Asleep at the wheels 

Egor S. Grand Recent studies illuminate the consequences of our

Egor S. Grand Recent studies illuminate the consequences of our culture's increased consumption of sleeping pills. Sleeping pill users are sleep-driving, sleep-eating and sleep-going-to-work. Much of the research focuses on the dangers: The number of sleep-driving accidents has risen steeply over the past year. Obesity due to sleep-eating is another growing problem. Additionally, sleep-eaters have been known to choke on drumsticks and other food items. But it's not all a negative picture. Employers are finding that their employees are actually more productive while sleep-working. "We find they are i-chatting and instant-messaging and dabbling on the Web far less while they're asleep," said one CEO who declined to be named. She added, "Sleep-workers are more focused and ... I don't know ... clearer thinking individuals." Her company, she said, is considering utilizing air-flow systems to pipe in a steady, but invisible cloud of sleep potion into the workplace. In a follow-up phone call, the CEO admitted to this reporter that she had been asleep during our interview. I replied to her that I was asleep during the interview as well. Still, the occasional horror story lays bare the darker side. A man in Vermont sleep-walked to his car, sleep-drove to his ex-wife's house, then sleep-ate her. Unless, of course, I dreamed that part.

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