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Sleep on it

March 30, 2013

In the movies when there is some sort of crisis, or some big decision needs to be made, the wife always says to the husband, “Don’t do anything now, sleep on it”.

I never knew what that meant, “Sleep on it”. You can’t sleep on not having enough money, being unhappy with your life, getting old and having nothing to show for it. With problems like that, you can’t sleep at all!

But last night, I went to bed quite early, at about 9pm. I was bored. I was intrigued as to why, despite a lot of exciting things happening in my life, like – I consistently travel the world and do shows in some really exotic countries, do a job that I love, and have some good friends, I feel like I am just plodding along, like a mundane factory assembly line. Nothing changes much, I am often bored, and I haven’t really got what I want.  I have come to terms with the fact that I may never marry Amitabh Bachchan and I am OK with that, although, I think he’s devastated. I want things to change a bit.

I was in bed last night thinking about these things randomly whilst looking at people’s lives on Facebook. Looking at people I don’t know, people I knew 20 years ago, and people whose lives I would like to have.

Then I went to sleep. I can’t remember what I dreamt about, I don’t really remember my dreams; I do occasionally but not often. When I woke up this morning I opened my eyes looked ahead of me and said to the wall, “I know what I want and I know what I have to do”. Everything was clear and simple. I must have ‘slept on it’.

All day today, things still remained clear to me. I don’t understand what happened between going to bed in dismay and waking up with so much clarity. ‘It’s like a little genie came to me with a message in my sleep saying, “Don’t worry about Amitabh B. He’s old and past it. But if you go to this place and do that, you will find this and you will feel like that.”

“Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care. The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath, balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast”.

–William Shakespeare

Sleep helps you with the trauma of life, healing, rejuvenating, fantasizing. I have the chance to be re-born every day. Yesterday doesn’t matter when I have been to sleep.

Thatcher famously ran the country on four hours of sleep a night. Even she slept, and is still alive and she’s not even human. Wish she’d ‘slept on it’ a bit more.

A few hours of lying in bed dreaming about solutions to a crisis, answers to baffling questions, pondering upon whether it’s time to chop all my hair off and dye it red – can all be solved by ‘sleeping on it’.

I never knew staying up late all those years ago when I should have been revising for my exams, I was watching soaps like Dynasty and Dallas where these people had all the money in the world, but also had the biggest problems, and they were constantly going to sleep and waking up with everything solved. I just thought it was rich people talking rich people lingo, but I’ve since found, this can be any person’s lingo.

I called a friend the other day, I said, “What are you doing?” She said, “I was feeling bored so I spent the day asleep in bed”.

I called another friend a few days later, I said “Do you fancy meeting up?” She said “I’m feeling depressed, so I’m going to go to sleep”.

Sleep is like a black hole, you can go there to forget, or to find answers but eventually you will have to come out of it. It’s not a place where you can go forever, and hide. It’s can be like a cave for a bit, but eventually, people will come and drag you out of it.

“Get out of bed, you’ve got to go to the office, you’ve got to do your homework, the car is filthy!”

Something’s, you just can’t ‘sleep on’.


The author is an award winning stand-up comedian and writer. She has performed all over the world. A columnist for The Guardian UK, she was named Columnist of the Year at the prestigious PPA Awards. Find out more from her website.


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.