Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Asleep at the wheel, if you're a backseat driver

Our recent posting on the research of one Nicola Dibben into what music is best suited to keeping drivers awake and alert got us thinking about the opposite situation.

Not that putting drivers to sleep is an especially attractive concept, but at the 19 Minutes Home Office, we've had not a few instances in the past month where we've tried to get our 14-month old to fall asleep, and the car has been the most sure-fire method.

A recent vacation to Maine proved to be a particularly thorny one for getting Sylvi to sleep. We were staying in a diminutive one-room cabin for a week, and she was completely opposed to drifting off in her Pack-n-Play, as long as her parents were in the same room. (Why we didn't think of just leaving the cabin for a while is another good question.) So the most reliable way to get her to sleep was to pop her into the car seat, fire up the engine, and play the classical music soundtrack (really) to the Baby Genius "Trip to the San Diego Zoo".

But after a few sessions of this, Sylvi has apparently developed a kind of immunity to the CD, and in light of Dibben's research that indicates some classical music might actually be effective to keep people awake, we're looking for some new ideas.

A similar sleeping problem cropped up this morning, and was successfully conquered by listening to NPR's Morning Edition. But we're a little queasy at the notion of using our own radio station as a sedative for small children. And the suggestions of the previously-noted report (Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1", "Firestarter" by Prodigy, and "Kim", by Eminem) seem dubious for a 14-month old.

So with that in mind, the comment line is open.


Anonymous said...

What about using a certain announcer's market reports/wrestling tournament updates, or a different announcer's old commercials for Balik Implement in Spillville? Holy Buckets!

Carol Davidson said...

I assume you are opposed to the "Benadryl" option? If your daughter even so much as coughs, sniffs, or sneezes once, you have your justification.

Pink Floyd would always put me to sleep, but then again, that was in graduate school after... well... nevermind. Hmmm...

Seriously, if you aren't opposed to a video, there's a sweet little one out there called "Nighty Night" where they show animals going from awake to asleep, with music that starts a little faster during the awake shots, and then slows down as the animals get sleepier. It's a video you or I or a thousand of our closest friends could have shot more professionally, but we didn't do it, and they did. My son at age four is still somewhat attached to that video.