kidattypewriter

Saturday, November 06, 2010

I'm so tired I could sleep a horse

Sleep! Could there be anything better? It's hard to tell really, because if you are currently enjoying sleep then you aren't really able to say for sure, being asleep at the time. But it's certainly comforting and relaxing, much more comforting and relaxing than not-sleeping, which I suppose isn't always so bad, except if you happen to be not-sleeping at a time when you want to be sleeping. That's not very comforting and relaxing at all.

We must put a lot of work into sleeping. Just think of all the effort you go to to get things right when you are trying to sleep but are not-sleeping. You put your foot at a certain angle to the sheets, and then you put it at a different angle, you place your hands on the sheets and then you try and place them on yourself, you shift your weight to a slightly different position on your hips, you flip the pillow over to get to the cool side, and then five minutes later notice that the cool side has become the hot side, and so you flip it over again, you become hot and stick both arms out of the blankets for ventilation, and then notice that you are cold again and stick the arms under the blankets, and carry on doing this for quite some time, you rearrange your body so as to accommodate the cat that has decided to flop down on the bed beside you, but not in a way that you squash the other cat that is on the other side of you, and by this time you notice that the blankets have become messed and you can't possibly sleep in a bed where your feet keep on poking out the spot in the bottom created by the absence of blankets, and so you jump up and rearrange the blankets. All this is in the first half hour or so of going to bed.

A little later you end up actually going to sleep but only to dream fitfully about the British economy (but have you ever tried to have a non-fitful dream about the British economy?) because that was the article you read just before going to bed, or possibly you dream about pink elephants because that is what everyone is supposed to dream about, or maybe dishwashers wearing frilly underwear, which possibly all culminates in your formation of plans for a new British economic system based around pink elephants on dishwashers while wearing frilly underwear, but you can't know for sure because you weren't concentrating on the details, you were concentrating on trying to get some proper sleep, which you can't really because the blankets have become messed again and your arm is at an incorrect angle. By this point we've probably got up to the 45 minute mark after going to bed, and you've got another seven or so hours to go.

And of course it might be rather helpful if a scientist or philosopher or someone actually calculated the correct angle for your arms to go and the correct position for the blankets and the correct orientation around cats, and the right sort of article to read before going to bed, and so on, and so forth, so you can simply and neatly organise your position in bed and briskly and efficiently start sleeping, but I wonder if it ever will happen. I mean, if sleep is so relaxing and comfortable as everyone keeps saying, you can't really be brisk and efficient about it, can you? You just have to do what feels good at the time. But how do you do what feels good at the time when you can't find anything that feels good enough to make you relaxed and comfy?

It makes you wonder if sleep really exists. Maybe it's a legend invented to torment everyone who is not-sleeping, which is everyone. That would explain why we never remember what sleep actually is like afterwards.

All of which isn't really a way of leading up to this, a poem I wrote a few weeks ago, about sleep. It bears no relationship to my own life apart from the few bits where it does.

Marital serenade

O darling let us go to bed
And let us sleep from A to Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Come darling let us go to bed
And let us sleep from A to Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
A cat will lie upon your head
And in your nose its hairs will shed.

But darling, let us go to bed
And let us sleep from A to Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
A cat will lie upon your head
And in your nose its hairs will shed;
Upon my legs as they are spread
A dog will lay its sleepy head.

Yes darling, let us go to bed
And let us sleep from A to Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
A cat will lie upon your head
And in your nose its hairs will shed;
Upon my legs as they are spread
A dog will lay its sleepy head;
Upon my face a cat will tread
And miaow and miaow until it's fed.

We'll get no rest while we're in bed:
O darling, let's get up instead.

10 comments:

Mitzi G Burger said...

Lovely serenade! Encore!

TimT said...

I would probably have gone on for much longer but I couldn't think of any other good rhymes for 'bed/zzzz'.

twittertales said...

Apparently the "average" person on an "average" night takes seven minutes to get to sleep.

Just makes you feel worse, doesn't it?

You're welcome.

TimT said...

They must have been fun tests. Get a whole load of people who are going to sleep, and then go in and ask them at some point, 'ARE YOU ASLEEP YET'?

TimT said...

I imagine they would have been carried out in completely normal conditions in homes across the world, since being aware that you HAD to go to sleep for scientific purposes would be a little, er, stressful. So a nice trick for partners to play on one another, then. For the good of science!

Shelley said...

I can barely keep my eyes open these days. I recommend the irritating minor virus version of sleeping. You get heaps, believe me.

TimT said...

It was the irritating minor virus that kept me awake - I ran a slight fever and had to keep clearing my throat.

Thankfully I spent some of my sleep debt last night.

TimT said...

Sometimes though I can barely keep my eyes open at work...

Shelley said...

I think most of us have the odd, possibly frequent or even constant, dozing off at work thing happening.

If the fever kept you awake then you hadn't taken enough drugs. More drugs are good!

TimT said...

Sometimes I rest my eyes while typing at work. It doesn't make any difference. Apart from a few more inconsequential spelling mistakes.

Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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