Oh To Sleep…

I’ve not slept well the past decade.  I don’t know why.  I’ve tried everything imaginable to help.

I turn the TV off early.  I read.  I don’t drink caffeine after 2 PM.  I limit alcohol.  I take Melatonin.  I’ve tried Chamomile Tea.

Julie heard from a friend that hypnosis helped her battle insomnia.

Why not try?  I thought.   I got nothing to lose.  Well, except for $75 which is what the recording cost me.

The hypnotist told me it could take 21 days to feel the effect, I’m on day six.  The recording is a full 25 minutes.  I listen.  When she is finished, I take my Ambien and Melatonin cocktail and eventually conk out.

The first night of “hypnosis” was odd.  I did actually feel a bit like I was in a trance.  My arms and legs were heavy – my body felt asleep.  But my mind knew exactly what was going on.

My hypnotist actually snapped her fingers and told me every time she snapped and said the word sleep that I would fall more deeply into her trance.

I did not listen to the recording prior to my first try so I was a bit anxious.  As I tried to relax, I considered what she might make me do if I fully went under.

What if she instructs me to disrobe and run down the street in flip flops?  What would my neighbors think?  I wondered.

Why would she do that?  I argued with my awake mind.

People have done crazier things.  I warned myself.

According to this woman, who puts me to bed each night, sleeping is MY RIGHT!  She told me when I was a baby I slept in light and dark, in quiet or in noise.  I guess she’s right, but you’d have to ask my mom to be sure.

She has me walking down staircases, staring up at my own eyebrows, and intentionally relaxing my forehead muscles.  I didn’t even know I had those.

As soon as she tells me to relax, invariably something on my being starts to itch.  Not like a tiny itch, like a baboon at the zoo itch.  And yet, I’m afraid she’s gonna be mad at me if I scratch.  So I lay there – arms and legs heavy as tree trunks, armpit itching like crazy and my mind trying to figure out if I need to relax my knee caps or dig into my underarm.

The other night Julie and I were staying at a friend’s mountain house.  She agreed to listen to the recording with me.  In approximately 15 seconds she was out cold.  That is exasperating.  At one point I talked to her.  She did not respond.  The next morning she said she could hear me but that her psyche told her it was inappropriate to talk.  Her psyche was probably right.  Besides, she was long gone by then.

I am hopeful this will eventually work for me.  Julie tells me I just need to let the force take over.  I will try.  But I’m not going to like it.



Have you ever slept with a gorilla?  Or with Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining?  That’s sort of what it’s like to share your bed with Michelle.

Every now and then, she creeps into my room right around bedtime and acts really, really tired.  “Daddy, can I just sleep down here tonight?  I’m sooo sleepy.”  That thumb enters her mouth, something she does when she’s really beat.

Those big blue eyes are difficult to argue with.  My heart is warmed by her sweet “got daddy wrapped around my finger” request.  It’s sweet alright, until 4 AM.  That’s about the time I wake up to pee and discover the Blanket Bogart has stripped me of any and all covering I might have started with when Jimmy Kimmel bid me goodnight.

Sometimes there’s an arm on my face or a leg across my forehead.  Occasionally she’s wrapped around me like those pythons in The Everglades.

I’m not sure what the kid’s doing all night long.  Looks like she’s practicing for a nuclear lockdown.

How can someone so tiny wrestle a sheet, two blankets and a heavy comforter from a 175 pound man?

And that’s not the worst of it.  Sometimes she awakens me yelling in the loudest, most insane sort of way.


My dad said my  mom used to have nightmares about snakes.  He told me she’d belt out the loudest scream you could imagine smack dab in the middle of his REM.  It scared the  $%&# out of him.


Michelle probably thinks I’m gonna take her back to the NC State bowl game in Nashville.  I sort of have that same feeling, it was ugly.

When I was a kid, I remember laying awake for hours scared of the kid snatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  UUUghhh.  I get chills thinking about him today.

He was just creepy.  Puttin’ kids in a cage.  What an awful thing to take your child to see mom and dad!  That’s probably half of my issues today.

And then there’s Stephanie – she’s sort of like sleeping with Darth Vader.

“Wheeeeewwwww – wwwwwweeeehw.  Wheeeeewwwww – wwwwweeeeehW.”

It’s like snoozing through a drag race.  I don’t think she has emphysema but it sure does sound like it.

Occasionally DJ gets stuck with me at the beach or in a hotel on vacation.  She’s pretty still but she always faces the middle of the bed.  I just don’t like someone else’s breath near my face.  And I can only sleep on my left side for so long and then it feels like my aorta is about to pop off my ventrical.  My heart starts aching after about 20 minutes, and I gotta rotate.

I look at people in movies.  The woman always sleeps with her head perched between the guys armpit and his shoulder.  Her hand resting gently on his bare chest.


The only things asleep in that picture are his arms.  One is crushed beneath her torso, the other void of blood because it’s been over his head for the past umpteen minutes.  Who in the heck sleeps like that?  That dude is thinking, “I can’t wait for her to get off of me so I can get some stinkin’ sleep.”

Now Lisa, she was a good queen bed partner.  If there was snuggling, it was pre-sleep.  Once the lights went out, it was like she was in Raleigh, and I was in Durham.  No touching, no shared breathing, no cover hog.  Just a quiet doze and the comfort of knowing someone else was nearby.

One thing is for sure, having someone close by is nice – be it a gorilla, Darth Vader or a bad breathed teenager.

That picture sure does looks nice, doesn’t it?

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