If you’ve heard the term “sleep props” before, it was most likely in regard to babies. A sleep prop is something that you need in order to fall asleep. Probably the most common sleep prop is a pacifier. The danger of having a sleep prop, if you haven’t guessed, is that when that sleep prop is no longer available (like if it falls out of a babies mouth), the person then wakes up.
My first child had a sleep prop, and yes, it was a pacifier. He didn’t sleep through the night until he was over a year old. When he was two, I had to go through this whole rigamarole of the “Binky Fairy” in order to convince him to give up the pacifier. My second child does not like pacifiers. Not bragging but he slept through the night since he was six weeks old.
I have more in common with my first child when it comes to sleep props. No, I don’t use a pacifier (I’m not sure if I ever did), but my list of sleep props is embarrassingly long. I would like to eventually give them all up, but I realize it will be a super long process. Here goes:
1) Benadryl: When I was pregnant with my first son, I had terrible insomnia. I was told I could take Benadryl every night if I needed it. It’s now more that five years later, and up until a few weeks ago, I was still taking it every damn night. The only reason I stopped was because after my Lasik, they told me it was too drying for my eyes. But I’m done! Not taking it again unless medically necessary.
2) Ear plugs: This is a very difficult one to understand. I started using ear plugs because my ex-boyfriend snored extremely loud. So we are talking about 20 years ago. When we broke up, I was so used to the ear plugs that I continued to wear them. I was sleeping alone in a quiet apartment and I used earplugs! When I started dating my husband more than ten years ago, he didn’t snore at all. Unfortunately, now he does occasionally snore, so I wake up and have to put them in. But I am able to get through some nights without.
3) White noise machine: Yes, this seems completely crazy when coupled with the ear plugs. But I started using a white noise machine almost five years ago when my son was born so he wouldn’t hear me doing whatever while he was sleeping. When he moved to his own room a few months later, I found I had gotten so used to the machine that I couldn’t sleep without it. I don’t really know if I’ll ever give this up, nor do I particularly want to. My bedroom faces a street, and I’d probably wake up every time a car went by if I didn’t have it.
4) Halls Menthol Sugar-Free Cough Drops: This one is the most embarrassing because I think there’s a chance I could actually die from it, and also because it’s most like the pacifier. I cannot sleep without a cough drop wedged in between my teeth and cheek. Like absolutely cannot. As soon as it dissolves completely, I wake up coughing. If I try to fall asleep without one, I cough so badly I nearly vomit. No, it has never lodged in my throat. I only sleep on my side, and whatever side I’m on, the cough drop is also on that side. I’m not even sure when I started doing this, but maybe it was while I had a cold around 6 or 7 years ago. I would really like to stop doing this, but unfortunately there is no “Halls Fairy” to help me out.