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Feeling Tatt-y

November 29th, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Music · No Comments · Life, Music

Jayne already thinks I am making it up when I say that I have mild restless leg syndrome, so I don't think she is ready for me to hypochodriacally claim to have tatt.  And I think she is right.  Tatt is shorthand for 'tired all the time', and while that is true for me the jury is still out on whether it is a sleep disorder or just laziness which is the cause.

The BBC story has a couple of interesting approaches to tackling sleep disorders.  Power naps are, unfortunately, not an option.  I used to do that at a previous job, taking a nap at lunchtime, but my boss kept throwing spoons at me.  I guess I did effectively manage power naps in a way by getting at least 20-30 minutes kip on the train home when I was commuting.

Saying "the" is not something I have heard before.  I don't know why it should work but I'll give it a try the next time I can't stop the old brain from ticking over in bed.  Progressive Muscle Relaxation just sounds too much like hard work so I won't bother with that.

I have sometimes tried a meditative technique I heard about where you visualise a large circle above you, like a clock face, with an arm sweeping round it.  The idea is to breath in as the arm travels from 6 to 12 o'clock and breath out as it travels back down.   Apparently the trick is to make the transition from breathing in and out smooth like the circular movement.  it does work, but only really if you are lying on your back, and I really try not to go to sleep like that for snoring-related erasons.

That leaves me with the 'old CD' method.  That always worked for me.  Back when I only had a tape player I would put a really familiar tape on and be guaranteed to be asleep before the end.  And then the loud mechanical clunk as the tape ended would wake me up – a problem solved by CDs.   I used to have a few copper-bottomed certainties for getting me to sleep, like Tubular Bells 2 and the second disc of Moonflower and would leave the same disc in for weeks or months at a time.  Why change it if it works?

The key is familiarity. Metallica's black album is more likely to help me sleep than something really mellow which I am unfamiliar with, but these techniques have a slight problem.  They are OK when you live alone, but if you share a bed there is every chance that what works for you will drive your partner up the wall.  They may not be best pleased with hearing Tubular Bells for the 45th night running.

Several months ago I tried to tackle this by creating some playlists on the iRiver.  Once I stopped commuting it was not getting used much anyway.  I now have it conencted to a pair of speakers, playing several lists.

To give a bit of variety I created 7 lists  (Mon, Tue, etc.) and then for good measure created another few called "stuff", "more stuff" and "even more stuff".   I went through the machine dragging songs I liked into the lists and then randomised them.  I tried to avoid anything really loud. 

It sort of works, but needs some fine tuning.  Because the songs come from various sources (ripped from CD as 64-bit WMA, ripped as 128-bit WMA, MP3 converted from vinyl or tape, and downloaded MP3) there is no equalisation of levels.  I can kick off a playlist at the right volume and one or two songs in the middle might be too quiet to hear or so loud they disturb me, so I have to week them out.

And now is where this post becomes interesting only to me…  before I re-do these playlists I have been using for months and months I want to make a note of what is on them.  Some time in the future I might enjoy seeing what I used to consider a sleep-inducing playlist…  if anyone else gives a toss I will be greatly surprised.


  • Rendezvouz 4, Jean-Michel Jarre (from Aero)
  • Suicide Blonde, INXS
  • Firth of Fifth, Genesis (from Seconds Out)
  • Spank remix, LNV
  • Peuples du Monde, Tonton David
  • No Religion, Van Morrison
  • Situation, Yazoo
  • Mirror in the Bathroom, The Beat
  • Pistolero, Juno Reactor
  • I heard it through the grapevine,  The Slits
  • Lonlon, Angelique Kidjo 
  • I want to be free, Toyah (acoustic version)
  • Aerodynamik, Kraftwerk (remix)
  • James Bond, The Selecter 
  • Suck my kiss, Red Hot Chilli Peppers
  • Seven Nation Army, White Stripes
  • Die Flut, Joachim Witt
  • Two hearts beat as one, U2
  • Sratli, Khaled
  • Clint Eastwood, Gorillaz 


  • She's not there, Santana
  • Hush, Kula Shaker
  • Bedsitter, Soft Cell
  • Sheep, Les Claypool 
  • Janie Jones, The Clash
  • Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt1, The Flaming Lips
  • Higher Ground,  Stevie Wonder
  • Bloodhounds on my trail, The Black Angels
  • David Watts, The Jam
  • Another one bites the dust, Clint Eastwood & General Saint
  • Nour el Ain,  Amr Diab
  • Marquee Moon, Television
  • Venus & Mars/Rock Show, Paul McCartney
  • Sonegaly, Tarika
  • Ritual – nous sommes du soleil, Yes
  • Goodbye Girl, Squeeze
  • Harmonic Generator, The Datsuns
  • Radioactivity, Kraftwerk (live)
  • I believe in a thing called love, The Darkness
  • Generator, The Holloways

And so it goes on. Wednesday has Rush leading into Faithless and Ice-T bumping up against Santana. I look forward to Thursdays; they start with Paul Weller's From The Floorboards Up, Van Morrison's Days Like This, and then NWA, with Bronski Beat, Primus and Tubeway Army in there somewhere.  Friday starts with Burlesque by Family and I always skip it.  It seemed like a good idea at the time but just doesn't work.  It continues with Tarkan, Crowded House, Misty in Roots, Green Day and Badger.

I think I am going to have to put more thought into it all next time.  Tonight I may take the "even more stuff" option. (Blur, Phish, Robbie Williams, BB King, Bubba Sparxxx, and Rancid.)

Of course, the easiest way to get more sleep might be to go to bed earlier instead of sitting up and writing bollocks.



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