It’s been at least three weeks and, truth be told, I’m not really sure when the last time was that I had a full night of uninterrupted sleep. I’m pretty sure there was a night in June? This happens from time to time and usually tapers off after a month or two. In the middle of an insomnia phase, though, boy howdy. It’s fun for the whole family.
I don’t only just stay awake or wake up frequently to watch the clock. I wander, aware in the back of my mind that none of this is real but unable to stay in bed. I get up, talk to myself, respond to urgent problems like being convinced I have to get FULLY dressed at 2 A.M. I go into the kids’ rooms, I have nightmares and run screaming into the closet, I yell at my husband for not getting up and believing me when I tell him that Cici has fallen out the window and needs medical attention. (He knows the drill and ignores me completely. In the event there ever really was a night time emergency, he wouldn’t know about it ‘til morning.)
At this point, a full sense of unreality has begun to make itself fully at home in my head. I can usually pull it together in the morning after an initial period of total desolation. Then the coffee and the regular business of life takes over. But when mid-afternoon hits, usually right around the time I need to pick up my kids from school, EVERYTHING GOES WONKY.
My eyes won’t work. Literally, my vision becomes impaired, focusing in and out randomly. My daughters’ unending habit of repeating their questions 47 times suddenly comes in very handy since I simply can’t process the intricacies of language the first 46.
So I sit down. I reach for the remote. Jack is handed a very large bottle and several toys that are probably inappropriate for his age and will therefore entertain him for much longer.
TV on, baby distracted, I lose it— consciousness, that is. Oh, not entirely. The mom in me won’t allow my hold to completely disintegrate while my kids are with me. But for the most part I let the Electronic Babysitter step in and just collapse back on the couch.
I can’t really go on like this for too much longer or bad things will happen, so I’ve had to pull out the big gun. I’m not talking about Tylenol PM, Benadryl or other, high end, sleep aids. No no. It’s time to get SERIOUS.
It’s time for the Intellectual’s Devotional.
This book has rested on my night stand for years. Like my bedside Bible, it doesn’t always get a lot of use. But when I need it, when I really NEED it, it’s always there for me.
Made up of mini-primers on philosophy, science, literature and everything in between, it’s 365 pages worth of detailed information to “help you roam confidently with the cultured class”.
In other words, in anywhere from two to five pages, I settle into a level of deep sleep comparable to what I and the 100 or so other students in History 101 experienced my first year of college.
It’s better than the best narcotics, without the hangover. Best of all, research now says that short study sessions before sleep are significantly more effective for long-term learning than night-long vigils over the books. So not only will I get some rest, I’m improving myself in the process! Pretty soon, I’ll be the star of social gatherings everywhere, able to “impress [my] friends by explaining Plato's Cave Allegory, pepper [my] cocktail party conversation with opera terms, and unlock the mystery of how batteries work.”
Seriously, people, who could ask for more?