I live next door to the neighbours from hell for an insomniac and yesterday was one of the worst. I had not slept in probably 48 hours and I got home from work to confront one of their daily living-in-the-garden days.
Drills, hammering, wife’s talking-to-three-year-olds-always voice, tiny-dog-bark that must surely be direct from hell even though no such place exists.
In desperation and after much thought on the subject I remembered that my zen vision:M device has a radio function. I recalled some discussion (probably sourced at the SDMB) about how uniforming the senses can aid sleep. I stuck the earphones in and tuned into white noise (the bit between stations)
It worked fairly well. I had to stay awake for a bit listening to the imperfect white noise you get from radio, but before long I was slipping into hypnagogic imagery and thoughts. And soon after that I was fairly well asleep experiencing a kind of harry-potterish thought process where I was both good and evil (I was voldermort and harry at the same time) directing my authority and influence in orders here there and everywhere.
I never seemed to gain full sleep but I think I gained something good enough to get me through my last night shift for two weeks.