The best time to contemplate all of life’s problems lies between 10 p.m. when you decide to go to sleep and 6 a.m. where it’s early enough that you could feasibly start your day. During that gauntlet of sleeplessness, you calculate your bank account and bills, wonder if all your friends hate you, tell yourself not to scroll Instagram, and think about what your ex from middle school is doing with their life. Whatever demons you have, they’re coming out to play.
You know turning on your television will blind you and turning to your phone in Night Shift will distract for you for a casual three hours, so you have to do what everyone does at some point in their life – get semi-addicted to a sleep aid.
It’s okay. This is a safe space and we’re allowed to admit that we probably take more than the bottle says and even sometimes do it after a few glasses of wine. No one’s judging. But proceed with caution because habits are expensive and sometimes not worth it. Luckily, these are the the best in order from “consume until your heart’s content” to “maybe don’t talk about this in public.”
Sleepy Time Tea
What do you want next, little guy? Some warm milk for your tummy? Sleep Time Tea is like the “I can’t sleep” starter pack that’s simply a placebo for people who are too afraid to inject their bodies with the real shit. Nothing differentiates your Sleepy Time Teas from your Earl Greys or your Oolongs. Sure, they may taste different, but Sleepy Time isn’t going to make you fall asleep any faster than a sip of water or an episode of Frasier.
Generally consisting of water, lemon, whiskey, and perhaps a stick of cinnamon, Hot Toddys say nothing more than, “I have a cold but still want to get drunk.” You’re not a 20-year-old hotshot anymore which means you can’t just go out when you’re congested with a sinus infection or cold. But in that same breath, falling asleep sober on a Friday night is more difficult than falling asleep hungover on a Sunday night. You need that head change and the best excuse to get that head change is by drinking something socially acceptable for sick people to drink.
Are they a bitch to make? Yeah. But tossing back three of ’em will cost you less than a night of Ubers.
We’re not talking drink-until-you-can’t-remember-passing-out alcohol. We’re talking something-bad-happened-late-night-and-you-need-to-take-the-edge-off-with-a-stiff-whiskey. Maybe the politician you voted for lost the election. Perhaps you got a “low balance” push notie from your bank. Your team is on a west coast road trip and they just went down early. Maybe you just hate yourself. But when the NyQuil runs dry and there’s nowhere else to turn but that cupboard beneath the silverware, you really have no choice but to pour a few fingers into a low ball and wake up with a headache that reminds you of the night before.
You know, if that’s legal in your state. Because obviously, no one would ever condone doing anything illegal, even if that illegal thing is simply putting a lighter to a plant that grows naturally out of the ground. Doing something like that where it’s illegal is completely out of the question and inappropriate.
So, like, I’ve heard that weed doesn’t actually make you sleep better but I’ve also heard that people use edibles to relax their muscles and pass the fuck out. You know, if that’s legal in your state, I bet it would totally work well for you. Not saying I’ve tried it. I’m just saying that I’ve heard of it working.
Zzzquil is the “I had a cold and got addicted to falling asleep with NyQuil” method of sleep aids. But when your cold finally clears and the hangover still lingers, you realize that you need to take a step back and buy the shit that you don’t actually need but just want – Zzzquil. The pharmacist is probably going to think you’re a pansy for buying it, but once you get home and take a bigger-than-directed chug of it, you’ll feel it cleanse your system and you’ll fall asleep to Netflix just like when you were out sick. It’s when you have to go back to the store and cough up another ten bucks after five days that you realize you’re pissing money away.
Melatonin is Zzzquil’s hipster cousin. The same effects but a little more off the beaten path because of its lack of name recognition. Slightly expensive, you have to bite the bullet and get the big plastic bottle that tells you to take one to two gummies before bedtime. But after you pop three or four, you start to feel woozy and resist going to sleep because your brain can’t comprehend how they started working before the first commercial break in Friends. You may wake up at 4 a.m. completely awake wishing you could take more, but your body just pounded about 6 hours of hard sleep and refuses to endure more.
Oh, and they taste like Gushers which is a godsend in this day and age because people will judge you for eating gummy snacks instead of actual fruit.
You’ve tried them all, and now? Your doctor had to intervene when you went to your normal check-up to make sure you aren’t dying. Or, you know, maybe you scored a couple off a family member or friend who sacked up and actually sealed the deal. Either way, you pop one and all of the sudden your brain goes into a foggy forest where you’re not sure if you’re awake, dreaming, or walking around your house aimlessly trying to find your credit card so you can complete your purchase on Amazon.
Yeah, you might wake up to some weird texts you sent. And sure, you’ll have to rewind anything you started on Netflix because you’re now five episodes ahead. But you slept like a tired puppy with no hangover and you crave more. Just think of the packages that arrive at your door in two-to-three business days as presents from a secret admirer. Being poor is better than being sleepless. .