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All for my Bed

It is 7 o'clock in the morning. The temperature outside has plummeted to an ungodly 50 degrees. All the happy people are still asleep. And I lay in bed listening to my alarm clock beep and beep and BEEP...

Every morning this happens. I sit in bed trying to come to terms with the fact that I am me and this is my life and I have to wake up again. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes for me to reach the foot of my bed, such is my reluctance to enter the waking world.

I have been struggling with this "sleep issue" my whole life. It all started when I decided to work instead of going with my first instinct -- to wander the streets reciting poems for spare change. Ever since then, my alarm clock has been beeping and beeping and beeping. Did I mention that the alarm clock has been beeping?

A neighbor of mine drives an enormous truck, one that relocates streets or something, and he wakes up every morning at 5 a.m. Imagine waking up before the sun and getting into a big truck to move streets all day. Every day. Forever. If you ask me, that's a half-step down from being dead. I wonder if this guy's life depresses him half as much as it does me.

Having accepted that I can't set the alarm clock for "whenever," I have settled for daydreaming. And during the course of my daydreams, I have developed some opinions about the consummate night of rest. Let's take a look at them, shall we.

Ergonomics. Our bed is a lot like the workplace, only more important. It all starts with the mattress. If you're going to invest money anywhere in bedding, make it the mattress. Ride a moped to work if you must, but buy yourself the most comfortable cloud you can sleep on. Then cover said mattress with a down comforter. Some people think it's foolish to spend that much money on a blanket, but they are not connoisseurs. Trust me: once you go down, you'll never come back.

Air Holes. I recommend an airtight sleeping environment. The trick is to tuck the comforter under both of your flanks, then under your feet, and finally under your chin. It's kind of like wrapping a burrito. If you tuck yourself in properly, you can avoid chill pockets throughout the night. Of course, you'll have to rewrap your burrito self any time nature calls in the middle of the night. Avoid large glasses of anything before bedtime.

Darkness. I need it to be pitch black when I sleep. Not just dark as in the door is closed and the shades are drawn, but dark like a black hole. Or a hotel room in Vegas. I want to see the sun blotted out from the sky. When my perfect darkness is disturbed by a ray of light or a street lamp, I get grumpy and curse Thomas Edison. At least Edison didn't invent the alarm clock; that was definitely the work of Satan.

Silence. Just as Oreos need milk, so does darkness need silence. I prefer the deafening brand of silence that you find sitting at the bottom of a pool or in a board meeting right after someone belches the words "excuse me." I keep earplugs on my nightstand in case the neighbor's poodle begins to fight with its shadow. So it goes.

Rotation. I'm not a sleepwalker, but I am a rotisserie sleeper. I fall asleep on my back, sure enough, but throughout the night I perpetually rotate positions. I spend a couple of hours on my back, a couple on my side, a few on my stomach... I believe that I am pushing my wife's Neurosis Threshold. By the end of the night, she is ready to shove an apple in my mouth and roast me over an open flame. I also laugh aloud in my sleep and occasionally perform standup comedy, which further disrupts my better half. Speaking from experience, keep still if you want to preserve your relationship.

Conclusions. I understand that it is the first sign of depression to prefer the sleeping state to the waking state, but still I wonder why we don't schedule more slumber into our lives. There is so much to life that you just can't see with your eyes open. During sleep, you visit distant countries, tell your boss to get a life, go back to kindergarten, and reason with your neighbor's dog-all in a single night. Indeed, only sleep is perfect.

If we are deprived of sleep long enough, we begin to display the symptoms of schizophrenia. Telling argument, isn't it? I propose that on a lesser scale, everyone is a little "mad" right now because they didn't get enough to dream last night. It could be that we are only hostile toward one another because we fail to embrace the simple truth that there is very little in life that cannot be resolved by 10 hours of sleep and a bowel movement.


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