Dr. Schimpkin Schnuggles was a genius. He was a sleep researcher, and worked in the finest sleep labs in the country. Or so it said in the description of his bestselling book, The Snoozer’s Guide to Sound Sleep.
My restlessness kept me up until 1:00 am in the morning. So I finally gave up, got up, and decided to kill some time on my computer. I googled “insomnia,” and that’s how I discovered Dr. Schnuggles’ helpful book.
For a slight fee of just $37.99, I was able to download the tome to my Kindle. Slight fee, my foot! This book had better be good, or I’d never be able to sleep, worrying about all the money I wasted.
No sooner had I delved into Chapter One, than I realized what a genius this doctor was. Schnuggles advised that often it is our environment that causes insomnia. He said that light was usually the culprit, and he advised dousing any nightlights in the bedroom.
But of course! My Mickey Mouse nightlight with his glowing eyes and cheeks must be what’s keeping me awake. I’ve always had a little fear of the dark, and Mickey Mouse has been kind of a comfort to me. Nonetheless, that light was messing with my melatonin or melanin, or some damn thing, causing my cicada rhythm or circadian rhythm, or whatever the hell it was, to go all widdershins.
So I promptly unplugged Mr. Mouse, then plunged into bed. And I lay there for about ten minutes. Then fifteen minutes. No sleep. I cracked open my eyelids, and what do you know? I see light. My digital clock is glowing LED red, lighting up the whole room like a whorehouse. So I got up and found my Kindle, and propped it against the face of the clock. No more red light.
I laid back down in bed, staring at the dark ceiling. And then a twinkling caught my attention. An infernal flashing light from somewhere. I propped myself up, and realized that the modem and router to my computer had an assortment of LED lights twinkling and blinking away like a Christmas tree. I got up again, and foraged through my dresser drawer. I found some dark boxer shorts to throw over these electronic demons, then dove back into bed.
Any more lights? I decided to wait until my eyes adjusted to the dark before concluding all was clear. Or dark, that is. And what do you know, there were more lights. Little pinpricks glowing in the tenebrous gloom, emerging from my desk in the corner. I jumped out of bed and flicked on the wall switch and investigated.
My computer was the culprit this time. There’s a little tiny LED on the keyboard, indicating that NumLock was set. So I hit the NumLock key to turn that bastard off. But there was also a light on the microphone that I have connected to the computer. So I hit the off switch. But the computer case itself also had some glowing little LED’s taunting me with their cheery brightness. I went to the garage and found some black electrical tape, and smothered their cheer with a few strips.
There, that should do it. Now back to bed. But as I waited in the dark for my pupils to enlarge, I became aware of yet more tiny rays of starlight from various points in the room.
More investigating revealed some LEDs on power strips, the telephone, the TV, the computer mouse, and on a tiny little volume control knob on my stereo. I became a busy man wielding that electrical tape, dousing these illuminated invaders of my sleep. Electrical tape is hard to cut, and if you’ve ever messed with it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I resorted to my pocketknife, which then led to a gashed and bleeding thumb.
Finally, with every goddamned LED extinguished in the room, I was able to relax in the vault of complete darkness I had created. Now, at last, at 3:46 am, I could get that restful slumber promised by Dr. Schnuggles.
But no, I still couldn’t sleep. It was very dark in there. I thought I heard a noise. Did it come from under the bed? Was it some creature that smelled the blood from my thumb? And then there was the pain. The pain from the wounded thumb. And then there was that $37.99 I so foolishly spent.
So there in the scary dark of my bedroom, I lay terrified, hurting, and angry. Finally, as dawn was cracking open the morning, I cracked open Dr. Schnuggles book again, and resumed reading. The next thing I knew, I was waking up, and the time was 4:00 pm. Alas, I’d finally discovered the secret to getting a lot of sleep. Just try reading a big, boring book.