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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Thursday, August 12, 2004  

    ''For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong''
    - H.L. Mencken

    My suggestion to countries that have a shortage of doctors (e.g. the Philippines) is that the best way to create doctors instantly is to tell people that you're an insomniac – people will become instant doctors and give you all sorts of useless advice*.
    The most useless advice would have to be "try not to think about anything".
    This I usually (BUT NOT EXCLUSIVELY) associate with people who don't think a lot but are occasionally ambushed by thought when they're off guard and they can't fight and resist it as they usually do during the day, i.e. when they're lying down in bed.
    It's not that I can't' sleep because I think - I'm not some plebe unable to sleep at night because I'm thinking of petty personal matters - it's just that it's hard to shut down any working machinery (an active mind) instantly, particularly something that's been working all day.
    This type of person wants to banish thought, that's probably why, when they occasionally think, they're kept awake because they're so disturbed and upset by this new, scary and unfamiliar phenomenon.
    And this type of person have all got their own stories of so-called insomnia – the richest I've heard is some plebe who recently empathized with me, saying that he had it the other day and it was terrible!
    He usually goes to sleep at 2.00am and he couldn’t get to sleep until 4.00am!
    That's two whole hours of "insomnia"!

    Usurping imposter!
    That's not insomnia!
    Keep you're filthy hands of my insomnia!
    I pray for that kind of "insomnia"!
    My record, at least that I remember, is thirteen unlucky hours spent trying to get to sleep!
    Real insomniacs don't talk about it (lest it might hear them).
    Real insomniacs respect it and keep quite about it - the other day somebody asked me how my insomnia was going and all I said was "it's going great" (which it is, I now classify myself as a professional insomniac and am going to start putting it on my business cards).
    If anything, I can't sleep because I'm too busy worrying about the fact that there are stupid people like him in this world!
    The most clichéd, boring and specious advice is the old stay-awake-for-twenty-four-hours advice.
    It sounds good in theory but amongst its many drawbacks is that you risk becoming overtired and not being able to sleep because you’re overtired.
    Besides, sometimes it takes me twelve hours to get to sleep which means that I often pass the twenty four hour mark anyway.
    And if you’re going to have an insomnia episode you certainly don’t want to start it at the twenty four hour mark but prefer to end it at the twenty four hour mark.
    I used to try this method sometimes but more as a break from the insomnia and trying to sleep not as some magic cure.
    And, even if it does work sometimes, it’s only for a limited time and is not a permanent cure.
    It might set you right for a while only because you’re so tired and have a sleep deficit but it’s not going to last for ever.

    *I am in no way referring to the useful scientifically founded advice that concerned family and friends offer, which I am very grateful for, but advice like that I recently got from a materialistic bourgeois neighbor who said that I should have more things in my bedroom because, according to him, the dearth of "stuff" in my minimalist bedroom was what was keeping me awake at night.

    8:30 pm

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