Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is recovering from the flu, jokingly told reporters Tuesday that he doesn't want President Obama to catch him "dozing off" during the State of the Union address. (The Associated Press)

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) admitted Tuesday that he, like many Americans, has dozed off once or twice during previous State of the Union addresses.

The issue came up when a reporter asked the Senate leader if there's anything he's afraid President Obama might announce or omit during his remarks Tuesday night.

“The only thing that would ever trouble me is if he said, ‘Reid, stop dozing off.’”

So has he fallen asleep before?

“I’ve frankly dozed off once or twice -- not during the Obama years, of course," he said.

But it won't happen this year. "I’m alert and I understand the speech isn’t going to be very long. Katie Beirne told us it’s not going to be a record-breaker for length.”

Katie Beirne Fallon is the new White House director of legislative affairs and a former Reid staffer.

Reid is normally a quiet talker, but he struggled Tuesday with several coughing fits and admitted that he's been suffering from the flu.

"I always used to kind of, I won’t say make fun, but ‘You’ve got the flu and you’re not coming to work? What’s wrong with you,'" he said. "But a week ago, this past Friday I got the flu. Boy I’m a true believer now that it makes you sick."