Dreaming of six numbers and a perfect night’s sleep

If my numbers are called out in Saturday’s National Lottery draw then I have already decided what I’d spend the cash on.

My dream purchase wouldn’t be a Scottish castle, as I can’t see myself in a kilt, nor would I invest in my football club as that nearly always ends in tears. No, my ultimate money-no-object splurge would be on achieving the ultimate fantasy - the perfect night’s sleep.

How much kip we do or don’t get is a subject more frequently discussed than that most perennial of generic subjects, the weather, and not getting enough is the ultimate leveller. In this age of flexi-hours,round-the-clock shopping and that modern day sleep thief, the Interweb, if shut eye was optional then there would be no need for Horlicks or double tog duvets.

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But luckily for jimjam manufacturers everywhere sleep is essential yet nobody can tell me exactly how much we would need to be able to function at our optimum. The latest study appears to have blown the theory that eight hours between the sheets is the healthiest amount of time and suggests we can survive on six hours, which is just as well for anybody with small children.

Parents of newborns and young babies are the worst type of sleep bores as we can be so unpredictable which means even discussing the subject is fraught with danger with anyone brave enough to ask after their well being.

Asking how much sleep a new parent, such as me, is getting is as pointless a question as asking a cabbie if he is having a busy New Year’s Eve. In my experience the only people who are allowed to ask how tired a mum or dad is are those with equally young children but even then the discussion can be a perilous one especially if one parent insists their child is sleeping ‘12 hours straight through’ from the age of two weeks.

To be fair, the parents making such wild claims are usually dads who are oblivious to how often their baby wakes at night because most blokes, and I include myself, would remain asleep if the Grimethorpe Colliery Band were playing at the foot of the bed.