Monday, September 24, 2012

Nap Time

Sleep should not be so hard. I am not talking about the crytalised discharge that gets wiped from the corner of eyes each morning. Though one does wonder why the discharge is so hard and why it is so satisfying when it is scraped away during morning ablutions.

It was never hard for my dad, in fact he is known for his ability to fall asleep often just to pass the time. He can fall asleep standing up. Many people have fallen asleep during conversations, my dad can fall asleep mid-sentence, when he is the speaker! I love watching people on buses and trams fighting the need for sleep as the head jerks sets in.

It starts with the eyes closing, followed by a slow dropping of the head towards the chest, however it almost never lowers straight down. Instead it lilts towards one shoulder or the other. Thus begins the head jerks. The head drops to one side, wobbling slightly with the movement of the vehicle before the conscious mind breaks through and jerks the head upright to show to the world that it is awake. Of course the eyes are rarely opened and the world is never fooled. This pattern can continue for extended periods.

My father has turned the head jerk into an art form – making it a continuous rotation. His head first falls to the left, the “jerk” not only lifts it up but also slightly backwards. This is done with just enough force that the head does not remain in the upright position but rather it continues on to the right and then down towards the chest. Momentum keeps the head moving to the left where the cycle starts over. Thus my father has transformed his head jerks into nocturnal neck exercising.

Ronald Reagan is rumoured to have fallen asleep during international state visits, so it seems only appropriate that Former President Clinton and his wife Hillary both fell asleep during his funeral. Vice President Joe Biden was caught falling asleep during the Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Queen may as well have been asleep during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics for all the energy and enthusiasm she brought to the occasion.

The Sandman is a common enemy of the cinemagoer. The dark environment, the potentially confortable seats and a stomach full of popcorn all increase a persons risk of public slumber. There is nothing wrong with that, the head jerks can add to the entertainment of patrons sitting behind. Snoring on the other hand can interfere with the carefully edited sound track and effects.  The laughing of other patrons – anywhere in the cinema – is acceptable if watching a comedy , but inappropriate at best during a film based on international degradation of human rights.

I am not afflicted with the problems associated with easy sleep. I find it difficult. Insomnia can mean that the ability to sleep is inversely proportional to the desire to do so. The thought of sleep can in fact block the act of sleeping.  It plays with your mind – a whole different kind of head jerk. Enter prescription sleeping pills.

30-40 minutes after taking the pills – as per doctors instructions – without warning you go from wide awake to deep sleep. Mid sentence, mid movie, mid anything. Anything. Asleep, and without the awkward head jerks.

I can only assume that Joe Biden had sleeping pills just prior to the royal wedding because there is no way anyone was taking their eyes of Pippa’s bottom.

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