To Sleep, Perhaps to Dream

Music is my preferred method of quieting my mind as I settle into sleep. It takes only a few songs by Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Billie Holliday, Nancy Wilson, or Sarah Vaughn to release my brain from its continuous loop of To-Do and Worry Lists.

For years, I would tuck my iPod into a Memorex clock radio and wait to be sent dreamwards. I especially liked the feature that allowed me to designate 10-minute increments before the audio would automatically shut itself off. I would consider it a successful drop off if I couldn’t remember hearing the shift from music to silence. And the opposite, if the sudden quiet found me still starring at the ceiling.

Alas, poor iPod eventually died. (It was elderly, first generation, not worth repairing.) So, I used the FM radio portion of the Memorex to serve as my sedative. But often, WFMT’S classical music, which began softly, would soon rouse me with the crash of cymbals and drums.

My iPhone now contains all of the playlists formerly housed on the deceased iPod. I longed for the female jazz singers who once were my bedtime companions. I was aware I could replicate my previous method by purchasing a $99 iHome clock radio and audio system for the iPhone. But, I was reluctant to shell out the dough for what is often 10 minutes.

I searched iPhone apps for a solution that would turn its iPod into a sleep/music player. But, I came up empty. Then, I threw my quest into the Apple Forums. One of its experts came up with the answer. Here ‘tis:

1. Place your iPhone into the charger that is attached to an electrical outlet. This way, you’ll get juice while you sleep.

2. Turn on your iPhone's Airplane Mode to avoid being wakened by phone calls, text messages, or other alerts.

3. Go to your iPhone’s iPod app and select Playlists, Artists, or Songs. Get it started.

4. Click on the Clock app on your iPhone.

5. Select Timer.

6. Scroll to set the number of minutes you want the iPod on your iPhone to play before it shuts itself off.

7. For “When Timer Ends”, choose “Sleep iPod.” (Be careful not to leave your default ringtone selected or you will be roused rather than lulled.)

8. The iPhone will stop playing music when the timer ends.

9. In the morning, after your restful sleep, induced by your favorite music, remember to undo the Airplane Mode. Otherwise, you’ll miss incoming calls or texts.

10. After you’ve had your coffee, and realize this blog has saved you $99 and provided an Ambien-free method of falling asleep, Share the post with your Facebook friends.