Over at the OUP blog, which is a strange thing, they feature some advice for insomniacs from Overcoming Insomnia, by Jack D. Edinger and Colleen E. Carney. Now, YHB is an insomniac, and some of the advice seems like it might be worth trying, but I had to point out this bit.
While in bed, you should avoid doing things that you do when you are awake. Do not read, watch TV, eat, study, use the phone, or do other things that require you to be awake while you are in bed. …Sexual activity is the only exception to this rule.
Hunh? I mean, yes, I get the concept that if you comfortably read in bed (or watch TV, or write in your journal) then it is harder to tell your body that you’re in bed damn it, and that it is time to sleep. I understand that, and even if I’m a bit skeptical, I see why it makes sense as advice. But if you are training your insomnia that BED=SLEEP, then why make the exception for sex? I mean, surely if you, for instance, said that the only two things you do in bed are read and sleep, then, well, the light’s off, and your body is largely shutting down and relaxing, and even if your mind is in the mood to read, well, as I say, I understand the advice, but hell! If the only two things you do in the bed are sleep and WHOOOOOHOOO, then isn’t your body going to get a bit confused? I mean, I would be. Frankly, if you are going to make an exception for sex, then you may as well order pizza and put on tap shoes, because BED doesn’t equal SLEEP anymore.
In fact, reading the advice, I would be inclined to think that for an insomniac (and it should be clear that this advice is for insomniacs only) the advice to keep a bed that is only for sleeping, and to take your sexual activity to another bed (or wherever) would be more persuasive. Yes, yes, sexual activity can make a fellow sleepy, but I’m guessing most insomniacs will try that method long before they start buying clinical workbooks. When you get to the book-buying stage, you are willing to try keeping another bed for screwing. Winston Churchill (it is said) would change beds when he couldn’t sleep, and in the morning he was sober and she was still ugly. Or something.
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,