The national sleep conspiracy

Published 6:21 am Friday, April 1, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
A new study states that only 26 percent of Americans get the recommended eight hours of sleep.
The problem at the Weyhrich household is that nights are too short. At exactly 5:40 the other morning the sun crawled through the window and poked me in the eyes Three Stooges style until I woke up. That same sun hung around the house until nearly nine o'clock the night before.
Saturday night the sun's slightly flashier brother, Lightning, started knocking at the window at 3 a.m.
Sleep experts claim that television and strenuous working conditions are the reasons behind our poor sleep habits, but I know differently.
This country's poor sleep cycles are the result of a massive government conspiracy.
The Friday before last the Advance staff stayed extremely late to wrap up Horizons. We left the office about 4:15 a.m. Saturday. Yours truly came home to take a warm shower and pass out after 22 hours without sleep, but no water came out of the faucet. The pipe had burst under my bathroom and over 1,600 gallons had turned the crawlspace under our house into a small lake.
On the bright side I got to meet my next door neighbors, who were loading up their vehicle for a trip to Birmingham. They helped me get the water line turned off and offered us the use of their garden hose until the plumber could come.
The plumber came to our house bright and early Sunday morning, which was a huge surprise for someone from Birmingham. In Birmingham you are lucky to see a plumber within the same century you called them. In Atmore you get next-day service even on the weekends.
As far as sleep goes that night was shot. Wednesday the lines under the kitchen blew. My parents were expected to arrive the next day to spend Easter weekend with us, so we called the plumber that evening. After a night spent awake and worrying, the plumber showed up that morning and got that particular problem fixed.
Saturday the hot water line blew, and let me tell you, standing in the rain turning off a water line is no fun. Even the thought of yet another water line blowing was not enough to keep us awake that night. An early morning thunderstorm, however, was.
One crack of lightening and I couldn't get back to sleep.
The plumber, who we now know as Don, was able to get us fixed up on Easter. I can't think of a better Easter present.
The point, in case you didn't think there was one, is there is some kind of global conspiracy to keep American's awake. Whenever it seems that an American might get a good night's sleep something happens to keep him or her awake.
On the bright side I am working on a world record for number of plumbing disasters in a two-week period.
Of course these could just be the ramblings of a sleep-deprived man.
Lee Weyhrich is the Managing Editor of the Atmore Advance. His column appears weekly.

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