Posted by Alex Ferguson on December 13, 2001 at 15:42:11:
Study into the sleeping patterns of Irish males has always delivered predictable results. Based on a Monday to Friday framework, the average Irish twentysomething is said to sleep 6 hours per night between 2 am and 8 pm, another 1 to 2 hours between the hours 9 to 5 and at least half an hour on the NitelInk on Friday. Though this can increase to an hour or more if he misses his stop and ends up in Howth.
However, recent deviations from this accepted pattern had baffled sleep study chiefs. Apparently the past eighteen months has seen an upsurge in midweek napping - with the mid-evening Tuesday night kip reaching epidemic proportions in recent weeks.
Initially, it was thought that the increased pressures generated by the buoyant economy were tiring Irish lads. However, the recent caging of the Tiger has seen no falloff in the sleep surge. It wasn't until experts monitored more closely the behaviour of these midweek sleepers that a clearer picture began to emerge.
It has been difficult to pinpoint when exactly these midweek sleeps take place. Last year, Thursday was the favoured napping night, while lately, Tuesday and Wednesday seem to be more popular.
Curiously, the midweek sleeper is often a bundle of energy as the evening begins. It is not thought that the average working day unnecessarily tires the midweek sleeper, as much of his time is apparently spent composing emails protesting about the worth of what some people seem to call a "plastic treble". A lot of these people's time also seems to be spent defending somebody called Danny Murphy.
At around 7.30 pm, the midweek sleeper is a frenzy of activity, congregating around a television with loads of new friends he's made over the past year and engaging in vague references to some past era he labels 'the glory years'.
This level of activity is normally short-lived. By 8 pm, the midweek sleeper has settled back in his chair with the broken gait of a convicted hoodlum facing a long stretch. Soon, the inevitable sight of dribble on chin has materialised and fitful sleep is punctuated only by a distant voice delivering phrases like "digging in early doors" and "keeping it ugly, if you like."
By 8.30 the midweek sleeper is snoring noisily, dreaming ambitiously of a European away goal, and kicking out wildly in the manner of a defender
Typically, the slumber is abruptly curtailed around 9.30 pm when the midweek sleeper emerges rejuvenated to engage in a frenzy of text messaging and general annoyance of his neighbours.
Bizarrely, scientists have found that the sleepers generally claim complete recall of events occuring while their sleep took place. Some of the more vocal participants in the study even claimed to have been watching football during their sleep. However, experts au fait with the beautiful game have given the lie to these statements, insisting that they certainly didn't see anything resembling football being played on the nights in question.