The Country Never Sleeps: Better Slip Me An Ambien

The Country Never Sleeps: Better Slip Me An Ambien

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Tess Wilson
Sep 12, 2014
(Image credit: Amy Azzarito)

I used to live on San Francisco's Valencia Street, where I was regaled day and night with traffic noises and what I affectionately referred to as The Valencia St Yelling Team. That was NOTHING compared to the racket I'm enduring living way out here in the country...

Last night, I had a hard time falling asleep thanks to the eerie, frantic conversations amongst the local coyotes. Not just howls, but otherworldly yips and barks and something like laughter. Once I'd finally succumbed to sleep, the house was rocked by thunder so loud it made me panic, despite having grown up in the Midwest. Perhaps in Chicago the noise was muted by all of the surrounding buildings, whereas we are all alone out here on the rolling prairie? As if the night's excitement wasn't enough so far, I was soon painfully aware that a skunk had sprayed not too far outside our window. Yes, I know that a skunk produces a smell, not a noise, but when it's a powerful enough smell to wake you up, I think it counts.

The night before, the tree outside our bedroom had played host to the 2014 Ultimate Raccoon Battle Royale, an all-night premium event featuring screaming, growling, shrieking, and the distressed rattle of tree branches. I slept in small bits, only drifting off long enough to have a nightmare before being awoken by the sounds of all-out combat.

Dear readers, I am tired. Where are the comparatively-sweet sounds of honking horns, screeching tires, and drunken carousing to lull me to sleep? Where's the whoosh-whoosh white noise of traffic to dull all other sounds? And if I'm going to be kept awake all night by a racket, shouldn't there at least be excellent coffee and cocktails within walking distance?

Have you had trouble adjusting to new sleeping conditions? How did you deal?

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