What’s the best way to deal with insomnia? Try sleeping it off. Unfortunately, I am not very good at sleeping, and never have been. It’s not as if I haven’t had plenty of practice, but nonetheless sleeping is one of the many things I do not do well. When people ask me, "Did you sleep well?" I reply, "No, I made a lot of mistakes. I can tell because even though I slept for many hours, I’m still tired when I wake up."
Honestly, if I was sleeping well, I wouldn’t still need more sleep. But I do; I wake up at noon, and still want to go back to bed. I wish someone offered a sleep class where they would teach you how to sleep. I can imagine it now; it would be just like high school, except this time I’d be yelled at for not sleeping through class.
Sadly, we don’t have a sleep class. (Note to BCC and MCLA: Please consider this for next year’s course catalog.) The closest thing we’ve got is sleep advice, which is when people tell you something to "help" you sleep. And I put "help" in quotation marks because when you tell me, "Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite," I don’t consider that helpful. That’s similar to a doctor telling you, "I want you to relax, and try not to worry about the lump on your back that might be cancerous."
Still, it’s no worse than other advice for sleeping, such as "Try counting sheep." Once you get up to 7 or 8 in your bed, the bleating gets very loud and makes sleeping impossible. And if you don’t have access to countable sheep of your own, then you have to watch a sheep video on YouTube, and you can count headbutts but it’s less likely that you’ll fall asleep than it is that you’ll click on a related link to see the shopping penguin with his own theme song.
Another common piece of sleep advice is "Think about nothing." This is also great advice for coming up with sitcoms like Seinfeld. But one night last week I cleared my mind entirely and attained Zen. Naturally, once you attain Zen during national poetry month, you write a haiku:
light seeps through the blinds
I stayed up too late again
it just dawned on me
Unfortunately, writing poetry rarely helps put people to sleep. Although oddly enough, reading poetry can put some people to sleep. My poems aren’t just good, they’re sopo-rific! Sadly, with my eyes closed it’s much easier to write than read.
Other sleep tips I’ve heard include avoiding heavy meals in favor of lighter snacks made with rice flour, and that exorcising before bed can help make you tired. But no matter how many times I’ve attempted to drive out the evil spirits by shouting "The flour of rice compels you!" they still seem to dance around in my head and keep me from sleeping.
So this is why I really feel like sleep classes wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Until they start offering them locally, I’ve been forced to take sleep classes online, through a program called "e-Sleep for the Sleepy."
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve already fallen behind on my homework.
Seth Brown is an award-winning humor writer, the author of "From God To Verse," and does not know why he is still awake. His website is RisingPun.com.