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Sunday, December 28, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 3/31/2005

Study spurs look back on sleep patterns of one's life

Headline and story excerpt from this week's news:

Poor sleepers awaken to much trouble, report says.

"The survey 'shows that sleep is the great American divide: Half of the country sleeps well, and the other half has problems,' said [the] chief executive of the National Sleep Foundation."

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Today's column features excerpts from my new book, Looking Back (Groggily): A Middle-Aged Memoir of a Lifetime's Sleep.

INFANCY - Wow, it's a lot brighter here than that other place where I used to hang out! Hey, why can't I keep my eyes open. ?

BABYHOOD - Mmmm. Feels good - a full tummy, then sleep.

Whoa! Hey, you! You behind the wheel! Just keep drivin' and we'll get along fine.

I'm warning you. Pull into this driveway and take me inside the house, and you're going to have to put my car seat on top of the drier, or vacuum all night again, or - hey, I know! Hold me in your arms and waltz around in circles so I sleep!

TODDLERHOOD - I am not tired! I am not tired! I am not - zzzzzzz.

GRADE SCHOOL - I'm thirsty! Can I have a drink of water? I'm not sleepy! Can I have another story? Well, just let me stay up another 15 minutes. Pleeeez?

OK, 10 minutes. OK, five. OK, how 'bout some more water? But I'm scared of the dark!

JUNIOR HIGH - Nobody else's parents make them go to bed so early! Nuh-uh! I am NOT! I am NOT hard to wake up in the morning! This is not fair!

HIGH SCHOOL - I promise! I'll go to bed right after The Daily Show - even though I'm, like, not even tired. Yeah, OK. If you quit nagging, I'll lie down for a sec - zzzzz.

Huh? Wha'? Already?! Aw, five more minutes. I'll skip breakfast. Just lemme - zzzz.

COLLEGE - Nah, don't worry. The floor is fine! Nah, no pillow. Thanks for letting me crash here. No, I don't have to be anywhere until next week. Maybe even next semester. No, don't worry about me. I sleep through anything.

Zzzzzzz.

TWENTIES - Whoo hoo! We closed the place down last night! Then I went back to my apartment and slept a bit. Then I went to work, then the gym, and now I'm calling you. Whatsup? Got plans tonight?

THIRTIES - Why didn't anyone tell us babies get colic? If this baby e-v-e-r falls asleep, I'm going to bed for 24 hours straight.

OhmyGodI'msoootired.

FORTIES - Why are my eyes open? It's 4 a.m.! I went to bed at midnight! Now I'm wide awake! Third time this week!

Must be this pillow. Not fluffy enough. And the bed's way too hard.

My back is killing me. And who messed with the thermostat? Suddenly, it's sooo hot in this %#*! house!

Oh, well. Might as well get up. If that sleep-problem study was right, half the city is wide awake right now too.

OhmyGodI'msoootired.

And I loathe those infomercials.



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