Friday, May 05, 2006

Sleep Eating (35)

Sleep Eating

How do I know I’m eating in my sleep? The evidence is usually there the next morning. I sometimes wake up with a loaf of bread in my arms.

I often don’t know that I’m on a late night eating binge. Sometimes in mid snack I will wake myself up by crashing into a corner wall. I may then realize that I’m getting ready to chow down on something not edible, doggie treats for example.

One night I discovered that I was fiddling with a box of Equal packets to see if they might be snack worthy. Turned out they weren’t. But it took me a while to figure that out.

I must have concluded (sorrowfully) that they weren’t edible, but only after much experimentation, including pouring water on them. (I assume I did this for they were wet the next morning).

My next treat appeared to be Miracle –Gro Plant Food, but that didn’t seem to hit the spot, so I moved on in my search for vittles that would get me through the night, or, in the words of that fine country song, “Help Me Make Through the Night When the Kitchen is Closed”.

Our kitchen is generally well supplied with snack foods, but they’re usually gone by 3:00 AM, which leaves the rest of the night. Hence my experiments with food substitutes or sometimes even with non-snack food, say frozen biscuits, which I’ve discovered are better heated up.

I sometimes go back to bed only to get up an hour later to check the kitchen again on the off chance I didn’t eat everything already in my previous seven food foraging expeditions (I wear my “Raiders of the Lost Ark” hat).

One night I noticed my bare feet seemed to be sticking to the floor. Strange. What could it be? I checked the freezer—no ice cream left—must have lost a little of it, a quart or so judging from how big an area of the floor is yucky, while trying to spoon it out of the box. I usually eat over the kitchen sink, but’s it hard to be neat when you’re asleep.

I have a willing helper in my pre-dawn forays: our little dog, Precious, a nine- pound Pomapoo. On the way back from the kitchen I will take a little something to chew on in bed, a handful of crackers to go with the six I just popped into my mouth. Precious is ever alert to these late night snack attacks. Sometimes I realize she’s staring at me, waiting for a bite. I always give her a sample.

In the morning I can tell if it’s been a busy night, as there will be a few foreign objects in bed, say the usual crackers plus a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats, which my sleeping self finds quite tasty straight from the box.

I consult (silently) with Precious about these discoveries; I pretend to be using a whiskbroom and dustpan, my standard tidy-up equipment. Precious and I always converse in pantomime, as we don’t want to disturb anyone who might be trying to sleep (a cub scout troop, for example).

Precious will look alarmed that I’m suggesting that we trash the leftovers. I understand perfectly. She would rather do it herself. (She’s a woman). She begins following the cracker crumb trail and eats every bite.

Some mornings I wake up, and check the sheets. Nothing there—must have been a quiet night.

Except for the loaf of bread on the night stand.

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