Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Every human being needs sleep. It’s a basic necessity, along with air, water, food, shelter, and clothing. (And sex. But we won’t get into that here.)
There are certain commonalities with human sleep patterns. We generally lie flat or slightly elevated. Our breathing becomes heavy. Our eyelids close. (Unless you’re my Uncle Paul. But we won’t get into that here.)
What I find fascinating, though, are the little things…the precursors to sleep, or the positions of sleep, that define us. Those things our mothers can point to and go, A-Ha! I know you’re sleepy now!
My brother would twirl a lock of his hair when he was sleepy, turning it around and around his right index finger. He still does, and he’s 40-ish.
My college friend J would insist on sleeping with a blanket edged in satin binding. She would insert her middle finger inside the open end of the binding and rub the binding between that finger and her thumb. Again and again. Til she fell asleep.
Co-worker (Suicidal Guy in Loveless Marriage) can’t sleep unless he plugs in his ambient sound-maker, and plays at least 20 minutes of ocean sounds or rainforest.
Me, I have no precursors. I have positions. If I turn on my right side, I fall asleep quickly and have a hard time waking up (so I rarely do it). Also, if I let myself recline in the Lazyboy, with the little foot thingy propped up and the chair stretched out, I will doze off. Especially if there’s something warm like a kid or a cat or a blanket anywhere near me.
Lately, any time spent in a dark room puts me to sleep. Tucking the kids in is hazardous to my ‘Post-9-p.m.-Free-Time’. So are movies…I took the kids to see “Meet the Robinsons” last Friday and I fell asleep in the darkened theatre. I don’t think I snored. I hope not.
What about you? Do you have any childhood holdovers that are a dead giveaway to your impending sleep mode? Does sleeping on your back (The King Position) knock you totally out? Can you only fall asleep while thinking of yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked men screaming and throwing little pickles at you? (Wait. Uh. Let's NOT get into that here.)