The Joy of Sleep (tf)

Sleep is a marvelous thing.

I don’t mean the actual sleeping part. We don’t know how that feels because we’re asleep, obviously. I mean that feeling of crashing on a couch or a bed….knowing that the most pressing thing in the world at that moment is to become unconscious.

That drifting feeling….the actual falling asleep part. It’s one of life’s pleasures that we take for granted. But it’s right up there with good loud music and barbecue potato chips. Not quite as good as sex, generally. But on some nights it’s why we abstain, so there may be room for argument.

What may be an even a better feeling? Waking up thinking it’s time to rise, only to glance at the clock and seeing that it says 3am. It’s the grown-up equivalent of a school snow-day. If we could all bottle that feeling and release it on demand, there’d be no more wars.

A personal aside. I drink at least 10 cans of diet soda a day. I don’t know how much caffeine that is but I’m guessing it’s a lot. I was having a hard time sleeping. Doctor suggested I stop inhaling caffeine. I don’t like to do things half-assed, so I quit cold-turkey. For a few days my head felt like it was in a permanent vice, but I got through it. Drank nothing but water and caffeine-free stuff for months. And guess what? I still could’t sleep. Went back to the doctor and said, “can’t you just give me a pill?”

I mean, isn’t that what we always say eventually?

Sure I’m interested in the nuts and bolts of why I can’t sleep. It’s probably a fascinating psychological jig-saw puzzle. But I’m not sure my paltry insurance plan would cover the treatments necessary to put the undoubtedly grizzly pieces together. Hence my moving in for the quick medical kill.


So the Doctor gave me a pill.

After all, he’s a busy man.

Some nights the pill doesn’t exactly work as advertised. But mostly, it works just fine. I wash it down with a few Diet Cokes and wait for oblivion.

Since the intake started, there’s only been one night I didn’t take a sleeping pill. It was on purpose. Just a wee test I thought. Maybe this was all in my head, and the pill was nothing more than a placebo. Perhaps the Doctor was using me like a laboratory mouse. He did seem kinda snarky that way. So I waited. And waited. Even at 3am I wasn’t too worried. I’d been this far before. But when my kids got up for school and saw me sitting on the couch after an all-nighter watching Monty-Python videos, even they looked alarmed. The rings around my eyes made me look like a tree that had been cut down….and my head felt like somebody was inside it with tools trying to bore their way out. Clearly, depending on your view of science, my experiment had either succeeded or failed. And so it was decided. I need a pill to sleep.

That does not hamper my enjoyment one bit.

Strange though. During the day when I’m working I feel like I can sleep for hours.

–Tom Flannery


~ by admin on February 8, 2012.

2 Responses to “The Joy of Sleep (tf)”

  1. Can relate … It’s 3:24am – I have to be up in 3 hours to start the day … Would write more but now need to drift off or else tomorrow will feel like hell.

    I posted a cover on YouTube tonight of your song ‘Days and Days and Days Like This’ … If it wasn’t for late nights I’d have recorded nothing … Zzzz Zzzz Zzzz.

  2. I don’t sleep well, either. Guess when you get old and retired and frankly, afraid that if you fall asleep it may be the last time, you tend to a slight reluctance to embrace Morpheus.
    Of course, being awake isn’t worth much if you’re bumping into things and looking like well, like a tree that had been cut down. So every night, I take two pills. Over-the-counter, 400 for $3.58 at Sam’s Club, 25mg. Benadryl. Sweet, dreams, sweet Prince.

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