I've noticed something peculiar as I've gotten older - I can hear things more acutely and this is not a joyous occasion (even as Jonah says I'm turning into a superhero!). As a consequence I've taken to wearing earplugs to sleep, to study (I snuck them in to my GRE test!) and to read. The effect is immediate and soothing. The world is at a safe distance and I can finally focus and relax. If you are a reader who is at all tempted right now I highly recommend it!
The best part of these particular earplugs is that once you've smushed the little fellas and fit them in your ear holes (it will become a sacred ritual in no time), the package itself becomes a real source of entertainment. Just as your spouse gets quiet and unwinds into sleep mode, firmly say your spouses name in that tone of voice that makes them think something's wrong. Then grab the package with one hand, hold it up and with your other hand point aggressively to the QUIET PLEASE! and then you and your spouse can laugh and laugh and laugh. I have endless fun doing this to Jonah every night.
Excerpt from a fellow fan's musings and a brief history of earplugs (Thanks to Jason for the link!):
Concentrating was easier, and I began to leave the earplugs in to write. Errands in the city, or when I had to take the subway, were much more pleasant at a slight sonic remove. It's like listening to music on an iPod, but instead of filling your head with sound, you fill it with your thoughts and your own breath. continued...
P.S. If anyone can help me find cute, dangling earplugs like the ones Audrey Hepburn used in Breakfast at Tiffany's, please let me know!