Friday, February 4, 2011

The Insomnia Cycle

Here's how it happens.

3:00 p.m. (That's 1500 hrs in mil-speak.): post-lunch hypoglycemia kicks in. If you are in a location where you can become horizontal, do so. Bus stations, fainting couches, mattresses at Sears ... find something soft and grab some Z's. Failing that, go to the restroom. Rest your forehead on your crossed arms and pray you don't fall off the toilet. (Just in case: make sure you wipe before you fall asleep.)

4:00 p.m. (1600 hrs): Attend meeting in overly warm conference room with dim lighting and poor ventilation. Ensure it is on a topic to which you have no real input. Allow your eyelids to flutter at half-mast while gazing at the speaker, but don't actually allow your eyes to shut (if you do, you are doomed). Amuse yourself by zig-zagging your eyes horizontally. Stab yourself in the palm of your hand with a mechanical pencil.

5:00 p.m. (Enough of this mil-speak crap; it requires too much Math.): Shut down your computer, throw out all your lunch leftovers, pack your bag, wrap yourself in umpteen layers of wool, Goretex, and fur (if it's winter) and trudge through the sleet/snow/-30 weather and head home.

5:20 p.m.: Hope you are lucky enough to get a seat on the bus, rather than having to grip a virus-laden steel pole all the way home. If you do get a seat, sleep lightly while gripping your purse/backpack/briefcase/iPod tightly lest it be stolen. Try not to let your head touch the Brylcreem smudge left on the window by the previous passenger. Pray that there are no perverts in arm's reach.

6:00 p.m.: Dinner.

7:00 p.m.: Remind yourself that, if you can just hang in there for One. More. Hour. you will be able to simply go to bed early and wake up refreshed in the morning.

8:30 p.m.: Brush teeth, put on jammies, climb into bed with a good (but not TOO good) book. Allow your head to feel heavy. Practice the horizontal-eye-movement thing.

9:30 p.m.: Turn off your e-book. Make sure alarm is set. Put on sleep mask. Put fluffy sock on your hand because warmth helps soothe arthritis. (It really works. Would I lie to you?)

10:00 p.m.: Snuggle up to your Lord and Light of Your Eyes, who miraculously generates more heat than the Large Hadron Collider, even though he could have been mistaken for a 24-hours-dead corpse mere moments before. (Note: heat-generating ability of the LHC is speculative, but surely you can't make that kind of mess - with mini-bangs and all - without generating a little heat?) (Note: that was not meant to be a naughty allusion. I really was talking about the LHC, not the Bone of My Nose.) 

10:05 p.m.: Have hot flash. Move away from Lord and Treasure of Your Soul. Sprawl.

10:07 p.m.: Start to drowse. Lord and Regent of Your Existence twitches. Violently. Enjoy the rush of adrenalin coursing through your veins as you tell yourself that you are not actually under attack.

10:10 p.m.: Toss.

10:15 p.m.: Turn.

10:20 p.m.: Throw off blankets.

10:25 p.m.: Pull blankets over head to compensate for chill as house temperature drops to night-time setting.

11:00 p.m.: Stomach grumbles.

11:05 p.m.: Remember that there are two Mallomars left. If you do not eat them tonight, the kids will get them tomorrow. This is not acceptable. Clearly. Two Mallomars cannot be easily divided between three children. Someone will end up angry.

11:15 p.m.: Stomach grumbles again. Mallomars send telepathic message that they are feeling unloved.

11:20 p.m.: Remove sleep mask and fluffy sock. Sneak out of bedroom so as not to disturb the Lord and Light of Your Eyes.

11:21 p.m.: Sip hot chocolate spiked with Bailey's while nibbling on Mallomar and booting up the laptop. [WARNING: You have now committed a fatal error.] Check e-mail. Check Facebook. Check bank accounts. Pay bills. Visit favourite blogs. Visit favourite humour sites.

12:00 a.m.: Realize you've reached the bottom of the Internet. There is nothing funny or enlightening left for you to discover.

12:01 a.m.: Click on a new link on one of your favourite blogs. Discover NEW favourite blog. Read ten pages of the blog. Click the "older posts" link Just. One. More. Time.

3:00 a.m. (That's zero-three-hundred in mil-speak. The zero is important.): Glance at clock. Smack self on forehead. Realize you will never read the entire blog in one night and that you now have only four hours left for your beauty sleep. Go to bed.

7:00 a.m.: Hit snooze button.

7:03 a.m.: Stumble downstairs to turn off the alarm on your cell phone. (Purposely left downstairs for this reason.) Make coffee.

We won't go through the rest of the day, because you know how it ends up, don't you?

Welp. I'm off to bed (again) now. Still a good six hours left to get my beauty sleep.


  1. How can I generate all that heat? When I'm falling asleep I am usually an ice cube!

  2. You need to reset your Circadian clock. I suggest staying up all night and then being an absolute clock-nazi about sleep hours for a couple weeks.

  3. As for the ice cube/heat question: like I said, you start out cold as a corpse found outdoors in Ottawa in January, but within moments of snuggling (and snoring), you're a one-man cause of global warming.

    I have tried the staying-up-all-night approach. But I wasn't able to stay up all the next day, so it sort of flopped.

  4. Really you would be frustrated. Thanks for share your routine. I can learn from this.

  5. Yes, it is frustrating. Don't follow my bad example!


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