Fringe Clinic #3: Sleep | Kwame Asante on getting some shut-eye © Huw jennings

Fringe Clinic #3: Sleep

Kwame Asante on getting some shut-eye

In the third of our series on surviving the Edinburgh Fringe, doctor and comedian Kwame Asante offers his tongue-in-cheek six-point guide to sleep at the festival:

1. Keep your body guessing!

That's right. Stick to no regular sleeping pattern whatsoever. Let your body know that you are in charge and you are the boss. 12 hours awake. 20 hours awake. 36 hours awake. It doesn't matter. You keep going until you get the job done. Your body won't love the way you treat it, but you don't need its love. It's fear and respect that runs this gritty world, and when you finally lay your head on your pillow, your body better sleep if it knows what's good for it…

2. Mix it up!

Have you got an orthopaedic mattress? Hypoallergenic pillows? 100% cotton bedding? And still struggling to sleep? Well maybe your body is BORED of the optimal sleeping conditions!

Why not shake things up this festival: trade your nice firm mattress for the unpredictability of an under-inflated air bed! Trade your clean soft pillows for a folded-up sweatshirt, still damp from the downpour earlier! And wrap yourself up snug and cosy with the flyers no one would take off you on the Mile…

It may not be as comfortable as your old set-up, but maybe your sleep-cycle will appreciate the novelty!

3. Sleep is for the strong!

Have as many obstacles between your bedroom door and your bed as possible. I'm talking crocodile pits, flame wheels, trap doors, poisoned darts, high-speed boulders- whatever you can think of, get a quote and have it installed! Fight for the right to sleep!

If you are victorious, your battered and bruised frame will be out like a light before your skin touches the sheets. And for those of you who claim you'll 'sleep when you're dead', that might literally be on the cards… Either way, it's a win win!

4. Quantity not quality

Consuming alcohol and large meals in the late evenings is associated with poorer quality of sleep. But sleep is sleep and beggars can't be choosers! So eat and drink to your heart's content! Personal favourites of mine are red wine and cheese. Red wine is associated with stronger hangovers, and eating cheese before bed has long been thought to give you nightmares.

But hangovers and nightmares both involve you having been asleep at some point, and it's the journey that matters, not the destination (to misquote Buddha, a gentleman that we can all agree was pretty peaceful).

5. Stay away from the gym

Exercise energises and invigorates you, posing a threat to those in search of sleep. No exercise = No energy = No problem!

6. Still awake?

I was hoping that this nonsensical sham of an article alone would be enough to tip you into the land of nod. But if you've persevered to the end, are still awake and even chuckled one or two times along the way, then you really do need some help my friend!

Why not head over to the National Sleep Foundation website, which has dozens of tips and tricks for a good night's sleep! Please look after yourselves this fringe. Rest well, stay fresh and make sure the only people yawning during your show are the critics! (who I'd like to kindly redirect to point number 3...).

Kwame Asante: Open Arms is on at the Pleasance Courtyard at 18:45. He tweets at @kwamedy.

Published: 12 Aug 2017

What do you think?

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.