You, Me and Alan

“Ruddy Hell – it’s Soft Cell”

For about two years now I have often woken up in the middle of the night to the nasal cries of Alan Partridge resonating from a laptop at the end of the bed.

The reason for this is that my boyfriend claims to be unable to sleep without the distraction. Having had problems sleeping in the past I am understanding, but I’m always the one who ends up jolting out of bed to the words “In to me!” and the sound of a Lexus airbag inflating (except Alan’s airbag doesn’t work) whilst he (my boyfriend, not Alan) remains fast asleep.

There are many television programmes out there, and occasionally we drift off to the odd episode of Father Ted, but somehow he always reverts back to Partridge, like a kid with an attachment to a manky old blanket.

I usually manage to switch the damn thing off just as Alan is yelling at Lynn to calm down – at least her airbag deployed – she’s only suffering from “minor women’s whiplash”. It’s a funny moment  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA3qzPRyY9s

but I can’t help worrying that having every episode of I’m Alan Partridge (Series 1 & 2) playing on continuous loop in my sleep might be having some sort of negative effect on my health.

I have read a few resources that suggest sleeping with TV does affect your REM sleep. The mind is constantly transferring signals even in sleep. So, if something on the TV signals a happy or scary memory, your body will react accordingly and may cause nightmares.

Similar to this, perhaps?       

More seriously, even the dimmest light exposure whilst you sleep can apparently prompt changes in the brain that lead to mood disorders or depression (something to do with the hippocampus). I should note that the study which backs this up was only carried out on hamsters, but a few experts seem pretty convinced. There is also the heavily debated issue of wireless electronics – such as a laptop – being bad for your health as the signals may interfere with our body’s natural electronic pulses. Sounds a bit sketchy to me but I will suggest that we should probably try not to sleep with the laptop on all night just in case.

It amuses me the kind of things that searching the internet throws up. I managed to find a support group for television addicts but they are all from the US. A good pointer if ever feeling self doubt – there’s always someone in America who is feeling it ten times worse, i.e. they’re ten times heavier, ten times stupider, ten times more addicted to television (or ten times more shot in the head due to that crazy gun law that still hasn’t been modified – what the hell, Obama!?)

I have already noticed that Partridge has become deeply rooted in my subconscious. If I watch an episode whilst fully awake I find myself miming along to entire scenes, word for word. I find it hard to genuinely say “I love you” without following with “…in a way, ahh”. This is an odd characteristic that I first picked up on in my boyfriend’s behaviour when we were first seeing each other (he was already addicted at this point). I once asked if I looked alright before going for a night out and he responded, “You look nice, John.” One minute I’ll be thinking we’re having a real conversation, then I realise it has turned into direct Partridge quotation. Sometimes I don’t know where he ends and Alan begins.

I think it’s time to ween the boy off his blanky, well it would be – except I went and bought him the audio book of I, Partridge for his birthday and I have no argument to make about the impact of constant light exposure. Also, a curious google search for ‘Addiction to Alan Partridge’ brought to my attention the IMDB page for the Alan Partridge movie coming to our screens in 2013.

I can now see that Alan will always be a part of my life.

Hmmm, I think I fancy a toblerone…

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