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Pattaya Daily News

23 April 2007 :: 15:04:14 pm 21586

Wake up and go to sleep!

Recently I was suffering from a bout of Bangkokus Foodstallus, that is Latin for the food poisoning you get from eating at one of the many independently operated proprietorships found around Thailand, and it was a particularly bad strain. Not only was I unable to stray more than ten meters from a restroom, notice I didn’t say bathroom, but I was unable to sleep due to high fever. I was plagued with fever dreams of being forced into a threesome with a retired Pattaya couple from Germany and that would keep anyone up.
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            As the medication took effect over a four day time frame, I realized that I had another pressing problem other than keeping the TP stocked: My passport had been stolen from my apartment. Now there is a wake up call. As I had had many visitors over the last few weeks, I was not in short supply of people to call and inquire, tastefully, if they had inadvertently stolen my passport. After many such calls were made and no one owned up to the heinous crime, I went the next day to the embassy where I was told that replacing it would cost a hundred bucks and I would have to fill out a police report. A hundred bucks goes a long way in this town so I was pretty mad. 

            That night after sleeping, for the first time in three days, I realized I had given my employer my passport to complete some documents for my work permit. Due to lack of sleep I had become a paranoid lunatic, convinced that my friends had turned against me so much so that I waited in the embassy line for two hours cursing their names. My friends, after an explanation, thankfully forgave my paranoid delusions. 

            How many of us are holding two jobs? Working all day and hitting clubs all night? How many vacationers come here and go for three days without sleeping on top of jet lag? From the look of Khao San Road lately, a lot. There are some real psychos over there. Going without sleep, doctors have confirmed, makes you the star of your own Pattaya version of “Taxi Driver.” Remember Travis couldn’t sleep either. Going without sleep for extended periods, I need to tell you, makes you psychotic. Whether you realize it or not. 

            Doctors recommend one day of rest per time zone when you fly in. For me, after a trip home to lovely Houston, that is seven full days of taking it easy. Of course, vacations don’t last forever so folks want to get started on the many fun things to do here in Pattaya. A great way to avoid some of the jet lag is by staying up gradually later in your home time zone over three nights before your flight. This will help with the transition to Pattaya time. I can vouch for this method. And don’t be fooled by these people who are working here in Thailand who might be telling you that four hours, or less, per night is ok for them. They are dead wrong. Literally. 

            Going without sleep causes blood pressure problems, heart disease, circulatory disorders, and, this is for all you at Khao San, cognitive thinking disorders. Also be aware of sleep debt. That is suffering from lack of sleep for months or years. Contrary to what those folks believe who say they never need more than 4-5 hours per night, they are not alright. After testing some guys who had been sleeping three to four hours per night for many years, guess what doctors found. Let’s just say these folks had some interesting ideas about life, their kids, and their careers. The tests performed were neurological tests designed to test cognition and brain functions. Most of the people in the study were operating at “impaired levels” and some were full blown psychopaths; not the kind that starts shooting in a mall, but the kind that goes to work everyday and afterwards drives home with racing or repetitive thoughts. They found a few guys who have been singing the same song all the way home for 20 years. Some were secretly paranoid about office workers or even felt that all these reality TV shows had some form of merit. Finally, guess which country gets the least sleep and has the highest instance of over work. It just happens to be Japan, the same country with the highest suicide rate. Over 30,000 people per year off themselves in Japan and that is a frightening figure. You can do the math on how many people that is per day. 

            Seriously, you are not special. You need sleep. The brain doesn’t work without it no matter what you might think. Now get some sleep!

Steven G. Williams

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Travel

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