Podcasts to Watch Out For

Speaking of technology’s effect on my dreams, I’ve been having bad dreams about Rachel Maddow.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you.

I recently added Rachel Maddow’s audio podcast to my regular pod list for when I’m out taking my daily exercise. Maddow has a smart, rapid-fire delivery that seems to energize me when I’m running. I like her quick wit and air-tight rationality. She will brook no slow or sloppy thinking, and it seems to literally keep me on my toes.

I also have a regular habit of listening to my podcasts when I have insomnia. Just a few minutes of Terry Gross’s empathetic, probing questions, or the mind-expanding ponderings of Radio Lab, and I’m off to sleep, often dreaming of whatever fascinating subject they’ve been discussing.

Then, at some point during the night, my dreams turn bad. I dream that I’m having a conversation with a very intelligent, interesting woman, and every time I try to add something, she just keeps talking, and won’t let me get a word in edge-wise. I keep thinking, You’re right, of course, but… don’t you think… Damn it, woman, let me talk! Sometimes it wakes me up, other times it’s not until morning that I realize my sleep’s been ambushed by Rachel again.

I’m going to have to remember to do a little podcast deleting before bedtime, in case of sleeplessness.

Bedtime podcast recommendations below.

To help me sleep, a podcast has to be interesting. If it’s boring, I’ll just tune it out and slip into my usual insomniac fretfulness. The always fascinating Memory Palace works great, and the Poetry Magazine pod is terrific falling asleep stuff.

Applause, however, disturbs my sleep. The KUOW Speaker’s Forum podcast is nearly always interesting and would be a great nighttime listen if it weren’t for the rude interruptions of its enthusiastic audiences. The same is true for the wonderful BBC World Book Club.

Also, any sort of up-tempo music wakes me right up. I’ve wished for a long time that As It Happens would take out that godawful electric guitar riff they play between segments, but I doubt they would consider the fact that it keeps me awake a compelling reason to eliminate it. Studio 360 would be good, but he likes to interview musicians, and even have them play some music, which is great in the daytime, but does not help me sleep.

And, as I have learned, the talk should be like a relaxed, friendly conversation, not a fervent debate. It can’t be so lively and rapid-fire that my subconscious can’t contribute to the conversation, or I will be offended in my dreams.

~ by lolarusa on October 28, 2011.

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