Sleep Experiments

I’m having a really bad attitude about the job market today. So far, I’ve been pretty optimistic.

Although possibly my subconscious isn’t buying it. It’s the only explanation.

Saturday night found me laying face down on the travertine in my kitchen.  I was completely naked and paralyzed.

Well, except for my right wrist, and something like half a vocal cord.

If I concentrated really hard I could raise my hand and let it flop down on the floor. I did this repeatedly, adding to that dull thunk the loudest scream for help I could manage. I suspect it wasn’t very loud, because nobody came running.

Eventually one of  my sons came into the kitchen looking for a midnight snack. Unfortunately, his first reaction upon finding his mother prone and naked on the kitchen floor was not to check my pulse or even to call for help, but instant mortification.

That’s right, he pretended not to see me. Turned upon his heel and sped off in the other direction.

All of my children did this at some point. Even my husband came in.

He wasn’t mortified. He just thought it was funny. And a little irritating that he had to step over me to reach the ice cream scoop. After he left, my screams got more emotional, if not any louder. Pretty soon I was in danger of drowning in my own snot and tears–still unable, as I was, to move my head out of the puddle.

At some point I suspected I was actually sleeping, but it didn’t help–because I was sure that if I couldn’t will myself awake, I might drown anyway. I spent the rest of the night trying to move some part of my body other than my hand. To no avail.

That’s right.

Sheer exhaustion doesn’t work out so well as a sedative.  It just turns thirty-odd nightmares into one long one. Not really an improvement.

I know, I know, I’m supposed to practice meditation, listen to calming music, etc. Tried it. I go to sleep perfectly happy and calm, I promise you. But every night: the paralysis and the panic.

Sunday morning I consulted that most reliable of sources–internet forum posts by middle-aged, hysterical, and hypochondriatic women. The most commonly recurring scapegoats I could find for nightmares were dairy, sugar, and late-night eating.

Sunday I didn’t eat any sugar or dairy, AND I stopped eating at six o’clock.

At midnight I woke up with hunger pangs, and couldn’t get back to sleep.

REALLY?


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