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Madeleine Begun Kane


Becoming an insomniac isn't as easy as it might appear. But with the help of these guidelines, dark circles and a cranky disposition will soon be yours.

1. Be born into a family of worriers. (Certain ethnic groups have the advantage here, but won't be identified for obvious reasons.)

2. During your infancy, become accustomed to dozing in serene silence, a state you will never encounter as an adult.

3. Have parents so desperate for peace and quiet, that they routinely send you to bed hours before you feel even a hint of fatigue. This will allow you to develop helpful habits like gazing at the ceiling, counting sheep, and plotting revenge.

4. Cultivate your neuroses. A dedicated would-be insomniac will work on this throughout the day. But if time is limited, performing any of these activities right before bedtime should do the trick:

a. Review local crime statistics.

b. Read your favorite medical journal.

c. Phone a friend who just had major surgery.

d. Think about your boss.

e. Argue with your spouse.

f. Pay bills in bed.

g. Watch some Stephen King.

5. Rent an apartment with walls the consistency of cardboard. If you select your building with care, even a whisper will hold sleep at bay.

6. Reside on a busy street populated by pricey, alarm-protected cars. Preferably within blocks of a firehouse. Seek out colorful neighbors, such as unemployed rock musicians.

7. Always eat your main meal as late as possible. Be sure it includes lots of garlic, spice, and food that repeats.

8. Avoid decaf and drink vast quantities of fluid shortly before retiring. Intestinal irritants such as coffee, wine, and colas are best. Anything but milk will do.

9. Do aerobic exercise right before bed. Tone those muscles. Work that heart. And whatever you do, don't forget to warm up. Simply clutch your hands to your chest and inhale in sharp, shallow gasps.

10. Turn in at a different hour every night. Sleep until noon on Sundays. Have fun with your internal clock.

11. Acquire a spouse and/or dog who snores.

12. Be sure to have several children. Infants and teens are best.

13. Keep your bedside radio tuned to the loudest talk show host you can find. Preferably one with whom you always disagree. Spend hours trying to call him and vent your spleen. If you have a teenager, pick a station that runs public service ads about drunken drivers and drug-induced deaths.

14. Install a telephone by your bed. You wouldn't want to miss those three a.m. callers who don't know how to dial.

I could probably come up with some other helpful tips but, frankly, I'm not in the mood.

I have to get some sleep.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
1st Published Hysteria Magazine

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