Saturday, January 19, 2008

#237 - sleep hygiene

Ages. Ages since I posted. I'm sure you all have moved on from reading this blog, and the only hits I'm going to get from now on are the Google searches for Robert Sean Leonard photos. Apparently, RSL is quite the hottie in Dusseldorf. This blog is ready to serve them.

I've decided not to bother with a holiday update. It's too late for that anyway, right? And besides, Christmas 2007 was such a memorable, important season for me this year, it would take lots of brain cells and time to find the right words. Brain cells I frankly don't have, and so begins my post.

The last time I glanced at my watch last night it was 4:15 a.m. This is the third or fourth night in a row where I simply cannot shut down. But between 4:15 and 7:40 a.m., I managed to create a dream where I spoke these words to someone I don't recall, "For the rest of the day, can we please, please speak in dialogue only found in low budget action cartoons from 1979?" I laughed when I said that. My laughing woke me up, and then I jotted the sentence down on the notebook sitting on my nightstand. Can you imagine? Spending a day uttering gems like "Zoikes!" and "Not so fast, Zothar!" to your friends, finding ways to make them pass for reasonable responses in normal conversation? I say we try it.

I've had trouble sleeping as far back as childhood. I could spend hours awake in my bed, thoroughly convinced that someone was going to break into our house that night. Any small noise sent new surges of alarm coursing through my body, adding at least another twenty minutes of consciousness per sound. I never mentioned this to my family because obviously they had no fear of burglars, they all could sleep just fine. My conclusion was I was an idiot. But even idiots can be right sometimes, and maybe this was going to be the night I was to be captured and taken from my home while my family apathetically slumbered.

I'm a light sleeper, which accounts for why I was able to hear so many benign bumps in the night growing up. Burglary and kidnapping are no longer the fearsome fantasies which keep me up. It's more like the Evil Dollar, the ever-deepening lines on my forehead, the fear that I've forgotten something incredibly important, or re-living an experience I'd much rather forget, but can't. Ahhhh, those demons. They're the pesky ones. Sometimes they're not demons at all! Sometimes I come up with fantastic ideas lying there for hours on end. Lesson plans, questions to ask, plays I want to read, people I want to call, action cartoon dialogue I want to say. Some of it's worth hanging on to, take my word for it. I'll get on a roll, and then suddenly I start to wonder what time it is, and then I look, and it's 4:15. Another four-hour night of brainstorming, four-hour night of sleep.

I'm getting help for this. I now have a sleep regiment. Well...I have it, much in the same way I have an iPod. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't. Lately I haven't been using it. Not the iPod. The sleep thing. And then I spend an entire blog post talking about my insomnia. I know, I know. But, I'll totally own up, it is pure stubbornness I don't do the darn sleep hygiene crap every night. Total pride. It's the same reason I didn't talk to my parents about why I couldn't fall asleep for the non-existent kidnappers outside my window. I feel like an idiot. The entire planet seems to be able to fall asleep just fine, thank you very much, without performing some ridiculous one-hour ritual prior to climbing into bed. So why can't I? I feel like a 2 year-old kicking a brick wall, getting red in the face, screaming to the universe, " I REFUSE TO BE HIGH MAINTENANCE! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!" Like a speck of sand resisting the tide's pull.

I'm hungry.

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