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Monday,  December 9 12:01 AM EDT

Coffee Addict Denies Sleeping Problem

By Brian Briggs

South Bend, IN - Alan Wixon denied to several co-workers yesterday that his coffee drinking interferes with his sleeping.

Sleep aids."I have no trouble sleeping," said Wixon. "Every night I'm fast asleep by four o'clock. Sure, I'm a little groggy at 6:30 when I wake up, but once I get my 128 ounce Super Swallow emptied I'm fine. Is that pot done brewing yet Harry? Listen, I get at least 8 hours a sleep a week. Do you think that's a problem? Huh?"

Wixon's co-workers disagree. Diane Folks, who went caffeine-free three years ago, said, "I'm really starting to get worried about him. He starts screaming about the bugs crawling on his skin. It's like that one Star Trek episode where the crew wasn't getting enough REM sleep and started having frightening hallucinations."

Wixon agreed that sleep was a problem for a short time last year, but that he's now set limits on his coffee intake to remedy the situation. "No coffee for me after 2 am on weekdays, 5 am on weekends," said Wixon. "Only when I break that rule do I have trouble getting to sleep. On the other hand if I don't drink my coffee for a few hours that's when I have sleeping problems. I get a huge headache, the shakes and usually I start getting a blue tinge at the tips of my fingers. One time I stopped drinking coffee for a whole day and I slept 53 hours straight. Now that's a sleeping problem!"

Dr. Tom Roberts of the University of Michigan Sleep Center said, "Many people deny that coffee causes sleeping problems. They don't sleep a wink all night and blame it on something else. It's part of the denial of addiction."

Wixon emptied his If this cup is empty you better get outta my way mug and offered, "I admit I couldn't sleep at all last night but it wasn't the coffee. It was the light in the refrigerator downstairs. Tormenting me. Was it on? Was it off? I started pacing. I couldn't get that light out of my head. So I went down stairs and walked three miles on the treadmill and channel surfed for a couple hours. Not that wimpy watch-a-show-for-5-seconds -and-then-change-the-station surfing, but real power surfing. I didn't spend more than half a second on any one channel for 2 hours straight."

"It can't be the coffee. No, it can't be," Wixon continued. "No, not my coffee. My precious coffee. You wouldn't keep me awake at night, would you, my precious? Hey! Quit looking at my mug, Buddy!"

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