The earplug technique
I’m a pretty fitful sleeper, even if there isn’t someone in my bed trying to play big spoon to my little one. At various points over the last decade I’ve used (and slightly abused) prescription sleeping medications, eye shades and many different pillow arrangements to lull me to slumber, which have resulted in varying degrees of restful success.
When I first moved into my present apartment, the pipes banged something awful. On the hour, every hour, the heating pipes shook my entire apartment. For a month, I was beside myself with exhaustion. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think. I cried a lot.
During this time, I was experimenting with the right combination of sleep aids, white noise machines and earplugs. The first two did little to block out the noise. And the third was pretty useless until I finally learned how to insert them properly. (Eventually, my pipes, which had been leaking, were fixed. Now they only bang twice a day and for just a few minutes.)
I was explaining the method for proper earplug usage to a friend because he was being woken by nearby sounds. “You gotta pull your outer lobe back,” I began, “in order to make the hole a bit bigger. Then you take the earplug, which you’ve twisted, and stick it in. It expands inside your ear.”
“That’s a good description of sex,” he observed after I completed my demonstration.
There you have it–if watching porn is too lewd for you and you never received sex education in middle and high school, just read the back of any package of earplugs. That’ll show you all you need to know.