The Old Coot is a pro at nap taking

There is a lot of chatter out there about sleep. A lot of worry and anxiety! People say – “I can’t get to sleep!” – “I wake up at two in the morning and toss and turn for hours!” – “I don’t get enough sleep. I doze off in meetings.” That sort of chatter.

It’s nothing new, according to historian Amanda Foreman. Worries about sleeplessness even kept ancient Egyptians up at night. In fact, some of their methods for treating insomnia are still in use today – Lavender oil and chamomile tea, to name two.

Medical commentators ramp up the issue on TV all the time. They claim the average American doesn’t get enough “good” sleep. We are advised to turn off the TV, black out the room, read, take a bath, and wind down.

I don’t have a sleep problem. Like a lot of old coots, I sleep like a baby. I wake up every two hours, roll over and watch TV. But it’s not a problem. I take naps to make up for it. It’s my favorite pastime. Sometimes I don’t even realize I dozed off. 

Put me in a movie theater or in front of a TV and I zonk out. When I come back to planet Earth I’ve missed 20 minutes of the storyline. That’s when I drive my wife nuts, and all the people around us, with a game of 20 questions.

“Who is that guy with the gun?” – “Did the woman in red have a baby?” – “Why is that old man in jail?” A chorus of “SHUT UPS” leaves me in the dark. Later, someone will ask, “How did you like the movie?” I reply, “I’m not sure. It was kind of disjointed.” 

I’ve tried all the tricks to get a good night’s sleep or to get back to sleep. I have a collection of sounds on my iPad – thunderstorms, ocean waves, night birds, breezes, winds, and even wild winds. One thing I haven’t tried is a warm cup of milk before bedtime. It’s what my mother did with us when we were kids. It worked.

Stephen King published a great book called “Insomnia.” The main character woke up (and couldn’t get back to sleep) earlier and earlier every morning. He eventually only got a few hours of sleep. It took me more than a year to finish the book. The old guy with the affliction made me feel as tired as he was. I couldn’t get through ten pages without dozing off. Probably something you do after the second paragraph of one of my old coot articles. Glad you made it all the way through this time.   

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