So this early morning, around 2am, I woke up after a disturbing nightmare, the kind that tends to leave me awake but tired and plagues with insomnia. I’d taken a full sleeping pill just four hours before, so it was too soon to resort to that.
Obviously the place to go next was Twitter. Where I discovered that @cleolinda recommended iZen Garden, a little iPhone app that replicates a dry sand garden, you know, the kind you put a few rocks in and then trace around them with a rake.
The app comes with 100 different kinds of objects you can place, move, and rake around, including fossils, bonsai trees, flowers, fountains that run and make soothing noises, and rocks. There are also animated butterflies you can add.
And of course, there must be soothing ambient sound in general, like tiny bells in the distance, rain, birds, etc. They all manage—even the bells—to not be annoying.
I bought it and played around with it, and the sounds and possibly the very simple act of raking repeatedly put me to sleep for the next eight hours, which I really quite needed. No dreams remembered at all, even, which is generally the way I like sleep to work.
I don’t know if it’ll continue to work (for instance, having Neil Gaiman read Coraline to me no longer works well). But it was relaxing. And it is rather pretty.