Category Archives: Land of Nod

Me So Tired

I meant to have my post about the second day in Dublin up sooner than this, but this week has drained me of most of my energy. We hosted a large seminar this week for work which required a drastic change in schedule for me. School is also extremely demanding as I prepare to (hopefully) successfully earn my MS and then my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. And, I’m afraid working at home has spoiled me far more than I realized. Getting up at 5 A.M. four mornings in a row required a complete adjustment of my slumber schedule that I wasn’t used to and really threw me for a loop. Needless to say, copious amounts of coffee were involved, as were different natural and over-the-counter sleep aids when I couldn’t manage to pass out at 9 p.m. (Lights Out sleep supplement gave me a nightmare that I woke up in a sweat from.) At the seminar itself, I spent most of my time stuck in a small room guarding assets and helping staff. Eric was sweet enough to drive me to and from the seminar (in horrid traffic) every day just so I wouldn’t have to fool with $12 valet parking fees and the overcrowded garages in that particular commercial area (which is a bit far from a Metro). On the first day out there, Eric came back for lunch to drive me a few miles over to Deli for the Belly (on Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria), where he and his boss often grab a bite. (Yes, that makes three times in one day that Eric drove to and from the hotel, just for me.) The second day I grabbed some Quizno’s with a coworker, and these last two I went ahead and pre-ordered the $10 bagged lunch offered at the hotel, which I’m sorry to say was a total rip-off (albeit delicious). I like to think the extra dough helped out someone’s small business, or something. Who knows.

I just want to pass out right now. I didn’t work out (much) on Monday and Tuesday but worked in a pretty decent session yesterday. I’m pleased to say I am making progress on my pull-ups – I still can’t do one, but I can definitely go up farther now.

I promise I’ll get the next Dublin entry up soon. In the meantime, good thoughts for my friend Crystal (my fellow culprit in the aforementioned moving sidewalk incident), who is recovering from surgery right now. She’ll be alright in the end. She’s really, really tough. 🙂

Oh yeah – there are two mallard ducks living in the swimming pool at the moment, which hasn’t been cleaned out yet for summer. They are a male and female who paddle around all day. I hope they aren’t planning on having some ducklings around there. In other animal news, Domino has also spotted the neighbor’s cat on the balcony next door, and they peer at each other – the other cat (a fluffy black longhair) from under the balcony partition, Domino from behind our screen door. (Our cats aren’t allowed on the balcony.) The kitties also met a bird today who, according to Eric, flew onto the balcony rail and chirped at them for a while as they sat there staring. Sumo mewed with disappointment when the bird flew away. I’d say it was a pretty good sixth birthday for our sweet kitty, Domino, especially because Eric was home to spend it with her! She follows him around everywhere and has taken over his favorite computer chair. When he wants to work on his art and walks toward the chair, Domino dashes forward to beat him to the punch, every time. She flops onto the chair and is completely unfazed when he goes ahead and starts to sit down on her. So he can ultimately sit on only half of the chair because Domino just won’t move all the way out of it. So he sits for hours drawing with a happily purring cat wedged between his back and the chair. It’s terribly annoying for Eric, but he puts up with it. We might pay the rent on this place, but now you know who REALLY runs it.


So Tired But I Gotta Say …

A while back I mentioned a drink called Dream Water as a possible sleep aid. I listed all of the ingredients in the post, along with Dream Water’s recommendations about its product. My sister did some more research on the contents of the drink, and found information on WebMD that one ingredient in particular (5-HTP, although it’s listed by another name on the Dream Water label) may not be safe. Keep in mind that nothing has been proven, but since no one is sure it’s recommended that you not take this particular ingredient. Please read the information listed below before trying the drink yourself or deciding to continue using it. I want to make sure my readers are taken care of!
Thanks! Now I’m going to go crash because I’m exhausted!

