To Sleep, Perchance to Hallucinate

I got more sleep last night than the night before, but still…I thought, after being awake for about nineteen hours, I’d sleep through the night. “But I thought…” That will teach me to think.  These images (click on an image to embiggen it—yeah it’s a word, it’s my word, though I admit to stealing it) reflect my bed’s assessment of my sleep patterns for the last two nights. Night before last, my bed tells me I slept well in spurts (the green bar), interrupted by tossing and turning (yellow). I got up during the night (the red line), then slept a bit but tossed and turned until I got up just after 3:00 a.m. Last night, I went to bed even earlier, just before 10:00 a.m., slept well except for a brief period of restlessness, got up once in the middle of the night, then slept in fits and starts until I finally decided to get out of bed just before 5:00 a.m. In the interest of full disclosure, my bed does not always know whether I’m sleeping or just pretending to be asleep by laying motionless. So I can’t be certain that the sleep patterns shown reflect reality. They may reflect the way my bed interprets reality. If you look closely at the image from night before last (again, click to embiggen), you’ll notice that my bed did not detect that I had a heartbeat. I am relatively sure my heart continued to beat all through the night. That discrepancy between reality and my bed’s representation of reality gives me reason to question other facets of my sleep and non-sleep experiences. Was my respiration rate really so much slower last night than the night before, or did my bed make a mistake? Or…I shudder to think it…did my bed simply lie? What possible reason could my bed have for knowingly reporting false information?

There was a time when beds did not communicate with their owners. In fact, I am relatively certain that most beds today are content to remain silent partners in the sleep process. They just provide a reasonably soft surface upon which to place one’s body horizontally. But my bed tracks my sleep patterns. The fact that my bed communicates with me through my smart phone suggests that I may be in danger of being watched by sinister strangers, strangers who might have nefarious reasons for knowing how and when I sleep. My first thoughts turn to the engineers and marketers who design, manufacture, and sell SleepNumber beds. If they can enable the bed to communicate with my smart phone, is it not possible that they have enabled my bed to communicate through my smart phone to them? Good God! My bedroom habits are being scrutinized by people with whom I’ve never slept and, frankly, probably have no desire to sleep with (I can’t say that definitively, for I don’t know them, but the probability is high).

Now that this train of thought has begun to glide along the tracks inside my head, I can see possibilities for my inability to sleep well these last two nights. It’s possible that SleepNumber employees or owners are sending signals to my bed that cause me to be unable to sleep. Perhaps the firmness changes from moment to moment, controlled by the manipulative bastards back at SleepNumber headquarters or, perhaps, in the company’s laboratories. Yeah, they could be toying with me, controlling my ability to sleep by establishing control over my home wifi. I wonder about the clandestine motives guiding this felonious intrusion into my life. And, now, I wonder whether the criminals did, in fact, stop my heart night before last and simply forgot to cover their tracks by changing the data reported back to me.

Ach! I may have uncovered a plot that threatens the sleep patterns of millions! It may be time to take this to the media.  I could become the next Erin Brockovich (though I’m not planning to become a female who stumbles onto…well, I’m just not going to).  And, if I play my cards right, I might get a book deal out of it. And then? I can see the movie version playing in my head. I wonder who would play me in the film? Except for his accent, I think Gérard Depardieu would be ideal in the role. I may be putting the cart before the horse. First, I have to prove that SleepNumber stopped my heart while conducting odious research without my consent.

Until this very moment, I’ve not thought about the fact that I’ve never spoken to anyone, except my wife, about the communications between my bed and me. Are there others out there whose beds communicate with them regularly? Is it odd that my bed shares with me intimate details about my sleep patterns? Is it even more bizarre that I’m sharing these details with as many as five or six others who, either by accident or misguided intent, visit this page?

See, this is what sleep deprivation does. It robs one of his self-discipline and self-respect, causing him to share his intimate sleep information with the world. I think I’ll have to take a sleeping pill tonight. Or maybe I’ll sleep in an unconnected bed to thwart the sick bastards who count my heartbeats and every breath I take as part of their fiendish plans to take control of the world while we rest. That’s it. But, first, I’ll have another cup of strong, black French roast coffee. That will get my heart started.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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