Friday, June 25, 2010

Not a cure for insomnia, but....

A few years ago, I started waking up in the night.  Not for any special reason, just for the hell of it, so to speak.
What to do?  Roll over, close eyes, try to sleep again.  No luck.
Don't start thinking!  That will just lead to worried insomnia.
Get up?  Uh uh.  Don't want to do that.  What if I get sleepy and I'm not in my bed?
Can't read.  Can't turn on the TV.  Can't really do anything without disturbing Left Brain's sleep.
Listen to my Ipod!  But I don't want to listen to music, that just wakes me up more.

What's a podcast, anyway?  Hmmmm.

And that was the beginning of my love affair with late-night listening.  Now, I have to know that my Ipod is right there, ready to grab if I should wake up, which unfortunately, I still do from time to time. 

And I've found some really wonderful listening is to be had,  and free!

Some of my favorites:
Persiflagers Infectious Disease Puscast- Dr. Mark Crislip of Portland talks about recent literature in his speciality, Infectious Disease.  Now, you might think that this  really must be boring, but no!  If you have any interest in medicine and disease, which I do, it's just plain fascinating, and if I don't always get the arcane language and technical jargon, I get enough to get the gist of what's been studied, and it's fascinating!   Dr. Crislip is funny and gives it just enough personality to keep you coming back.  Also, his voice is soothing in an odd way and after a while of being half interested and entertained, off to sleep you go!  Another way to enjoy Dr. Crisplip's wit and voice is to listen to the QuackCast, wherein he debunks the frauds and pseudo-science of Alternative Medicine.  I wish I could get more people to listen to this and stop supporting SCAMS!
PRI Selected Shorts-  Live performances of great short stories, read by actors.  Wonderful!
This American Life- Another great program from Public Radio International, this show takes a theme and people tell true stories that amplify and elucidate that particular theme, in depth.  Hard to describe, but once you listen, you'll be hooked.  Funny, informative, thought and discussion -provoking themes every week.  I save these for when I take a walk; they usually run about 45 minutes.
The Moth- Another idea that is hard to describe.  People get up in front of an audience and tell stories, without notes. Usually about 10 minutes long.  Not that these stories aren't rehearsed, you don't hear anyone hemming and hawing, but they are told in a personal way about all kinds of situations in life, funny ones, sad, stories with lessons, sometimes about extraordinary people or events.  I've heard a few I wish I'd never bothered with, but most are very good and some I listen to more than once. An Englishwoman talks about her garden and gardening.  Very informative, but the thing is, she just has the loveliest, most melodic voice and phrasing, and I just adore listening to her. Very sleep inducing, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.
The Survival Podcast- Jack Spirko wants us all to be self-reliant and ready to face whatever comes our way.  His topics range from world economy to canning green beans and which shotgun we should have. He'll tell you how to store food for emergencies and how to plan an escape to a B.O.L. (bug-out-location).  He'll talk about squash bugs.  I love it.  I think I inherited the survival gene from my grandmother,  who never could have enough food "put away",  and I want to be prepared for anything that comes down the pike.  Jack tends to get a little over-excited, but you can't fault the man for his passion and downright smarts.  For someone who is self-educated, he knows an awful lot about a lot of things, and has common sense as well.  I do have to skip the long intro, though.  I understand he has to do it, but it gets old.

I have other podcasts that I listen to, and I'm open to suggestions, but if you are interested, this is a good place to start.  It's certainly better than laying awake and "stewing".

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