, listening to sea sounds, sleeping with an orange — nothing worked.

Even my prayers morphed into worries.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

One night, I played an alphabet game learned in Bible school. I recalled God’s names and/or attributes that started with A, such as “Almighty” and “amazing.” Then, B: “blessed” and “beautiful.” Then C, and so on.

Before reaching G, I fell sound asleep.

Since then, I’ve prayed alphabet prayers many times.

Occasionally, my insomnia stretches from A to Z. Eventually, though, I doze off, knowing Someone bigger and better can manage the world.

And oranges stay in the fridge, where they belong.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you remedy insomnia?

Hotel Versus Home

“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”

Everyone knows the opening words to “Home! Sweet Home,” penned by John Howard Payne in 1823. Few know that Payne, an American whose family opposed his theatrical career, wandered Europe most of his life, dying in Tunisia.

What did he know about “home”? Payne rarely stayed around long enough to pay for trash pickup and roof leaks.

No doubt, his home-sweet-home fantasy was fed by the reality of 1820s lodgings, in which guests often shared rooms with scary strangers. If Payne were traveling today, he’d discover modern hotels present their own unique challenges.

For example, the more expensive a room, the harder it is to operate its coffee maker. Ditto for the clock — at least, I assume it’s a clock. Both devices appear to have been designed by NASA.

Likewise, nice hotel rooms feature remarkably complex TV remotes … whose batteries are always on the blink.

Given all this advanced technology, one would expect more than two clothes hangers in the closet, right?

I do appreciate hotel rooms’ multiple electrical outlets, as our 1960s home features one extra, originally intended for summer’s single oscillating fan. In most hotel rooms today, I’m not surprised to find outlets in the ice bucket.

But where the heck are the light switches?

John Payne probably took baths in a horse trough. Unlike us, he never faced crucial questions: will turning the faucet to red guarantee tepid or scalding water? Even worse (gaaaaahhh!), was the installer color-blind?

Payne surely couldn’t have imagined hotel grooming aids labeled “Clean Sand Spa.” Racier names almost prevent me from taking them home, for fear grandchildren will discover them in a bathroom drawer: “Grandma, what’s a French Fruity Massage?”

The French factor in today’s hotels does seem overdone. Who uses a duvet at home? Why do we need more French stuff in this country? Aren’t fries and toast sufficient?

I do, however, laud hotel king-size beds, loving those 26 pillows.

Did Payne pay extra for breakfast? Probably. Past, present, or future, nothing’s free. However, some modern “free” breakfasts are worth the hidden cost. Others feature orange water and cereal resembling kitty litter.

A less familiar verse of Payne’s song reveals his mind felt at ease at home. Is this true in my case? Not always, especially as I’m eating while sneaky ants pursue “free” breakfasts.

They picked the wrong ant hotel.

For me, though, it’s home. I can make coffee here, find light switches, and sleep well, even without French influence and with only one pillow.

“Be it ever so humble,” there’s no other place I’d rather be —

If only a housekeeper would show up.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite hotel amenity?

Pillow Power

They soften our woes, absorb frustrations without complaint and support us.

Our mothers?

No, our pillows.

I could happily sleep with a dozen, but my spouse considers extras speed bumps in the night. So I content myself with daytime heaps of decorative pillows on our bed.

When Hubby makes the bed, he sometimes forgets the universe will implode with the green pillow in the middle rather than the white.

Fear not. I continue to rescue the cosmos.

I also help him regarding sofa cushions. Our geometric pillow must always be matched with the sage green cushion. Never the brick red.

No one should desecrate them with actual use. Both Hubby and grand-dog must understand that the aged, ameba-shaped cushion, stashed under a throw, is reserved for naps. And naps are permitted only when all 30 other pillows can be stacked on a spare sofa.

They are called toss cushions. But no throwing them on the floor!

“OC, aren’t you?” chorus a hundred voices.

The fact I hear voices doesn’t negate my point, which is … uh, yes, pillow power.

We must respect a product that upsets an entire continent. Australian health alerts demand that pillows be replaced every two years or frozen to kill dust mites. One manufacturer even conducted a free pillow exchange.

Pillows can exert power in positive ways, e.g., the OSTRICHPILLOW®. The owner inserts his head into a soft, closed tube, resting the padded “microenvironment” on his desk. Supposedly, a 20-minute nap using the OSTRICHPILLOW® increases work productivity by 37 percent.

Any nap might accomplish this. Still, who am I to deny the combined force of capitalism and catnap?

However, pillows can cause complications. Sleepers lose hours of rest, constantly awakening to refresh their pillows. For only $100, a sufferer can buy one filled with cool gel that reshapes itself. He should, however, take care not to drop it on his toe, as it weighs 14 pounds.

Or, for only $400, one can purchase an intelliPillow. Why so expensive? Because its name starts with a lowercase letter, with a capital in the middle. It also uses a complex air compressor for automatic adjustment.

Ultimate power, however, is evidenced in the classic pillow fight. Taking this ancient concept to a higher level, devotees use pillows shaped like scimitars, battle axes, and hand grenades.

Airline cushions sufficed, however, for passengers on one economy flight who took out lack-of-leg-room frustrations in a mass pillow fight. Hostilities resolved, they celebrated one flight attendant’s deadeye aim with loud applause.

Perhaps if world leaders engaged in a day-long pillow fight, peace might be a step closer.

I’m not the only one who likes lots of pillows!

A powerful idea.

As long as they don’t throw my sofa cushions.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you picky about your pillows?