Sweet Dreams

As a warning, this post is bound to be pretty boring to most of you… that being said, it’s still something I’m quite excited about 😀

After being here for three and a half weeks, I think I’ve finally figured out how to sleep well in my bed.

At home I can just flop down whenever I’m tired and go straight to sleep. And wherever, too, it seems: just a few days before I left for this trip, I took a two-hour nap on the kitchen floor. There’s little struggle with any of the sleeping process: falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up properly. It’s even the same way at school. Which left me puzzled: why is it such an issue for me, someone who has never had a problem with sleep, to get a good night’s rest here?

Well, I think I figured it all out, and not only that: I also figured out how to solve it all.

Issue Number 1: Covers

Don’t ask me why, but I’m one of those people who has to have covers on to fall asleep, even if it’s ninety degrees outside and humid. The only thing I brought with me to Italy was sheets – no blankets – and initially I thought, “Perfect! These will work great in this humidity!” But somehow not having a top comforter messed with me mentally, which I realized when I got home from my trip this weekend (which I’m still working on writing about, promise!). So I pulled the best-looking option out from the closet in my room, which actually isn’t half-bad-looking, and put it on my bed. This definitely helped, though my sleep still wasn’t great. So, like a good industrial engineer, I continued to work on its improvement.

Issue Number 2: Heat

Have I mentioned yet that it’s hot and humid here? For the most part I’ve gotten used to this too, but this was one of the biggest obstacles I faced when trying to sleep at night. Initially I just kept the windows open, but that led to more problems (see issues three and five). Now I close the window and have my fan on (which also helps with issue four!).

Issue Number 3: Light

At home the light doesn’t bother me, but I noticed at school this year when my bedroom was placed next to the obscenely bright lights of the bike racks that it could really affect how long or how well I sleep. Here in Italy, it stays light outside until 9:30 or 10:00 at night and the sun subsequently starts rising around 5 o’clock in the morning, which would wake me up. I fixed this problem by closing the shutters outside my window. Violà, better sleep!

Issue Number 4: Noise

I don’t know if I’ve ever lived somewhere quite as noisy. Thank goodness there’s a “quiet time” law in place here, but even then it doesn’t help too much. People in Italy love using their horns, not to mention the fact that the glass truck comes by every couple days and makes quite a racket in the morning. Solution? Close the windows and turn the fan on. It acts like white noise and keeps me cool.

Issue Number 5: Bugs

This one’s probably the real problem. I’m a magnet for mosquitoes at home anyway, so bring me to a place with humidity and it’s like I’m a living feast for them. When I’d sleep with the window open, it was like I was subconsciously trying to keep one eye open at all times to make sure nothing bit me. In fact, a few nights ago, I was almost asleep until I heard something buzzing by my ear. It’s very difficult to fall asleep when you twitch at every tingle of your skin, so this was another benefit of keeping the window closed.

And there we have it: no more sleep problems. I woke up this morning to my alarm feeling really well-rested, and all it took was an extra blanket, a fan, and the closing of windows and shutters. I finally can have sogni d’oro 🙂

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