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Like Sting I’m Tantric


When I was in early high school, I once had a song stuck in my head for about 3 weeks straight. It was Rancid’s “Ruby SoHo” and what added insult to injury is that I didn’t even like the song in the first place.

Eventually, either after heavy drug use OR listening to it on repeat (flooding, anyone?), it got out, and I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t involuntarily shudder when I typed it. My aversion is that strong.

I’m relatively new to the world of insomnia, and if you’d told me three years ago (when I was “studying” to get my Master’s degree in sleep. Shit, I know my stronger points.) that I would ever struggle with it, I would have promptly laughed at you. And then laid down for a nap.

Some people use movies or drinking for escapeism. I used sleep. Having a bad day? Take a nap. Stressed about something? Study the back of my eyelids until I felt better.

And it worked better than any drug or hilarious romantic comedy starring some wacky British man ever did.

When I was diagnosed (and subsequently treated) for my hypothyroidism, I lost this ability to sleep well or nap at all, and I am telling you that I miss it terribly.

One hideously annoying side effect of this insomnia is that when I trundle off to bed each night, the moment my head makes contact with the pillow, it’s like some annoying song floodgate is opened, and the chorus’s from each and every commercial jingle floods my brain.

Just fucking try to sleep while your mind loops “Free Credit Report DOT Com!” over and over ad infinitium, ad nauseum. It succeeds in making me want to stick sharp pointy objects into my ear drums in hopes that it might hit the part of the brain responsible for annoyingly repetitious songs and/or phrases and kill it permanently off (who needs to remember every irritating commercials jingle, besides ad agencies? No one. It serves no purpose), but sleep, oh glorious sleep eludes me.

Eventually I do fall asleep and my internal loop of songs is silenced until Alex (or my bladder) rouses me, and I’ll get through part of my nocturnal rituals, start patting myself on the back for successfully getting that song out of my head, and just as I’m being all self-congratulatory, “Do-do-do-do, Do a Dollop Of Daisy” starts ringing through my head. And I begin contemplating lobotomies.


Oddly enough, when I wake up in the morning, yet another song is going through my head, but typically not a commercial jingle. It’s usually a fraction of some song that I do actually like and listen to, but it’s only a small snippet of this song. Like a phrase or two.

Were I about 10 or 12 years younger, I would attribute this particular part of the song to something infinitely more deep and meaningful than it warranted, and assume that this was some sort of message (ah, teenage melodramatic magical thinking), and subsequently analyze and overanalyze the hell out of it.

Blissfully, though, I am now older and have learned that sometimes a phrase stuck in your head is nothing more than that, and that it’s unimportant to attach meaning where there likely is none.

But it doesn’t answer the question of why, why now, while I am the most sleep deprived and addled I have ever been, why do these songs keep getting stuck in my head so annoyingly?

And what the hell can I do about it?

posted under Aunt Becky Has VD
19 Comments to

“Like Sting I’m Tantric”

  1. On February 4th, 2008 at 2:07 pm Jaida Says:

    I have the same problem!! My son watches Signing Time DVDs and more often than not, it’s one of those highly irritating songs that loops endlessly through my head. I wonder if maybe it has something to do with getting “stuck” in a particularly part of the sleep cycle, in the anticipation of being woken up? (this has only been a problem for me since my son was born) Maybe an undocumented symptom of hypothyroidism, which I also have? Sorry, no stellar advice.

  2. On February 4th, 2008 at 2:18 pm honeywine Says:

    I think the companies are getting better at reading our brains. Oh how I HATE those commercials. I hate the guy on them too. What an ass! Everything is someone elses fault! Bastard! Yeah, going off caffeine is working well for me…

  3. On February 4th, 2008 at 2:33 pm Chris Says:

    I have struggled w/ insomnia for years. There are a couple things that work for me:
    1. Bed is only for sleeping. I dont’ do any work in bed since that makes the bed a place for doing work and not a place for sleeping.
    2. Routine. Seriously.
    3. White noise. Get a fan.
    4. “The black wall.” Any time I get something in my head, I take a second and actualy listen to the bedroom, which is quiet. Helps block it out.
    5. Also, if it’s been over 30min and I still can’t sleep, I get up and do something rather than sitting there and continuing to be tired and frustrated.
    6. I wear myself out, emotionally and physically, during the day. That’s the best.

  4. On February 4th, 2008 at 2:54 pm Doc Says:

    Like Snickers…guaranteed to satisfy!

    Not much you can do about that stuff rolling around in your head unless you want to heavily medicate (which I don’t recommend) I have come to embrace it and I kind of look at is the “other” part of my brain trying to excercise itself to keep me sharp…

  5. On February 4th, 2008 at 3:38 pm Jenn Says:

    I’ve had insomnia all my life, pretty much. I sleep better now (when Her Royal Hiney permits) than I have in a long time, mostly because I am sooo behind on sleep that I just pass out whenever I get a chance.

