My life is pretty much stress-free. Therefore, I don’t struggle with insomnia of any kind. Still, though, I can’t recall a single night during the last 20 years where I simply jumped into my bed, closed my eyes and fell asleep.
All of my friends have different little rituals they perform before they go to bed. One of them cannot fall asleep without that last cigarette, another one has to put his earplugs in. The weird one can’t fall asleep if his head is on a pillow. My grandma always listens to the radio, my dog never falls asleep if she’s not on my bed and I never, ever sleep by the wall.
Now, thing’s are going to get a little weird.
I’ve got much love for queen size beds, but I can fall asleep on pretty much anything. When I was a teenager, I asked my friend Andrew to help me chop my bed into little pieces, so I could make my room more spacious. And so I slept on the floor every night until I left for college. No sheets. I’d just lie down on the carpet and cover myself with a blanket. Today, I look back at these days and realize how well I used to sleep.
I keep jumping out of bed, having remember I might not have turned off the gas stove or locked the front door. It doesn’t matter that the stove is always turned off and the door is always closed. All logic fails to reason with me – if the gas was leaking, I would have smelt it by now. And the door issue is a matter of peace of mind. After all, what are the odds that somebody would try to break in precisely during that one night I forgot to lock the door?
I cannot fall asleep without reading something, listening to something or watching something. It just won’t happen. There’s absolutely no exceptions. I can be absolutely exhausted, but I won’t fall asleep before I consume some media. If it’s a book, it has to be a novel. Movies are another issue, because I really prefer watching tv shows, but they’re harder to fall asleep to. It is fast approaching 5am as I’m writing these words. I can’t fall asleep, because Twin Peaks won’t let me. By the way – this series is getting more and more frustrating with every episode. And it had so much promise…
Now, it’s going to get really weird.
I love listening to films. Listening. To films. I put them on and roll over to my other side so I don’t see anything. It’s only certain kinds of films I can fall asleep to. For example, between December and February, I would fall asleep to documents about JFK’s assassination. There’s only a few of them on YouTube. Doesn’t matter. For three months straight, I kept falling asleep to the same film. The average time between putting it on and falling asleep? Around 3 minutes.
When I knew all of these movies by heart, I switched to documentaries about the Titanic. And, for another month, I was falling asleep to the same two films. Right until May, I kept falling asleep to the Cocaine Cowboys document.
It’s amazing for inducing sleep. Why exactly? I have no clue. There’s hundreds of other docs available online. And a lot of them should interest me a lot more than the story of cocaine dealers in 1980s Miami. Unfortunately, they can’t put me to sleep like this one can.
Another example. All through the Fall, I was obsessed with Stalin docs. Two months of falling asleep to the same two films. I’d rotate them. I tried the same trick with Hitler & Co., but these guys couldn’t get the job done. It was all about good ol’ Joe.
Sometimes, before I go to sleep, I keep thinking about serial killers. Not about being one, but about capturing one. This thought makes me so calm that I fall asleep after a mere few minutes. That’s why I’ve never been able to imagine, locate and capture the killer yet.
Looking at all of this, I started wondering – am I weird?