A month or so ago, I was at my doctor's office nearly in tears because I'd been having trouble sleeping. "I just can't manage to get the stupid mental hamster to stop running in his wheel when I go to bed."
My doc smiled, said "Interesting analogy, Shelley" and then made some suggestions to go with the prescription he was writing. The suggestions were the usual: turn off all electronics at least two hours before bedtime. Cut off caffeine after 3pm. (GASP! I have altered it to a considerably more reasonable 6pm.) And find some relaxing music to play when I go to bed.
I confess, the orders about electronics and caffeine were met with disdain and a typically-Shelley sarcastic reply, but the music suggestion sounded reasonable. So that night I grabbed my tablet and searched "rest and relaxation" in my Google Play radio stations.
"Rest and relaxation" pulled up a station called "yoga and relaxation." I clicked on a few of the tracks to see what they were like. I got babbling brooks, lightly chirping birds, tinkling chimes. "YES! This is EXACTLY what I need!"
So I proceeded to crawl in bed and get lost in the sounds of nature coming from the tablet on the nightstand right next to my head. Just when I got to the point when I wasn't completely awake, but also not completely asleep, I heard a man's deep voice say "take a deep breath and relax..."
HOLY SHIT! THERE'S A STRANGE MAN IN MY APARTMENT AND HE HAS THE NERVE TO TELL ME TO RELAX BEFORE HE MURDERS ME!
In what my only-half-awake self knew was ninja-like grace, I threw off the covers, grabbed Thor (my police style flashlight/beatdown stick) off the nightstand (where Thor lives) and proceeded to violently swing him in the general direction of the voice. (My fully-awake self saw the covers later and realized that there was probably very little ninja-like grace, but likely plenty of sluggish, ungainly flailing.)
I threw on the bedroom light, still menacingly waving Thor around. (Quite frankly, I'm lucky I didn't knock myself out.) My adrenaline level was through the roof and I was breathing like I'd just run a mile. (Truthfully, I've never actually run a mile, so that's pure conjecture, but you know what I'm getting at.)
Once I determined there was not actually a man in my apartment and my breathing slowed enough that I could hear again, I realized that the man's voice was coming from my tablet. The track currently playing on the "yoga and relaxation" station was New Age guru/best-selling author/creepy-in-the-middle-of-the-night-dude Deepak Chopra. By then he had moved on to telling me to raise my arms over my head and stretch the way a flower stretches to the sun, or some crap like that.
I stifled the desire to throw my tablet across the room, straightened the covers, put Thor back in his place of honor on the nightstand, turned off the lights and crawled back in bed. Needless to say, the adrenaline still pumping through my body prevented any hope of getting any sleep that night. Only I could follow the doctor's orders for sleep and end up more wide awake than ever. The hamster was having a ball that night.
I had a follow up with the doc a couple weeks later. He asked if I was following his orders to get better sleep, so I relayed the scare, which I have since dubbed the "Deepak Debacle", to him. He nearly fell out of his chair laughing so hard. He was literally wiping tears from his eyes. I was silently pondering how he'd feel about being strangled with his own stethoscope.