This article explains that 5-HTP is a chemical byproduct of L-tryptophan, the naturally occurring ingredient in turkey, and that it MAY be linked to certain scary diseases:
WebMD: 5-HTP

GoSmile Teeth Whitening

Every time I go to the dentist, the hygienist asks me if I’m interested in teeth whitening. I don’t think my teeth are particularly yellow; I believe they are required to try to pimp out Invisalign and Zoom whitening to every patient. (That reminds me – I need to pick up a Crest Spinbrush next time I’m there!) I’ve turned it down every time for two reasons: 1) too expensive and 2) my teeth have always been sensitive, and they are becoming more so the older I get. When I recently tried one of those Crest Advanced Seal strips, I thought my teeth were going to explode (especially since I had such a hard time getting the damn things off of them!). For now I just brush with whitening toothpaste, but I’ve wondered if the silica it contains isn’t further aggravating the problem. (I believe it’s caused by exposed roots and a touch of bruxis.) Products like Sensodyne help for a while, but using them continuously isn’t advised.

GoSmile offers a wide range of teeth whitening products, including AM and PM Luxury toothpastes. No, they’re really called Luxury toothpastes! And at 16 bucks a tube, the name seems fitting. Both toothpastes contain silica and cranberry extract (presumably for flavor), but the AM, “Energy”, supposedly has flavors like lemon and lime to energize you. I only caught a hint, but I was admittedly in a rush and not paying much attention to the flavor. When I think about it, I did feel more energized and was able to deliver an online class (literally, reading scripted lines  for an hour to a captive audience) after less than 7 hours of sleep, which is NOT enough shuteye for me. (I usually take 8 or 9.) Hmmm!

The PM toothpaste contains valeriana officinalis root extract, which I didn’t expect to have much of an effect on me. After all, I just brushed my teeth with it, and the average person only swallows a miniscule amount of toothpaste while brushing. I did, however, get sleepier, although I didn’t conk out completely for a while. Again … hmmm!

I also have an ampoule of GoSmile whitening serum, which is meant to be used on the go. I tried Watermelon Mint flavor which didn’t taste like anything at all … which is better than tasting like a typical tooth-whitening product. And it didn’t hurt my teeth … amazing. I rubbed it all over them to be sure.

You can find GoSmile products at the GoSmile Website, or, if you live in the DC area, check your local Nordstrom or Sephora.

Traveling to the Land of Nod: Dream Water

EDITED TO NOTE: Please see my important safety update regarding this product here!

As an a devoted lover of the Land of Nod who sometimes has trouble getting there, I am always eager to try new products that promise a safe trip there. Dream Water is an interesting twist on the concept: flavored water with a few extra ingredients to help you sleep well. With flavor names like Snoozeberry, Lullaby Lemon, and I Dream of Kiwi, I would hope no one would grab one of these thinking it’s a good thing to chug before working out … or driving. I had the chance to sample a 2.5 oz. “shot” of Snoozeberry (blueberries and pomegranate flavor) Dream Water (also available in 8 oz. beverages for a slower route to relaxation) and enjoyed its sweet, slightly tartish flavor. I wasn’t sure if it would do what it said it would, so I just forgot all about it … until approximately 30 to 40 minutes later, when I was about to pass out cold. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open, I was so sleepy. I conked out and slept for a good 9 hours straight, and had pleasant dreams about kittens. This stuff does what it says it will.
The lowdown: Dream Water has zero calories. The label states it will take about 30 minutes to work, but times may vary. Since I wasn’t paying attention to time, I have no idea how long it took for me to get sleepy, but I think 30 minutes sounds about right. Its ingredients are filtered water, L 5-Hydroxytryptophan, Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sodium Acid Sulfate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Melatonin, Sucralose (the same thing as Splenda), FD&C Red #40, and FD#C Blue #1, in that order. It’s available in Duane Reade drugstores all over New York, so if you live where I do, you will have to order it off the company’s web site,, for now. You can also try a “shot” of Lullaby Lemon for $2.95 shipping and handling. And, while none of these ingredients are particularly strange or out of the ordinary, Dream Water asks that you please check with your doctor before you try it if you are taking any other medicines or supplements, or are pregnant, nursing, or ill. And for the love of all that’s holy — DO NOT take this before you do anything but go lay down. It will knock you out, sucka.