Nighty Night

by Tina Shake

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Last night was a nightmare because I just couldn't get to sleep. In fact, I have been having a little trouble for the last two nights. I tossed and turned so much that the rustle of my corn cob-filled mattress woke up my husband. Normally, the sound of his snores drowns out all human sound, but in this case, my restlessness had caused a friction against the sheets that sent unbearable heat to his side of the bed making him sweat bullets, therefore keeping him awake. So this morning, I am on a quest. I must find the secret of a good night's sleep.

I had decided to call the town "know-it-all," June Quackerbottom. June is famous in these parts for her intelligence. June gave me a list of tips to try, and yes, I thanked her before I got off of the phone as I muttered under my breath.

The first thing that Ms. Quackerbottom told me was to cut down on my caffeine. Well, duh! I normally have five espressos after dinner, so I reluctantly cut that out the next evening. I hopped into bed, all excited about the night's sleep ahead, but instead, I had nightmares of outlaw cocoa beans chasing me, waking me after the first hour of sleep.

The second thing that June suggested was that I avoid all alcohol and nicotine close to bedtime. Just what is she trying to tell me here? Just because the mailman threw out his back when my monthly order of martini glasses came in last week doesn't mean I drink alcohol every night. I just happen to like the shape of those glasses. As for nicotine, I don't smoke. I just buy them, and I can stop buying them anytime I want to. I just don't want to stop right now. So definitely that tip doesn't apply to me.

Don't use too many or too few blankets. Now what does she mean by that? How many are too many or two few? I guess you would have too many blankets if your bed squashes the empty paint buckets that hold up your bedsprings. If your teeth are worn down from chattering at night, then you may have too few.

Ms. Quackerbottom did suggest drinking warm milk before you go to bed. Now that suggestion sounds like a winner, as long as you do not overdo it and drink so much that you have to make extra visits to the powder room at night. Also, please warm your milk in the microwave or on top of the stove. Do not, I repeat, do not sneak over to the neighbors and try to squirt milk directly from the cow. You may look up between squirts and see the County Sheriff looking at you with a pair of handcuffs, and the nosey neighbor Edna may take a snapshot and sell it to your neighborhood version of the Enquirer. Now remember, this is a hypothetical situation.

An old remedy passed down through the Indiana generations calls for two teaspoons of vinegar with two teaspoons of honey in a glass of water to be drank before bedtime to bring on sleepiness. Uh, I couldn't bring myself to try this one.

If you like tea, June suggests that you fix up some herbal tea. You can use Chamomile tea to relax you at night, just as long as you are not allergic to ragweed. If you are allergic, then steer clear please. Other herbs that can be substituted to make you sleepy are oatstraw and valerian. The best herb to use, however, is catnip. This herb is very mild and effective; in fact, it has been used for children for centuries. (Check with your pediatrician before giving to children.)

To make Catnip tea, put one teaspoon of loose dried Catnip into a cup of boiling water. It is important that you not boil the mixture any further. You want to steep the cup of tea, strain and serve. Now I must tell you that if you like this remedy as I do, please use precaution!

If you buy Catnip in bulk, like maybe a semi truck pulls into your driveway and honks for you to make room in your garage for the bales, be aware of your surroundings. If you have a neighbor called the "Cat Lady," you know the one, that lady has 64 cats living in her home, make sure that you get your garage door closed tightly. If you spot a herd of kitties coming your way, salivating, running in circles, and looking as if they just swallowed Tweety Bird, run!

These tips worked for me for last night, and I slept like a baby. I was so refreshed and full of energy that I could get a little extra housework done this morning. I hauled four bales of Catnip in this morning and separated it into resealable baggies and ran to all five supermarkets to buy up all the issues of the Greene County Enquirer.

I am sure that you will find one in my list that will suit you fine. If they do not work for you, call June Quackerbottom at 1-555-555-5555 or you can contact me with your comments at

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