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The perils of sleep shopping (11/19/10)

November 19, 2010

Asleep – and Buying

Most small town bred nineteen year olds don’t become instant international superstars, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that Chris Colfer is acting silly.  The star of Glee is now buying – in his sleep.

Admitting the soporific truth before Ellen DeGeneres, his purchases remain instructive: a giant framed portrait of Marie Antoinette, who cavorted as a goddess-shepherdess two hundred years before Leona Helmsley and also ended badly, plus the entire collection of the Carol Burnett Show (perhaps an IRS business deduction is in line there.)

However, the last purchase was most telling – a giant poster of Lady Gaga.  Famously restless Gaga recently declared “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”  and is recognized for using cocaine and alcohol to get through the day (see my article “Please Lady Gaga – Get Some Rest” in Psychology Today)

It turns out Colfer is not the only sleep shopper out there.

Gorillas in the Supermarket

Recently the giant UK supermarket chain Sainsbury decided to try to get its customers to buy some of the  other 30,000 items they carry in their stores.  To attract attention, they took a leaf from a well-known video of people asked to count how many times a medicine ball is passed around while a man in a gorilla suit walk by.

Sainsbury dutifully sent their human-gorillas into the aisles.  What happened? Hardly anybody noticed.  Sainsbury realized that people were “sleep shopping,” and not paying attention to what was going on around them.

Granted, gorillas have recently been experiencing rough tunes in Britain.  One man decided to raise money for medical research by running through the country in a gorilla suit.  As reported in “The Week,” many motorists called the police to report a gorilla was running along one of the main national highways.  As the police closed to corral the dangerous escaped zoo animal, the “gorilla” politely explained, “if you give me a banana I’ll go quietly. “

Of course, people can be inattentive innumerable ways.  Some would argue many Americans were “sleep voting” throughout  the last election.

Sleepless Buying

When people buy in the middle in the night they buy impulsively. Sadly, such economic activity will not prove the magic bullet for American GDP.  Here are ten other problems brought by sleep shopping:

  1. You get to see way too many perky salesmen on the Home Shopping Network
  2. QVC starts to look really entertaining
  3. Somebody you don’t know may steal your identity or your credit card
  4. You generally can’t gauge how much something will cost you when you’re not awake
  5. You might buy almost anything, especially around 3 to 4 in the morning; Las Vegas really likes people gambling then (notice they never put clocks in casinos)
  6. Getting the stuff is bad enough, but sending it back is a real hassle
  7. Your neighbors or TSA may think something unwholesome is arriving inside all those packages
  8. You won’t be getting enough sleep – which will help you gain lots of weight, have trouble learning and remembering, and make you more prone to myriad disease
  9. You may stop sleeping altogether when you see your credit card bill
  10. Prom dress syndrome – you buy for every occasion –      every time

Black Friday is coming.  My advice – be very awake when buy; leave the sleep shopping to newly minted media stars.
Rest, sleep, Sarasota Sleep Doctor, well-being, regeneration, longevity, body clocks, insomnia, sleep disorders, the rest doctor, matthew edlund, the power of rest, the body clock, psychology today, huffington post, redbook, longboat key news

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