hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


February 28, 2013

Getting a good night's sleep a luxury


I’ve changed locations, adjourning to a sofa. I’ve also tried reading myself to sleep. “War and Peace” wouldn’t do it.

They tell me the TV is the greatest sleeping pill every invented. That may be true to some extent, but it creates another problem. If I do conk out in the midst of a boring movie, it’s impossible trying to fall back asleep once again.

This guy I know might have an answer. Take a stimulant, a shot of brandy, he recommends. Now Harry is the senator to his friends. When he talks, people listen.

“My best sleep, it turns out, is when I exercise in the afternoon,” he tells me. “I enjoy a light evening meal, followed by fruit snacks at night. A heavy dinner makes me feel bloated and uncomfortable. Cutting down your food intake will increase your appetite for sleep.”

I used to attribute my insomnia to an evening coffee to settle my nerves. Even when I switched to decaffeinated, I was bamboozled. I eliminated caffeine altogether, even with soft beverages, and still no luck.

I couldn’t blame it on my wife’s snoring habits. One of the great mysteries of life is why people who snore are always the first ones who fall asleep.

The earplugs I used kept me from hearing the lullabies.

So off I went to my local pharmacy, looking for a solution over the counter. I tried this and that with no success. My doctor prescribed zolpidem tartrade. I know. It sounds worst than it actually is. What’s 5 mg of anything?

It’s not the way I want to retire for the evening — with an addiction to sleeping pills.

This posed another ridiculous question. The United States spends more money than any other country on coffee to keep people awake and on sleeping pills to put them to sleep.

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