I’ve been a Super Bowl MVP, an Academy Award winner and the recipient of multiple Grammys. I’ve been inducted into several halls of fame, lauded for saving countless lives and even won the Medal of Honor. I’m my own Forrest Gump.
And it’s all because I can’t fall asleep.
At times it seems like sleep is as elusive for me as winning is for the Cleveland Browns.
As I write this the Browns are 1-22 in terms of wins and losses dating back to the beginning of last season, meaning they win about 5 percent of the time. I’m lucky if I have a good night of sleep that often, for various reasons.
But actually falling asleep can be difficult, too, when you’re like me and you can’t shut your mind off. My secret: Instead of counting sheep, I pretend I’m giving an acceptance speech for some achievement or award I’ve won for doing a great deed.
Whether it’s giving my retirement speech from professional wrestling, talking to Oprah on camera about the peace treaty I brokered in the Middle East or an address to a stadium full of middle school students about practicing kindness, this method of falling asleep nearly always seems to work for me.
How did I discover this great idea? I wish I could say it came from a heart-to-heart chat on my porch with my neighbor Matthew McConaughey or that it was revealed to me by a roadside fortune teller in Marfa, but the truth is boring at best: It was on some website I randomly visited one day a couple years ago when I had nothing better to do.
On some nights I’ve just been sworn in as president of the United States, and I have to give an inaugural address in the cold of January that manages to make the thousands in attendance forget how chilly they are. Other nights I’m giving a commencement speech at some fancy college, and I was chosen to do so because I’m so darn successful at something.
Whatever the occasion may be, I almost never get to finish my fanciful speeches or interviews because I’ve fallen asleep. I hope you try this method sometime when you are struggling to sleep, too—just don’t forget to thank your parents or whoever raised you as you accept the award for whatever achievement you’ve imagined. I forgot to thank my folks once in a scenario in which I solve global warming, and it was really embarrassing once I realized it.