Background: The holy sabbath begins at 4:15 PM, which means that even after the large three-course meal (the Jew's weekly Thanksgiving), dinner is over by 6:30 PM. After a long week, there is only one recourse: lying down on the couch--under a blanket--with a book (this particular week's choice: William Gibson's Pattern Recognition). Which means that I am fast asleep by 7:00 PM. On the couch. Most weeks I manage to wake up after half of an hour, maybe forty minutes. Last week, I slept--on the couch--until 10:00 PM.
Now, I'm faced with the Crux: I want desperately to sleep normal human hours at night. A three-hour nap starting at 7:00 PM does not bode well for sleeping normal human hours at night. I figure if I can get myself into bed within three minutes (never has a number been more arbitrarily decided) I should be able to prepare myself for night-sleep without fully awakening. To accomplish this task--suit pants to keep unwrinkled, bathroom to use, teeth to brush--within the self-allotted 180 seconds, I need to summon an intense level of concentration.
Play-by-Play: Concentrating intently, I manage to do all those things within three minutes, and climb into bed at 10:03 PM. Where I proceed to lie sleepless for the next 35 minutes.
Conclusion: Giving up hope for normal human hours of sleep tonight, I go downstairs, back on the same couch, under the same blanket, reading the same book. I continue doing this for more than four hours, until almost 3:00 AM. Good times.
Moral: The intense concentration needed to get ready for bed before your body/mind can fully awake seems to, unfortunately, constitute the very awakeness which I so hoped to avoid.
Another Moral: Don't fall asleep on the couch Friday nights if you hope to enjoy sleeping normal human hours that night.
Last Moral: Sigh.