This column first appeared in the latest edition of the Manx Advertiser.
The one thing that being a parent of babies and young children can give you – apart from the ability to tell the different brands of wet wipes by their smell – is a cure for insomnia.
Because if you had trouble getting off to sleep before parenthood , once you’re sharing a house with one noisy child or more, you can be sure that you’ll find yourself falling asleep within five minutes of your head finally touching the pillow.
The only problem is how often you get the chance to place your head on a pillow.
Those who don’t have that particular issue are more at risk of insomnia and the strange thought processes it can bring.
My biggest problem used to be that, while lying awake and unable to sleep, I would think about why I was lying awake and unable to sleep. This normally led to quite complicated thought calculations, which led to me lying awake and unable to sleep.
The best thing to do is think about anything other than the reason you are unable to sleep.
It can be amazing what pops into your head, whether it’s a reminder of a schoolboy crush you had on Finola Hughes – the haughty dancer in Staying Alive – and wondering whatever happened to her*, or if charabancs are a viable option now bendy buses have been ruled out.
Other things that crop up in your semi-conscious state are such questions as whether you imagined it or it was really claimed, before it was built, that the incinerator would be barely noticeable on the landscape.
Or you ponder whether the decision to stick an old horse tram carriage in the middle of the Home of Rest for Old Horses was the nicest thing to do when many of the residents are happily retired from the hard labour of pulling trams and would perhaps like to forget about work.
If you get to the stage of worrying about the number of mini roundabouts in the Isle of Man, then you’re doomed to no sleep at all.
So, drastic action is required: time to listen to recordings of various Tynwald debates. If that doesn’t send you to sleep, nothing will.
*A regular slot on Blossom went unnoticed in the 90s and her appearance on the Kenny Everett show must have dipped under the radar.
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