Now that the Olympics are over, there will be less excitement, but perhaps more sleep in my life – no more waking at 4am to catch my favourite events live, and staying up past 11pm to finish the primetime coverage. The more tired I am, the more typos I’m likely to create – it’s easy for my sluggish fingers to miss a letter in relaxation, creating today’s typo, relaxtion. But how to get my circadian rhythm back on track? Ease off the caffeine slowly and close the blinds to ignore sunrise…maybe down some relaxing chamomile tea before bed, or count sheep jumping over a fence. I’ve often wondered why sheep, in particular. The phrase "counting sheep" was used as far back as the mid-19th century, and has remained in popular culture through depiction in cartoons and that Serta mattress commercial, but I know nothing of its origin. It works, though: the fluffy white body of a sheep reminds me of the comfy pillow where my head rests, or the calming sight of white clouds on a lazy summer day as I relax in my hammock. Sleep soon follows.
(Photo of sheep by Eric Jones, from Wikimedia Commons)