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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The previous entry, about my eccentric sleep pattern and unconventional self-treatment for it, generated enough commiseration and advice that I thought Iíd turn my response into another entry. Thatís one way to fulfill my promise to update daily without resorting to the tale of how unproductive my day was, because I spend half of it listening to the Bossís neíer-do-well son Tim complain about his father. I can hardly go there any more anyway, come to think of it, so strike that previous sentence.

What I forgot to mention yesterday was that my doctor recommended trying Melatonin and/or Valerian and/or Chamomile to help me get to sleep. Today I did pick up some Melatonin and read up on it a bit. From what I can tell by exhaustive Wikipedia research, itís a hormone that helps the body regulate the sleep cycle. It makes you want to sleep when itís dark and wake up when itís light out. Some people (including me, apparently) donít have enough of it and might benefit from a supplement.

Yeah, well, whatever scientific basis there is for it, I like the reasoning behind it, and that makes me willing to give it a try. It doesnít bother me much that itís illegal in some countries. Itís legal in Texas, which is my benchmark. If it were banned in Texas, Iíd be worried, because everything is legal there. In Texas youíre encouraged to drive around with a gun in one hand and an open bottle in the other. Iím sure Texans sleep well.

Although I use the TV to help me get to sleep, I donít sleep with the TV on. As you know, I have a very comfortable (and expensive) recliner where I could sleep all night if I wanted to. Instead, as soon as I get that feeling that sleep is on the way, I turn off the TV and let myself drift off in the recliner. At some point during the night I was going to have to get up and use the bathroom anyway, right? I mean, you know how old I am. So I use that transition to get into bed, where I sleep for the rest of the night (and, obviously, half the morning).

If I could do all that earlier instead of some time after midnight, Iíd be on the same circadian rhythm as the rest humanity. That might even happen one day.

When I lived in town, I had a white noise machine that helped mask the noises of city traffic and battling neighbors, and the thump-thump of hip-hop and the endless howling animals. Out here in the country, I donít have those elements to contend with. Not usually, anyway. Even the animals are quiet, for the most part. For the last couple of nights an amorous bullfrog has been croaking with unusual gusto outside my bedroom window. The machine uses natureís soothing sounds to promote sleep, but that isnít one of them.

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