We’ve all been there – that moment when you suddenly doze off somewhere you definitely shouldn’t, and only catch yourself with a jolt as your head slumps forwards.
If you’re lucky, your nodding off hasn’t been spotted and you can sheepishly get back to whatever you were supposed to be doing.
However, if fortune isn’t on your side, you are well and truly caught out and everyone around you is sniggering while you squirm in embarrassment.
It can happen on trains, at the theatre or cinema – or even more shamefully, you can even succumb to a quick snooze at work.
Turns out work meetings are likely to send most people to sleep, as a survey has found that the average British worker sits through 6,239 meetings in their career.
However, 60 per cent of those questioned admitted they found meetings pretty pointless, and 70 per cent confessed to zoning out during such sessions.
One in five disclosed they had caught forty winks.
I’m definitely not guilty of having a power nap at work myself – far too busy of course! But I do have recollections of once falling victim to dozing off at work in my early days as a journalist.
I had only been at the paper a few weeks, and was still trying to burn the candle at both ends.
As the late nights and early mornings caught up with me, one afternoon, my head drooped forwards as sleep took hold.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get away with it as my then news editor spotted me. Luckily, he saw the funny side and took great delight in waking me up with a jerk by calling my telephone extension.
Nowadays, the only time I cave in to unexpected sleep is in the evenings, usually while watching telly.
My biggest problem is that I am what Hubby calls a “sleep fighter” and will never admit when I am tired. I hate going to bed early and always stop up as late as I can physically get away with.
My refusal to admit when I am tired has resulted in me missing the end of many films, and numerous episodes of TV dramas have gaping holes in their storylines.
It’s got to the point that Hubby is so mistrustful of my sleepiness that he asks: “Are you still awake?” at frequent intervals when we’re watching something together.
Its irritating when I’m wide awake but even when I am drowsy, I deny it anyway and say: “Yes!” in a stroppy manner. I excelled myself the other week, when not only did I drop off, but actually woke myself up with a most unladylike snore.
“Did you just fall asleep?” Hubby asked incredulously.
“No” I denied. “I think I’ve got sinus problems.”
Amazingly, Hubby believed me. Until the following day when I confessed I had no idea where my sinuses were or what they did.
I think it’s time for an early night.