the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


First a post about sadness, now sleep.  Can he get any more boring?

Hold on a minute.  I think we should write more about sleep.  Think about it.  We sleep for 1/3 of our lives.  If we live to a hundred years of age, that means we slept for thirty-three years (ok, thirty-three and a third).  The woman at Bagel Stop in Redondo Beach is thirty-three years old.  I know that because I recently heard her tell her friend, “Woo-hoo, I’m thirty-three today!  Are you coming to the Cheesecake Factory tonight with Joey for the party?”  On that same day as her birthday, somewhere else in Los Angeles, an elderly man turned a hundred years old.  He had slept through the bagel woman’s entire life.

We like to tell stories about action, not sleep.  We climb mountains, we kill whales, we buy video games, we love.  We write about sex.  But sex is small potatoes compared to sleep.  Even if we had sex every single night for our entire lives, which in my experience lasts about… uh, eight minutes a pop, that means that if we live to a hundred, we have only spent 8 minutes x 356 days x 100 years having sex, which equals…  well, just take my word for it… it is less than the time we sleep.   I’m just too sleepy to do the equation.

Yes, I’m sleepy.  Exhausted.  I can’t wait to go to sleep. 

Should I be embarrassed to tell you, my dear reader, that I want to go to sleep?  It does feel a little funny.  It’s an area that we usually keep off-screen, like Meryl Streep sitting on a toilet in a movie.

I’d like to take sleep out of the closet for one day. 

Years ago, poets compared sleep to death, and maybe that has scared us from talking about it.  Sleep is the absence of action.  It looks like we are dead to the world.  A lot of people actually DO die in their sleep.  People have nightmares.  Children want the lights on.  Sleep can be creepy.

But it’s time to take the reaper out of the sleeper! 

I see sleep as food for the brain.  If the day sucked, there’s always tomorrow.  Sleep refreshes you.  If it was a good day, a good night’s sleep is a reward for your accomplishment. 

Sleep is your friend.  I don’t usually remember my dreams, but I’m sure they are good ones.  I’m sure there are a lot of hot women in my dreams every night.  I know this for sure — in my dreams, the sex always lasts for longer than eight minutes.

Good night.  Sweet dreams.


  1. Jenn

    I wish I didn’t have to sleep. I don’t remember my dreams and I always feel like if I were one of those people that doesn’t need much sleep then I would be able to get tons of stuff done!
    –sweet dreams!

  2. better safe than sorry

    i’m sleep deprived, too many late nights or actually, i think it’s too many early mornings, i do love a 20 minute nap.
    sweet dreams young prince.

  3. DaveX

    Your headline should have been “Don’t Fear the Sleeper”…

    You may need more cowbell in your diet, Neil!

  4. gorillabuns

    You are making me sleepy.

  5. Pumpkin

    Hey, with three small kids I can only DREAM about getting a good nights rest. 😉

  6. Turnbaby

    There’s nothing as yummy as falling asleep in the arms of your love and waking to kiss them softly. mmmmmmm

  7. Julie

    I wish I could sleep. I love sleep. If I could I’d sleep for a day. However, lately I’m sleeping maybe 3 hours a night.

    I’m not afraid of sleep at all. I think I just need a new mattress.

  8. Finn

    Beautiful sleep… not only is it good for the body and good for the soul, it’s good for the looks. They don’t call it Beauty Sleep for nothing.

  9. mp

    I love love love to lie (lay?) in bed all comfy w/ pillows and comforter and feel myself drifting..I also like it when I wake up..then am able to fall back to sleep quickly 🙂 I think I’ve slept more than 33 years..I was one of THOSE girls in high school…”you are going to sleep your lift away”..was screamed every weekend…

  10. Memarie Lane

    I dunno, Shakespeare wrote about sleep quite a bit and he’s not exactly languishing in the bowels of literature.

  11. cruisin-mom

    Thank you for bringing sleep out of the closet Neil…I love sleep.
    Anyone who says they don’t need sleep or don’t like sleep, is either not a teenager, or not over 40. (sorry, I know you’re not over 40…yet)

  12. Noelle

    Thank you for instilling some legitimacy into the thing I like to refer to as “my favorite hobby.”

  13. Edgy Mama

    Sleeping’s the best part of living!

  14. wendy

    I love to sleep, also….At times,I have been unable to do so. This is when I get the most agitated. Most worried.. as if, the whole machine is out of whack. There are things we do that are simply “Human”.

    Your talking to a girl who once wrote the sentence…
    “How good it is to pee.”

    I was writing from the perspective of a dog…but the sentiment is the same. Some things are just plain delicious to do. Pee..when you have to…eat when you are really hungry..and sleep when you are tired…or just need some time away.

  15. Judy

    A lovely paean to sleep. I think this one of my favorite COM posts.

  16. Atomic Bombshell

    Some people call me lazy, but I say I’m a POWER SLEEPER!

  17. Christine

    Take back the sleep!

  18. miguelina

    Sleep is important. Do it!

  19. churlita

    I wish I could sleep right now. Night. Night.

  20. V-Grrrl

    Sleep is nature’s narcotic. I love to sleep, to take naps. I can sleep anywhere and I say the F word when the alarm goes off each morning because I am never, ever, ever in a hurry to greet the day.

  21. Backpacking Dad

    Beer + Tylenol PM + Nyquil + Vicodin


    No, wait. I meant “Beer OR Tylenol PM OR Nyquil OR Vicodin”

    The beer-sleep means I wake with a hangover, the Nyquil-sleep is not much better. The Tylenol-sleep is awesome and smooth. And the Vicodin dreams are just the best things in the world.

    But with a baby, I can’t have any of these sleeps. Instead I get “constantly waking up too early” sleep.

  22. Annie

    Sleep is a wonderful thing, and I do remember my dreams and they are usually more exciting than my real life :-).
    Also Neil I am sorry you are sad. Big hugs and love your way.

  23. John

    We sleep for 1/3 of our lives.

    That’s the ideal that we tell ourselves and bed salesmen use it a lot, but in reality, I figure we really only sleep about 1/34 of our lives.

    Good sleep RULES! Sweet dreams.

  24. Elisabeth

    Sleep is an amazing topic, and I loved the comments.

    For Marie – It is “lie” in bed, not a “lay” in bed. English is not my first language, and I once got a bad grade on an English assignment because – excuse my French, I fucked up between “lie” and “lay,” only to realize, two years later, that hardly any American knows the difference between the two.

    Remember that Proust wrote some of the best prose ever on sleep (not that I am trying to push my native country’s literature on anyone…)

    Backpacking Dad – You made my day!

    I am one who never suffered from insomnia until menopause hit me. Yikes!

    Neil – I felt for you when I read yesterday’s entry. Hope you’re OK.

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