Sleep (R)aid


A TV commercial for the prescription sleep-aid Rozerem says, “If you can’t sleep, you can’t dream.”

In that ad, a talking beaver, a deep-sea diver, and an Abraham Lincoln impersonator tell an insomniac that his dreams miss him.

Though I don’t endorse this product, the commercial is accurate to a degree: if you can’t dream, you’ll hallucinate—your mind will create the stuff of dreams in your waking life.

No one knows for certain why that happens.  We only know that we must have our sleep.  We can go longer without food than we can without sleep.

Yet we have a nation of insomniacs.  Use of prescription sleep-aids has risen dramatically in the U.S. over the last few years.

This rise was spawned by a blitz of ads from pharmaceutical companies.  Still, advertising doesn’t create the malady.

Something is out of balance when we can no longer do something so natural and so necessary as sleep.  It’s a paradox: our lives seem to have become so stressful that we can’t do the very thing that helps alleviate stress.

When I experience insomnia, I sometimes find that it relates to a situation in my waking life I haven’t dealt with, that I haven’t faced.

Of course, there are many other reasons for insomnia.  For a list of causes and cures, visit the Better Sleep Council’s web site:

© 2010, Michael R. Patton
myth steps


About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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