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Just before the new year, I downloaded a sleep cycle app to my new smartphone.  The new smartphone that is slower, clunkier and more infuriating than my old smartphone that wasn’t really working very well anymore.  It will be thrown against a wall sometime soon but until then, I will have some fun monitoring my sleep patterns.

I’m not a great sleeper.  As well as the usual early waking insomnia, I’ve had frequent brushes with oneirodynia gravis, as well a bit of somnambulism, somniloquy and even the occasional bout of somnogelasty.  If you google that last one you won’t find anything, it is a neologism of my own devising and I don’t know many joys which could compare with that of coining a new word.  For purists like C.P.Scott, I can only apologise for the hybrid Greco-Latin etymology and refer you to the hallowed Wikipedia:

Such etymologically disparate mixing is considered by some to be bad form. Others, however, argue that, since both (or all) parts already exist in the English lexicon, such mixing is merely the conflation of two (or more) English morphemes in order to create an English neologism (new word), and so is appropriate.

So there.  Quite.

And for the benefit of my readers and any future editions of the OED:

Somnogelasty /sɒmˈnɒgɛlasty/>noun

A condition characterised by laughing in one’s sleep.

It was out of curiosity then, that I decided to monitor my sleep patterns.  And what do I find?  Apparently I sleep too much, or should I say, I am a hypersomniac.  Over the course of a week however, the sleep credit is balanced by the sleep deficit associated with working night shifts.  So I think that means I sleep too much because I don’t get enough sleep.  A Sisyphean conundrum if ever there was one.

The sleep cycle app also has a nifty somnifugous feature designed to actually get you out of bed in the morning, rather than hitting that snooze button.  I’ve plucked a random QR code from the internet – who knows what it really links to – scanned it into the “CAPTCHA” feature and stuck it to my bathroom mirror as instructed.  When the alarm, specifically chosen for its nerve jangling qualities, goes off in the morning, I need to take my phone to the bathroom and scan the QR code on the mirror in order to switch the alarm off. Unnecessarily elaborate perhaps, but I think that is what it will take to get me out of bed before 10am.  Then I will go for a run and earn me some fitness points.

I’m expecting the regime to require some tweaking.  Maybe it would be better if I put the QR code in the tea caddy, then I’d have no excuse not to stay up and make a nice morning cuppa.  But then do I really want a cup of tea before I go running?  Maybe I should stuff it in my running shoes or at the back of the drawer with my track pants in – nothing like a good rummage to wake you up in the morning.  Wherever I put it, it’s probably best I don’t spend that intersominous period fiddling with electronic gadgetry right next to the toilet, because if I do, there will be warranty-voiding water damage.  Rest assured, you will be briefed on my success, or lack thereof.

Remember that episode of the Simpsons where Homer buys the diet hypnotherapy tapes to help him lose weight but they are actually “improve your vocabulary” hypnotherapy tapes…?

Now, my gastronomic rapacity knows no satiety.  I’d better find dinner…

Thanks be to this website for all the useful new words I am about to learn – search “sleep”, “nightmare” and “laughter” for further info on most of the terms used here.

Family responsibility points for having coffee with an in-law and catching up with all the latest news on the rest of family: +1

Karma points for picking up a button that had sneakily popped off a fellow passenger’s clothing and returning it to them: +1

Fitness points for not pigging out on the night shifts: +2

GRPs for remembering to submit my timesheet as I left work this morning: +1

Total so far:

  • Karma: +2
  • FRP: +22.9
  • Relationships: 0
  • Family: +1
  • Friends: +5
  • Career: +2
  • Fitness: -6
  • General: -6