Grabbing 40 winks? Try 10!

I'm on my game. So I think last night. What a crock.

I go to bed early. Around 2.30 in the a.m.

This is an accomplishment because (a) fallout time's been around 3.30, 4 and (b) I was in bed past 7 a.m. the other day, not by choice, believe you me, I was having no fun. And an all-nighter frequently throws the sleep cycle outta whack for up to a week. That speedy-bounce back of youth long ago up and bounced out the window.

So I'm jazzed that the clock reads only 2.30.

Lay my head down on my soba (buckwheat) pillow. Close the eyes. Ahhh, sweet slumber.

An hour later, Mr. Sandman, where are you? I'm as wide awake as the day is long. I know it's an hour 'cause the sleep timer on the clock radio cycles off at 59 minutes.

So I press the button for another 59-minute round. They're talking politics. I'm sick and tired of politics. This should do the trick.

Oh to be so lucky. Another hour passes. I hear the radio click off for a second time. I'm still so damn awake, if (a) I had a job and (b) could go to it this moment, my employer would get a super-productive employee, my head's abuzz with energy, the synapses are firing boom! boom! boom!

My head's so crowded with thoughts, it's like the Day After Christmas sale in there. Thoughts about jobs, money, rent, personal matters not for public airtime.

I instruct the kiddies in the brain to shush up. They don't. I pull my hair, pound my head. Now there's an option. Knock myself unconscious. Like in Fight Club. It's sleep.

Do not look at the clock! Do not look at the clock! Whatever you do, do not look at the clock! resounds the alarm of the insomniac.

So what do I do? Turn to look at the clock.

Berr Symon's positioned just so that the view's blocked. Thank god for small favors. I flip the other direction. Continue thinking. Continue listening to the radio.

Somewhere between that moment and dawn, I don't need to press the radio sleep-cycle button again.

I have a lifetime of sleep disorders but this is getting ridiculous. It's been a bad year for insomnia.

You know the Chinese astrological wheel of 12 animals? The one with the Year of the Boar, Year of the Snake, Year of the Monkey and so on? This year btw is the Year of the Rat. I'm adding the Year of the Insomniac.

I've no qualms breaking with ancient Chinese practices, I'm fond of bucking tradition after all. Only one thing I'm more fond of: sleep. Perhaps next year …

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