We all have those sounds that help us fall asleep, that soothe us.  For some of us, silence does the trick.  For others, silence is what makes it impossible to fall asleep.  When I was growing up, the sounds that helped me fall asleep included the whir of the nighttime traffic on the nearby highway, the pitter patter of a rainy night, the news radio program emanating from the living room, or simply quiet conversation in another room.  Those things helped me fall asleep then, and I can still count on many of them to help me fall asleep now.  For my kids, sound sometimes has the opposite effect.  Lately, Maya has been heard saying, “What’s that noise?”  when referring to everyday sounds such as the dishwasher, washing machine or even a truck on the road.  She doesn’t seem afraid of the sound, just cautious and curious.  I wonder if unknown sounds will begin to have an impact on her or if she will just let them roll off her back.

For a while, Seth used a humidifier in his room whenever he was sick or stuffy.  Later we began using it simply as a noise machine to muffle things like our talking after bedtime, thunder, or anything else we thought might disrupt his sleep.  For about a month, Seth’s “air” has taken a hiatus.  He no longer wants it on, but he insists on having his light on and his door open at night.  I wonder what that is all about.
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