I have never been a great sleeper.
Well maybe never is an overreach. I was told that whenever my parents came to visit their preemie baby in the hospital, I would fall asleep on them. But suffice it to say that in my adult life I have spent many a night either unable to sleep, or unable to go back to sleep. I know the reason behind this. It is my personal dedication to the solving of my problems and the problems of the world during the course of the night. I believe, perhaps self-righteously, that if I devote my sleep hours to solving the world’s challenges and then scrupulously keep them to myself or a select group of family and friends that I am doing the world an immense service.
Donald Trump has not helped my sleep challenges.
Facebook and the posts of some of my more conservative acquaintances and friends have not helped much either.
And when I have finished solving the worlds problems I move on to my own. Perhaps I have my priorities off but I am an altruistic man. I believe in helping others first. Solving my own problems are not nearly as much fun as solving the worlds. They actually require action on my part. A note to a boss on what a horse’s patoot he/she/they are being. Calling the insurance company about a denied claim. A list of overdue errands. 6 across on today’s New York Times crossword puzzles. You know, the things that can only be solved between the hours of 2-5am.
Over time I have developed a number of aides in putting me back to sleep. Eating something sweet often works as it produces insulin which makes me drowsy. Vodka, frozen, have been used in cases of emergency as have a variety of products endorsed by Bob Marley. But the number one sleep aid and my chief ally in forgetting my and the world problems have been books. Reading allows you to tune out the rest of your brain and only listen to the narrative the storyteller is weaving. But even with this there is a rub. If the book deals with real world issues or raises issues with your personal flaws and shortcomings, then it is contraindicated.
And there in lies my challenge.
We are told, that in these halcyon days of quarantine and Covid 19 sleep is more important than ever. Sleep reduces stress which is an important part of maintaining a healthy immune system. Sleep allows the body to heal. Sleep allows you separation from the anxiety living in quarantine amid a plague produces.
he chocolate, I had stockpiled in the first week of quarantine. While I have a good supply of cachaca and other medicinal alcohols I have been told that while they may produce sleep they also wear on the immune system. Snoop Dog endorsed products are not generally available here in Sambaland.
So my only alternative to getting a good nights sleep is to find entertaining but escapist reading. I am looking for recommendations. I love great mystery writers like Walter Mosley, Dick Francis, and Dennis Lehane. I am a huge fan of historical fiction with writers such as Herman Wouk, Ken Follett, Leon Uris and the like. Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction and fantasy also entertain me especially writers such as Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Greg Bear and Ben Bova.
Put me to sleep. Recommend great books for me to read. And while the world’s problems may not get solved at least I will have done my part in helping defeat the Covid 19 virus.