Rubbing dog’s earwax on your teeth has been voted the strangest insomnia cure ever, heading a strong field of bygone and present cures ranked in an international poll.
Top 11 Cures
1. Rubbing dog’s earwax on your teeth
2. Eating sea slug entrails before bed
3. Drinking a potion containing the bile of a castrated boar
4. Rubbing dormouse/field mouse fat on the soles of your feet
5. Lathering your hair in yellow soap
6.= Eating fried lettuce before bed
6.= Drinking a brew of lettuce opium
8. Eating a raw onion before bed
9. Pointing your bed northwards
10. Watching a video of a crossword puzzle tournament
11.= Curling and uncurling your toes
11.= Drinking cinnamon and banana and tea
The idea that smearing your teeth with the earwax of a dog would cure insomnia is credited to Gerolamo Cardano, a 15th-century doctor and mathematician in Renaissance Italy whose other credits included being a founder of probability theory.
The Japanese folk remedy of eating sea slug entrails before bed ranked a close second in the survey of 4,279 Americans and Britons conducted by pollsters on behalf of the Calm.com
“Insomnia may be a modern epidemic but it’s far from a new problem,” says Alex Tew, co-founder of Calm. “Everyone from the ancient Egyptians to our medieval ancestors had their own cures.”
Indeed, Calm itself recently launched its own new natural sleep aid, in the form of bedtime stories for grown-ups called Sleep Stories. The 23 sleep-inducing tales have been listened to five million times in their first three months.
One of Calm’s Sleep Stories offers Ben Stein of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off fame reading a long extract from The Wealth of Nations, the classic 18th-century economics text by Adam Smith, the Scotsman known as the father of economics.
“This cure might strike some folks as strange,” says Alex Tew of Calm. “But it’s already been listened to half a million times and is our most popular non-fiction story. It does genuinely seem to help people wind down and fall asleep.”