Barbara Christian

We all have sleepless nights once in a while. It’s how we handle them that makes the difference and the folks here at Window Central World Headquarters are ready to assist.

When you find that sleep won’t come, get out of bed but do not turn on your computer, laptop, or phone. They have already stimulated your brain enough for one day and this is why you are wide awake.

The following tips should help when you find yourself in the grasp of insomnia.

n Turn off your electronic device of choice at least 90 minutes before bedtime.

n But if you must, be cautious around those addictive gaming apps or risk being haunted by embarrassingly wrong-headed moves which will doom you to replay the session in your head until dawn.

n Watch for money traps. Falling into one will sentence you to remorse and sleeplessness at the loss of grocery money used to purchase hints. Watch for notices that warn “includes in-app purchases.” You will still lose and there goes three squares a day.

n Be aware there is a guilt factor involved with certain games. These require being helpful and heroic. These ones are especially bad for those prone to acute empathy.

Example: Avoid those puzzles that star destitute “Lily” and her baby abandoned in a ramshackle house in the dead of winter.

In this “pin pull” puzzle you, the player, are responsible for making life and death decisions. Failing to pull a series of pins in the right sequence and coal will not be delivered to Lily’s furnace and she and her babe will succumb, trapped in a prison of ice. So now you have that on your conscience.

n Beware your TV. Turning on the television at 2 or 3 in the morning is another bad idea. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Old movies are fine but they are interrupted every 15 minutes by commercials for “as seen on TV” gadgets.

Dicers, slicers, knives, orange colored fry pans, serums that stretch the bags from under the eyes, and ab-toning equipment promising washboard midriffs.

In your vulnerable, sleep-deprived state you will find these items exactly the thing you need to make life perfect. And so, you place an order but when arrives it is useless junk made in Taiwan and you cannot remember why you wanted or thought you needed it.

It sits unused in a closet because returning it will cost more than you paid for it. You are trapped in a sea of gadgets seen only on TV and every yard sale in town.

This is why we only see these commercials late at night. The charlatans and hucksters know they are dealing with easy marks just begging to be rolled. You may as well stand on a street corner in a chancy part of town holding a bank deposit bag in each hand.

However, for those who can keep their wits about them, “as seen on TV” offerings can be a source of entertainment. You will feel good about yourself when you can say, “do people really fall for this crap?”

That cooling sleep sack, for instance.

Common sense should come into play here. Covering yourself in a body-sized sock is not going to cool anything. Then manufacturer doubles down on the offer by adding a “soothing” weighted blanket.

How does this appeal to anyone? You may as well buy a straightjacket and sleep under the mattress.

Another amusing product is a supplement that will help you to gain weight. You read that correctly. GAIN weight. It is estimated 70 percent of all Americans could stand to lose some weight.

What marketing study did the weight gain supplement folks base their need to spend money on TV time? It certainly wasn’t the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. It found only 1.6 percent of Americans over the age of 20 are underweight according to body mass index standards.

CONFESSION – Do not fret for your lack of sales resistance. Even we here at Window Central have been victimized by late night TV commercials. Face blushing and head hanging, here are what we fell for.

Sun glare glasses that sharpen your vision – they didn’t. Night glasses that sharpen night vision – they didn’t. Sun visors for vehicle that claim both of the above – wrong again. Universal bottle, can, pull tab opener – This is a Chinese finger puzzle impossible to use.

SUCCESS –The hard-boiled egg dome – YAY! it works and it is inexpensive. However, it won’t last long due to flimsy materials and construction.

Moral of the story is from author E. Joseph Crossman who wisely said, “The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.” Slumber well, friends.

Barbara Christian has written for newspapers in the Chagrin Valley since the 1960s. Email her at:

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