Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sleep Observed


More sleep observations.

Positions and states – all variable, inconsistent and prone to morph from one to the other:

The Pixie. Usually a favourite of the younger female, socks should be worn to enhance the full effect. The position starts with the foetal curl but then gets tighter until the body becomes as small as possible with the knees tucked under the chin. Natural elasticity prevents permanent injury.

The Orang-utan. Mainly male but occasionally female this involves participating in a nightlong wrestling match with the duvet or in extreme case the duvet and pillows. In serious cases any sleeping partner is at great risk. The arms are used to amazing effect to twist and contort the bedclothes. Orang-utan sleepers often wake exhausted and will adopt the “tired basket weaver” for the remainder of the night.

The blacksmith. Accompanied by loud grunts and sighs “the blacksmith” slams the covers, palms down as if hammering hot metal or pumping imaginary bellows. Most of the movement is of the upper body and the spaces between the signs and arm spasms can be quite long. The individuals cheeks may go red and the eyes appear to bulge, don’t worry; these signs are perfectly normal in some one working with red-hot iron.

The tired basket weaver. Face down, arms so heavy they cannot move from the side, little or no movement from any part of the body. Occasionally the face and head will turn to left or right and some pillow drooling may occur. This position was named after a series of observations were made of the nocturnal habits of members of the basket weaving communities in Kaskakpest and Bravestia in the former Soviet Union.

Singer/songwriter. Many male and female participants, lots of elbow and wrist movement taking the form of strumming an invisible guitar or playing a keyboard but always under the duvet. Often accompanied by talking in the form of “cat on the mat” or “moon in June” rhyming couplets. Extreme cases will use phrases made famous by old blues men such as Robert Johnson or Muddy Waters, occasionally garbled Bob Dylan lyrics may also be expressed but in a pseudo American accent. Should they be recited backwards take great care not to wake the sleeper as they are in very deep and highly suggestible state at this time. Some sufferers may address their lyrical outpourings to cuddly toys or cats or dogs that may be sleeping nearby.

Dream script. A very steady state of sleep, little physical movement or activity but a during it a great deal of brainpower is expended. The sleeper will often believe they are working on a great movie script like “Apocalypse Now” or “Citizen Kane”. They then awake with an irrational desire to describe every remembered detail of the script to the first person they meet. Usually this is the person that they are in bed with, sometimes however it can be a stranger on a bus, the postman or someone in an early morning café or restaurant. They should be humoured and listened to, though avoid telling them that their “idea” for a movie is great, this may deepen their problem even further.

The Algonquin. A very stiff and intellectual position, on the back, hands by the groin, head straight back on the pillow with the eyes closed but staring at the ceiling. A hardback book or heavy magazine may sometimes be laid over the eyes. At the feet will be a quality Sunday newspaper (which may have been on the bed for weeks) left open at the arts or culture section. If pyjamas are worn glasses may be secreted in the left hand breast pocket. Algonquians always use hot water bottles irrespective of the season or who ever else is sharing the bed. They snore more than most sleepers and in a peculiar staccato style emanating from the rear of the throat. Should you confront an Algonquin with even the suggestion that they snore they will attack you.

Bambi after the death of his mother.
Legs and arms are folded under the body for long periods in this position, even when a bad case of pins and needles threatens. “Bambis” may imagine themselves to be covered either in leaves or snow during their sleep, they may also lick their own wrists or forearms and when in a deep sleep a “Bambi” may act as if their tongues have lives of their own. Partners of “Bambi” sleepers may find certain aspects of this endearing. They can however kick out powerfully at this time, possibly injuring those nearby. This usually takes place in the wee, small hours just before the cute and fluffy rabbits come out to graze in the moonlight.

Sex pest. Sex pests sleep face down, head to the right, right hand under left oxter, left hand on genitals. They smile a lot in their sleep and can become strangely agitated every fifteen minutes or so. Despite this they maintain this position until the alarm goes off. In the morning sex pests will usually shower longer than other sleepers. They also sing in the shower and seldom cook breakfast for others.

Gin Goblins. These people are delusional and think they need to be drunk in order to sleep, often partaking of a large gin or brandy prior to retiring for the night. Generally they have large ears, large ear lobes, hairy ears, purple ears, deaf ears, excess earwax and big red, pitted noses. They also have a lot of nostril hair, which can cause extreme breathing and snoring problems if it is not correctly maintained by a carer or their partner if either is still alive.

Radio controlled hamster. A particularly strange form of nocturnal activity, the “hamster” will begin to rotate in the bed. Starting slowly they will gradually increase in speed until they reach approximately one revolution per minute. Usually the cold night air on their feet awakes them and they return to normal sleep for the remainder of the night. Should their revolution cease at a point at the foot of the bed (the six o’clock position) they may begin to suck their partner’s toes. Should their revolution cease at the six o’clock position when the time is in fact six o’clock they ought to get up and make a nice pot of tea for their partner and have some sunflower seeds themselves.

Regressive Shepherd. These people still believe that counting sheep will get you to sleep, God knows why as there is no scientific proof of this whatsoever. It is just another daft thing that your parents told you along with:

a) The Black and White Minstrels are great – if only we could see them in colour.
b) George Formby is funny.
c) Boiled sweets are good for you and humbugs keep you warm.
d) If you dig on any beach you will eventually get to Australia.
e) The Rolling Stones will all die young (well one did).
f) Curry is bad and not natural.
g) The Sunday People is a good, truthful newspaper.
h) People who don’t cut their hedges are bad.

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