Can watching golf really help cure insomnia? Our sleep-deprived writer weighs in

August 30, 2018

It’s 3 a.m.

Do you know where your remote control is?
 If so, flip on the TV and start watching golf.

That ought to put you back to sleep.

Or so the results of a new poll suggest.

In a survey of 1,002 Americans, conducted by online pollster eNation and released this week, 49 percent of respondents selected golf as the world’s dullest spectator sport, and the best one for “curing insomnia.”

The competition wasn’t even close. The sport singled out as the second most sleep-inducing was cricket, and it earned a measly 13 percent of votes.

That’s cricket, folks, wherein matches go on longer than Gary McCord.

Where golf was deemed the Ambien of sports-viewing, hockey was chosen as the No-Doz. Respondents picked it as the sport least likely to put them out.

Respondents chose lacrosse as the next least soporific sport. What they didn’t reveal was how difficult it is to find it on TV.

I read about this poll at 1:54 a.m., a fine time for clearing out junk emails.

At first, I was skeptical. I watch a lot of golf, and, for me, a night’s sleep is like a two-iron shot: I haven’t experienced a solid one in decades.

Who were these people in this poll? These people who found golf less exhilarating to watch than track-and-field, or — get this, even tennis?

Tennis is one of those sports where aa;dslkru$#!!……see! I dozed off at my keyboard just thinking about it.

The poll didn’t reveal much about them.

Reading more about the survey, I grew more dubious still.

Turns out it was commissioned by a company called Calm, which sells meditation classes and other products aimed at a stressed-out and under-slept population, of which I am one.

The whole thing got me mad, the cynical use of pseudoscientific data for marketing purposes.

The more I thought about it, the more restless I grew. So I got out of bed and turned on some golf.

A European Tour event was on, the broadcast filled with soothing voices and the soft trill of birdsong and scenes of relaxed-looking players I’d never heard of plum-bobbing and pacing off their putts.

Before I knew it, I was wide awake.