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Here’s How I Get 8 Whole Minutes Of Sleep By Remembering Something Embarrassing I Did 12 Years Ago

If you’re like me you probably stay up all hours of the night tossing and turning while trying to stop your brain from remembering an embarrassing interaction from over a decade ago. Well guess what—you can get shut-eye, too! After several months of therapy, I’ve managed to get 8 whole minutes of deep sleep some nights of the week. Here’s how I managed to get a bit of R&R after reliving the ultimate nightmare: once calling my boss “mom” during a company meeting.

It happens every once in a while. I’ll be lying in bed after a long day of work. I take a deep breath as I feel myself drifting off into a peaceful slumber. Suddenly a flash of light sends me straight back to my worst memory.

It’s 2012 and I’m working my first big-boy job. I’m attending one of those all-hands meetings that start at 8 a.m. There are never enough ugly, company-branded mugs or sad pizza parties to make up for them. Pat, the wholly sinister HR woman, tells everyone, “clap your hands twice if can hear me,” with a shit-eating grin on her face.

I look down and distinctly remember the corporate blue polo shirt I was wearing when the tragedy occured. I’ve burned it since. My boss Kelly is sitting across from me going over some Q4 bullshit. In a single careless moment, I ask a question and accidentally address Kelly as “mom” in front of 50 people.

There it is—the sick, perverse word hanging above the conference table. I feel like I’m going to vomit. The silence is loud as Kelly contorts her face in a way that makes me think I’m going to be put on some type of list.

I’m quickly pulled back into reality. I open my eyes and realize I’m at home in bed. This happened during the first Obama administration. There’s no way anyone remembers this, right? It was probably just one of those fleeting moments that only I remember. It’d be selfish to think people are still thinking about this. I mean, it happens all the time, right? No one’s retelling this story at a party and laughing at my expense, are they? My ex-coworkers wouldn’t use my humiliating moment as a way to… climax… would they?

I’ve started seeing someone about this—a sleep specialist who recommends hypnotherapy. She says this will bury the memory so deep, I’ll only relive it in my nightmares. The tradeoff for sleeping again is that I’ll have more nightmares.

So far it’s working. I’ve developed a nasty rash around all of my orifices that has hindered my sex life, but I’m getting 8 whole minutes of sleep at least 2 nights a week! Almost got to 9 last night. It’s kind of a miracle. And this is why I know you can do it too.

Next I’ll be addressing that time I told a joke and no one heard, so I had to repeat it after the moment had passed and no one laughed. I might not sleep for another 2 years.