If my numbers were to be called out by Gaby Roslin in Saturday’s National Lottery draw, then I have already decided what I’d spend the cash on.
My ultimate splurge would be on achieving the ultimate fantasy – the perfect night’s sleep.
Sleep is something every human being needs and it is something that everyone I know likes to moan they are not getting enough of. How much kip we get is a subject more discussed than the weather. In this age of flexi-hours, round-the-clock shopping and the Interweb, if shut eye was optional there would be no need for Horlicks or double tog duvets.
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.
You cannot go more than a couple of months without being told by a man in lab jacket that we need to be in the Land of Nod for a specified number of hours to realise a perfect existence or that too much will lead to you developing dementia.
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 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.
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. 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.
The irony is that getting too much kip isn’t regarded as macho, probably ever since that ultimate alpha male in a frock, Margaret Thatcher, branded sleep as being for wimps.
Her many detractors might well argue some of her policies would have been less pernicious if she was tucked up in bed with a cup of cocoa by 10pm most nights. We will never know, nor will any of us be absolutely certain precisely how much time asleep is the ‘perfect amount’.
All I know is that I will be playing the lottery for a long time to come...