NORMAN — Do you have trouble falling asleep? If you do, there may be several reasons for this. Have a seat. Or, if you prefer, lie down on the couch and let’s examine the problem.
How often has this happened to you? The book dangles between your fingers. You are almost asleep and ought to go to bed. You close your eyes for a moment. Bingo. You are taking a nap in the recliner.
Something or someone wakes you. And once the nightly ablutions are completed and you climb into bed, the body is re-energized. You stare into the darkness wide awake, with sleep unlikely any time soon. That’s what you get for not going to bed.
Your body may be exhausted, but your mind is doing cartwheels. Churning away with new ideas, solving problems, making lists of things to do. In other words, that little lump of gray matter which looks like a large wad of well-chewed gum or like a lump of grimy play dough is not going to let you rest.
If an inspiration hits and keeps pounding away, crawl out of bed and write down that brilliant thought or idea because no matter what you think, you will not remember it in the morning. Sometimes the idea fades faster than you can write it down. Grrrrr.
Or, if you cannot sleep, get out of bed, grab a book and read until you are sleepy. Inevitably, some genie-asses will become engrossed in the story and stay up all night to finish the book.
The next day at work, those same sleep-deprived people are walking around like zombies, yawning until their jaws become unhinged. Be a considerate co-worker and grab a roll of duct tape (in an eye-catching pattern and color) and tape their hands over their mouths and let them sleep. If nothing else, they will make interesting conversation pieces leaning against a hallway wall.
At some point during the long sleepless night, you eventually doze off, but the second after you do, the alarm rings.
Time to play Beat the Clock. If your alarm is set to ring several times until it pesters you awake, then just pound it into submission. Eventually, it will stop ringing. At that point, you are more or less ready to face another day or you fall into a deep sleep and end up late for work, but rested.
Now, if you are not too particular where you sleep, there is a fool proof solution for your insomnia.
Just turn on the television, find an animal program on subjects like: “Lady Lions Hunt while Lazy Butt King Lounges;” “The Wildebeest Migration: From One Buffet to Another;” “Baby Leopards Play Hide-n-Seek with Hungry Hyenas;” “Crocodiles Bobbing for Wildebeests at River Crossing,” and other similar thrillers.
It is not so much that the topics are sleep-inducing, but rather the narrator’s tone of voice. For some illogical reason, the softest, most inflection free voices are chosen to narrate animal related films. Consequently, the brain-numbing drone of the male or female voice will have you curling into a kitten-like ball in your recliner, sucking dust off the ceiling before the second commercial comes on.
If you doubt me, just imagine that droning voice saying, “After the female lions kill the okapi, the male lion staggers to his feet with a here-comes-the-king-of-the-jungle roar and expects the females, who did all the work, to get out of his way until his belly is full. Only then are the females and the cubs allowed to pick at the leftovers.”
The words may be different but they produce the same results as does a soft-voiced hypnotist dangling a shiny object in front of a patient repeating, “You are getting sleepy … sleepy … sleepy … what is your bank account password … sleepy …sleepy.”
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Check out her novel “The Dionysus Connection” on Amazon or ask your bookstore to order it for you. Visit her website, www.elizabethcowan.com.