    I always get songs stuck in my head. Stupid little ear worms. It usually IS the most annoying ones though, isn’t it?

    As is the norm, I have no ideas for fixing anything. Sorry!

  6. On February 4th, 2008 at 3:46 pm Cricket Says:


  7. On February 4th, 2008 at 3:54 pm Emily Says:

    Stop watching commercials?

  8. On February 4th, 2008 at 4:44 pm Karen Says:

    My parents are friendly with a man who lost his hearing suddenly when he was in his early 20s. He reports that he has had the same song stuck in his head for 30-something years – “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife….”

    Sorry about your insomnia. I can sleep/nap anytime of the day, but going to bed at night is sometimes hard for me too.

  9. On February 4th, 2008 at 4:31 pm Heather Says:

    I don’t have a problem staying asleep, but it’s the getting there that’s a bitch. E is out as soon as his head hits the pillow – literally within 2 minutes. Then, along with my already raging mind, I have to listen to him snore and spaz which further highlights the fact that I CAN’T SLEEP!

  10. On February 4th, 2008 at 9:14 pm Suz Says:

    I have no idea what to do about it. I’ve just started having trouble sleeping. My only advice is never, ever, ever watch the Wiggles with your kids before trying to go to sleep.

  11. On February 4th, 2008 at 9:34 pm TheRamblingHousewife Says:

    I get songs stuck in my head all of the time too . . .usually children’s songs that my little one is playing . . .And I have no idea how to get rid of them. Rather, sometimes, I am able to replace them by listening to something I like and getting that “stuck” in it’s place.

    I figure . . .if something is going to loop in my head . might as well be something that I like.

  12. On February 4th, 2008 at 9:35 pm Leslee Says:

    Dude. For the last week and a half I’ve had F R EE, That spells free Credit report dot com baby! running around in my head while trying to fall asleep, while trying to stay awake and even while I dreak in those few mintues I actually sleep. (Expect for this weekend. I’ve apparently contracted the throat plague and am currently in the process of dying, which requires hours of NyQuil induced sleep)

    I tend to get more than 1 song stuck in my head. A couple months ago, I had AMERICA! FUCK YEAH! (seriously, only that part) combined with a song called Pin Up by Evans Blue. (You should check it out. It’s an AWESOME song.)

  13. On February 4th, 2008 at 9:26 pm KT Says:

    Who needs sleep? Well you’re never gonna get it.
    Who needs sleep? Tell me what’s that for?
    Who needs sleep? Be happy with what you’re gettin’. There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war.

    I had that in my head about this time last year when I couldn’t sleep. All the time. Someone thought it was funny when I told them I had insomnia. Then i lay in bed singing BNL to myself. I finally got Tylenol PM.

    Not sure that’s what you want either, though. The guy who gave you the list seems to know. Routine works for me. and no work in bed (unless you count sex as work/effort).

    Good luck. I feel for ya.

  14. On February 4th, 2008 at 9:27 pm KT Says:

    one more thing. My antidepressants cause some insomnia and some exhaustion. I take about an hour before bed. Then I can generally fall asleep ok. As that is when the tiredness hits if it will. The only bad side to this is that I generally am wide awake around 5am. After talking to other antidepressant takers, they had the same issues.

  15. On February 4th, 2008 at 9:39 pm Victoria Says:

    Because I work in advertising and have made a few annoying little marketing slogans (aka “jingles”, LOL!), and suffer horribly from insomnia – I have two words for you: Tylenol PM.

    Take care. And take a nap every chance you can.

  16. On February 5th, 2008 at 12:00 pm Lindz Says:

    I always get devos’ whip it.I sometimes enjoy it, and sometimes Im like get the fuck outta my head.

  17. On February 5th, 2008 at 10:27 pm bri Says:

    Seriously, Becky? You are now on my shitlist. Free credit report dot com. Seriously. How fricking dare you. I will never sleep again.

  18. On February 6th, 2008 at 6:56 pm Josh Hawkins Says:

    Couple of my keys, which have all already been mentioned; routine, bed is only for sleep, exhaustion and white noise or music.

    Good music, like Joni Mitchell or Norah Jones, followed by laying down in my bed only for sleep after a long day. I always think about the same thing when I’m ready to go to sleep, sex. Random sex fantasies till I fall asleep, which is usually pretty quick, and when I get distracted by work or such, I want to go back to my routine, and laying in bed not falling asleep is kind of nice then. Plus, as a bonus, if I just can’t fall asleep, I at least know I have some ideas about what to do till I get tired. Seriously, this works.

  19. On February 20th, 2011 at 9:15 am MissHannah Says:

    got to hate the earworms.they kill me at 3am. Children’s television is the worst offender. Also there has been an increasing tendency to put a ringing telephone in the background of tv ads over here so you pay attention (even if the ringtone isn’t the same as your’s, dammit!).

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