It is a very fine day in Bikini Bottom, and down at the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob adds one percent too much mustard to the Krabby Patties. Mr. Krabs isn't happy with this as this gross excess would lead him to bankruptcy within the next four hundred years, however, he assumes SpongeBob is an insomniac (a disorder where a person has sleeping difficulties). So, Mr. Krabs sends SpongeBob home to get more shut-eye.
SpongeBob has a hard time sleeping, so he goes to Patrick's house. Patrick tries to help SpongeBob asleep by reading a bedtime story. This doesn't work, since it is a "wake-up story" (The Land of Perpetual Excitement). Then, Patrick sings SpongeBob his "lullaby," but it is really a wake-up song, since it has the lyrics, "Get up, be active! Get up, be active!" Then Patrick gives SpongeBob coffee, which makes SpongeBob even more awake.
SpongeBob starts running around and starts hallucinating things, such as a talking glass of milk, a bunch of Squidward's, etc. Then, he hallucinates Patrick eating him, thinking he's a sponge cake. Inside Patrick, SpongeBob hallucinates a sunrise. He begs it to let him sleep for just five minutes before he hallucinates Sir Cecil the sleep wizard. Sir Cecil puts sleepy dust (which is really litter from Gary's litter box) on SpongeBob, then he falls asleep. When SpongeBob wakes up in Gary's litter box, he snaps back to reality.
Realizing he's late for work, a very tired SpongeBob goes to Krusty Krab to sleep in a barrel of mustard. Mr. Krabs takes SpongeBob out of the barrel of ruined mustard, and wonders why SpongeBob couldn't sleep. The sponge confesses that his "insomnia" got the best of him. Then, he starts crying tears made of mustard. He cries the perfect amount that is needed to be on the patties. Squidward is happy and claims that it's the best day of work ever, because he got to see SpongeBob being forced to cry mustard.
This episode was scheduled to premiere on January 16, 2012, but was delayed due to a plot change. This episode was originally going to be about Mr. Krabs having a nightmare about turning into a mustard dispenser. It is a possibility that it was changed due to it being too scary for the younger kids. But the mustard dispenser Krabs was still seen in SpongeBob's nightmare, probably a callback to the original plot.
SpongeBob was deprived of sleep before, in "Fear of a Krabby Patty." His sleep deprivation once again led to hallucinations. Both hallucinations also had to do with work. He was also deprived of sleep in "I ♥ Dancing" where Squidward forces him to dance until he collapses, and in "Squid Baby" where Squidward's constant crying prevents him from sleeping for several days.
This episode's plot is similar to "Squidward in Clarinetland." Both SpongeBob and Squidward got lost in a new land. Then they both came out of it, realizing it was a dream.
Although Squidward experienced it in the Locker, SpongeBob experienced it from insomnia.
Mr. Krabs had not reacted before over SpongeBob flipping the patties a different way before.
The reason for SpongeBob actually getting insomnia might be because he was under pressure to sleep, but the pressure prevented him from sleeping.
After SpongeBob says, "Yes. SpongeBob SquarePants reporting for sleepy time." he walks into the kitchen, but the sand from Gary's litter box disappears. However, it is a cartoon, so the sand must've gotten erased by the writers when they were writing this episode.
This episode has some similarities with "A Friendly Game." In "A Friendly Game" on Hole 2, Patrick wasn't really helping SpongeBob, he was rushing SpongeBob so he could miss the ball, while in this episode, he isn't helping SpongeBob go to sleep.
Some viewers thought SpongeBob said an offensive word when he moved his hand away after tired Patrick starting biting on it. However, SpongeBob was likely saying "Aw, yuck!" because he was saying it fast and some viewers might have misheard the dialogue.
This episode premiered on March 24, 2013 in the British Isles after the local Kids' Choice Awards.