Scumbag Brain Won’t Let Me Sleep

I’m tired today.

For the past few nights, though I’ve been exhausted come bedtime, my brain decides that bedtime is, in fact, the perfect time to be awake. As are the several hours after bedtime.

Have you ever had insomnia?

It’s frustrating as hell, because something that seems so easy for everyone else eludes you. This is especially pronounced in my house, because my husband falls asleep approximately 3.4 seconds after his head hits the pillow, even if he had a nap earlier and a cup of coffee an hour before bed.

Some people can’t sleep because they worry or can’t stop thinking about things that happened during the day. The most common reason I can’t sleep is because I get songs stuck in my head, a.k.a. earworms. Two days ago I painted my son’s room, so I had my iTunes on all day while I worked. I was exhausted from all the painting, but my scumbag brain decided to replay several of the hits I heard earlier. For most of the night.

Sometimes the songs are ones I don’t even like but are really catchy. “Call Me Maybe” is a recent example.

So what’s a hopeful soon-to-be sleeper to do?

I googled “how to get rid of an earworm”, and I learned that women and musicians are most like to get them. Well, there’s two strikes right there. When I was in high school and was part of the pit orchestra for the school musical, I would have the musical songs stuck in my head for weeks. If you’ve ever doubted personal hells, then you’ve never experienced your brain forcing you to listen to musical numbers for thousands of consecutive hours.

But I digress.

According to the How Stuff Works website, there are some steps to take to get rid of earworms.

1. Sing another song, or play another melody on an instrument.

2. Switch to an activity that keeps you busy, such as working out.
3. Listen to the song all the way through (this works for some people).
4. Turn on the radio or a CD to get your brain tuned in to another song.
5. Share the song with a friend (but don’t be surprised if the person become an ex-friend when he or she walks away humming the tune).
6. Picture the earworm as a real creature crawling out of your head, and imagine stomping on it.


I love number six. In my imagination, the earworm crawling out of my head would have Nicholas Cage’s face. And I would stomp the crap out of it.

Seriously, though, the most effective way I’ve found to get rid of earworms is to listen to different songs. So maybe tonight I’ll be proactive and keep my iPod on my nightstand.

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