This is not to be confused with the idea that I do sleep anywhere. That honor is reserved for my wife, who is a borderline narcoleptic. Gillian has slept through fire alarms, during TV shows, in movie theatres… one time she fell asleep during a live performance of Richard II – ten feet away from Kevin Spacey giving one of his most dramatic soliloquies.
However, while Gillian has fallen asleep just about anywhere, this is far from being the ability to fall asleep at will. Today we went into Vancouver to visit our friend Nita, but to do so we had to get up at 4:30 in the morning to catch the early morning ferry with Charles. We tried to get to bed early but still only got about five hours worth before our various alarms went off (I set two clock alarms and my watch alarm, just in case. The alternative is to have Charles stomp on the floor above us like Godzilla trampling Tokyo).
Now, it takes a good half hour or so to get to the ferry, and the ferry ride itself is an hour and a half long. This meant two more potential hours of sleep, which I was more than willing to take advantage of, but Gillian was adamant that she was wide awake now and this was impossible.
This from the woman who fell asleep two rows away from Kevin Spacey lamenting the fate of England.
On the other hand, I have no such hang ups. I can and have fallen asleep just about anywhere I needed to or wanted to. Planes, trains, cars, chairs, sofas, under a tree, cold or warm, during a storm, on a boat, with a goat (wait, what?). What’s strange for me is it takes a very long time to actually drift off. Even under ideal conditions in a temperature controlled room, fresh duvets, and a pea-free mattress, it always takes me half an hour minimum before I doze. I also tend to be a light sleeper, while Gillian – as mentioned earlier – has slept through fire alarms.
This holds true in any conditions. Give me a half hour and I can put my brain into Standby mode anywhere short of a war zone. Gillian, despite numerous protests to the contrary, has started snoring within minutes of turning in. A friend of mine has claimed to be able to fall asleep before his head even hits the pillow. I must admit I envy this ability, but wonder if this pseudo-narcolepsy is the price to pay for quick and easy slumber.