The average reader is exhausted.
She’s skimming for the gist on her phone.
He’s looking for a good stopping point because he can’t keep his eyes open.
He’s glutted with information and hasn’t got room for your words.
She has a stack of manuscripts to get through and she knows the sooner you give her an excuse to pass on yours, the sooner she can spend some time with her family.
You can anticipate the needs of your sleepy reader by editing your work when you’re sleepy yourself. Your tolerance for lazy writing goes away when you’re tired and you know that every word you cut gets you closer to calling it a day. In a groggy state of mind, you’re more inclined to throw out a paragraph that isn’t working rather than waste your energy looking for a solution that might not exist.
A sleepy editor can empathize with a sleepy reader and may be able to craft a compelling alternative to the reader’s pillow.