For the past five years or so I've had one and only one playlist for "go to sleep" -- Oceanic, by Vangelis. The tracks on this CD blend seamlessly one to the next, and the arc of the album is such that I'm probably asleep by Track 6, provided I was lying down when it played. That CD has been played literally every day at bedtime since sometime in 2002. It also gets used at naptime, and now that I'm a cartoonist and have the option to take a siesta midday like a proper
mexican human being, the CD gets played twice a day, on the average.
With gapless playback in the new iPod I got for Christmas, I was ready to take it to the next level, but it required the following gift from Chalain to complete the technological package.
I now have three playlists for the purposes of automating my sleepy-time events.
1) Vangelis Oceanic, all by itself, for bedtime.
2) Vangelis Oceanic, followed by some techno tracks from OCRemix.org, for naptime.
3) The "wake-up" playlist of upbeat techno and pop, triggered by an alarm on the iPod.
Now at naptime I use the "quicknap" playlist described under #2 above. Instead of sometimes sleeping through the last track of Oceanic and not waking up (as happens when I'm really tired and short on sleep) I pop awake after 50 minutes, because no way am I going to sleep through the tracks that follow.
Life is good when you can take naps midday just like the siesta-lovin' peoples of Central America. Life is even BETTER when those naps can be automated. If there is a defining point at the apex of the "sloth" curve, automating naptime has to be pretty close.
(NOTE: The Teac pictured above is a far cry from the best iPod dock-radio out there. You can't select playlists with the remote, and the audio fidelity is decidedly sub-Bose. But 90% of the time it's playing I'm ASLEEP, and according to Chalain it was only about $45 at CostCo.)