By Mims Cushing

On Sunday, March 11, 2018, we will set our clocks forward by one hour. Daylight Saving Time. And be advised, it’s not “Savings.” It’s singular!

Springing ahead means losing an hour of precious sleep. All those magazines about how to get a good night’s sleep are keeping me up at night. A gazillion people wrestle with their innocent sheets and pillows in their quest for sleep, glorious sleep. “Sleep tight…” What does that mean? Does it mean you are clenching your fists and squeezing your body? Isn’t that counter productive? You should relax your muscles, not sleep tight; you should sleep loose, which of course some people will take the wrong way. The rest of the sentence is “…and don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

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Theories abound regarding the meaning of “sleep tight.” Eons ago mattresses were built with ropes that had to be pulled tight so the rester would get a taut bed and good support. So, really, it’s not the sleeper but the bed that should be tight. Perhaps sleeping tight means the bed bugs will find it harder to get into your … crevices. Night clothes should be “tight” so those pesky bedbugs will not find openings to wreak havoc with unsuspecting sleepers.

Ellen DeGeneres says the only way you can sleep like a log is to curl up in your fireplace. I would never fit in my fireplace. Actually the phrase “sleep like a log,” the internet says, was initiated because the sound of sawing logs sounds like snoring.

“Sleep like a top” is another bit of advice we tell bedders-to-be. Spinning tops date back to 1250 B.C. When tops spin “the precessional effect causes its axis to remain stationary and it can appear to be still, that is ‘sleeping.’” (Internet). That sentence is a bit complex for me. Whatever. It actually makes me be a bit … sleepy.

If you want to read about sleep, a book from Demos Health Pubs might provide some help. Try Robert S. Rosenberg’s “Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day: A Doctor’s Guide to Solving Your Sleep Problems.” Laid out in an easy-to-follow format, the book uses self-checks that may help pinpoint the causes of your insomnia.

I feel bad for folks who can’t sleep properly. Perhaps they have tried the tricks to lure us into nodding off: Read, but don’t read in bed. Drink milk. Don’t snack in bed after dinner. Eat dinner early. Don’t have lights on. Don’t have a TV in your bedroom. Put Eliza in another room. Don’t have animals in your bedroom. Use the bedroom only for sleep and … you know… that other thing — breakfast in bed.

You can spring for a sound machine. It’s supposed to lull you to sleep. I got one for $10. The sound of “brook” and “rain” made my bladder long for the bathroom. The other two noises,”dockside” and ‘“ocean,” have screeching seagulls so noisy I’m sure they’re on my ceiling, readying to swoop down on my head.

The only way I can get to sleep is if you give me a general anesthetic every night, which doctors frown upon. If I need a “general” before surgery, I always warn the anesthetist, “Don’t take it personally, but I’ll not count backwards from 100. Numbers annoy me, and besides I’ll probably be out before I can start counting.” The last time I needed a general anesthetic I was sound asleep before the doc weaved his magic spell. They say reading something boring can help you get to sleep. Perhaps this column has done that for you. In which case, sleep tight. Or sleep loose. Or whatever.


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