OPINION

Sleep deprived at an alarming rate

Sleep deprived at an alarming rate

I don't mean to alarm you, but is it possible you live across the road from a building that has a security system attached to it? I do.

It's a bowling club actually, and from time to time a leaf floats in the breeze and comes to rest in an area of the bowling club not officially designated for falling leaves and the alarm goes off.

When I say it goes off, it goes off at deafening decibels and a blood-curdling frequency. The word "screaming" just doesn't do it justice.

The alarm sends a signal to my bedroom at the exact amplitude required to compel you to confess to crimes against humanity. I suspect it is the same model used at Guantanamo Bay. It usually goes off between 1am and 6am, the time officially designated for "sleeping".

It's something that you can expect to happen from time to time and generally it's just a matter of squeezing your head with your hands for about five minutes until the security company sends someone to turn it off.

But the other night the security company did not come.

After seven or eight minutes the alarm stopped of its own accord... relief.

But through my bedroom window I could detect the faint glimmer of a flashing light, and that worried me, because the light usually goes off when the alarm stops.

Thirty minutes later, at 1.17am the alarm went off again.

It also went off at 2.05am, 2.45am, 3.10am, 3.36am, 4.11am and 4.53am.

Now you may be thinking, what's the problem? After all, that allows for half an hour's sleep between alarms going off.

But lying there, waiting for the next alarm to go off is itself a form of deprivation.

Calling the police (twice) brings only a limited sense of satisfaction.

Facebook offered some psychological relief, messaging the club to tell them that they were failing as corporate citizens and good neighbours.

That would really hurt them when they read that... in the morning!

The family struggled through the working day on zero hours sleep and waited nervously in the evening for the horror to resume.

But we had nothing to fear. It was a still night, and leaves gave up all thoughts of travelling on the breeze and fell gently, nestling at the foot of their trees.

And we slept the great deep slumber of the just and the innocent and the mighty relieved.

This story Sleep deprived at an alarming rate first appeared on The Canberra Times.