Bob Goldman
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It's bad enough that your company controls what you do when you're at work. Now management wants to control what you do when you're in bed. They don't want to tuck you in, but they do want you to enjoy quality sleep around the clock so that you don't start snoozing the next day when you're on the clock.

So if you think you're the only person who falls asleep in front of your computer, consider this your wake-up call.

According to a recent article by Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker, our country is suffering from a major sleep deficit. To be specific, "according to a 2011 poll, more than half of Americans between the ages of thirteen and sixty-four experience a sleep problem every night, and nearly two-thirds complain that they are not getting enough rest during the week."

The consequences of the sleep gap are "as dangerous as they are annoying." Kolbert cites a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which revealed "that almost five per cent of adults acknowledge nodding off at the wheel at least once during the previous month."

This is certainly a scary statistic, but it pales in comparison to the results of a study I conducted by scientifically hiding under the desks of my co-workers and listening for snoring. By my calculations, at least 99 percent of all knowledge workers nod off at their computers at least once every day. It's a situation that is bad for the company and the economy and the workers who often are so deeply asleep that they miss lunch.

As for the causes of our sleep problems, Kolbert blames the invention of the light bulb, which eliminated "the forced idleness that used to begin at sunset." Personally, I blame the invention of basic cable, which offers us riveting entertainment, such as "Duck Dynasty" and "Amish Mafia," rendering it impossible for any sentient being from falling asleep in front of the tube -- at least until Downton Abbey comes on.

The result of our inability to get a good night's sleep or do a good day's work has come to the attention of management. David K. Randall, the author of "Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep," predicts that "'fatigue management officers will soon be as common at major corporations as accountants."

This is rather ironic, since not even mainlining Ambien can put you to sleep as quickly as a five-second conversation with an accountant.

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Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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