Apr 23, 2010


I have a new phobia.  Because I don't have enough as it is.  (By the way, does anyone know the technical medical term for the "fear of pyscho-stalker-killer hiding behind shower curtain?"  I've had that one for years.  Possibly it's just called paranoia.)

Currently, as in right now, I am afraid of sleep.

Seriously.  It's a real phobia.  Somniphobia.  I just found it on Wikipedia, and Micheal on the Office said once that Wikipedia is never wrong.  Plus, I'm pretty sure it's an actual phobia.

Wanna know why I'm afraid of sleep?  (I actually have a good reason.)


Did you know that you're actually in a paralyzed state when you're sleeping?  It's true.  Google it.  Apparently you have to be paralyzed so that you don't physically act out your dreams, or something like that.

But then sometimes, your mind wakes up but your body doesn't.  So basically you think you just woke up, but your body won't move and your chest feels like something is sitting on it, and a lot of the times it's accompanied by vivid hallucinations.  I'm not joking - I just read all about it.

And look at this:

That would be a painting called: The Nightmare.  By Henry Fuseli.  Pretty creepy, huh?  That's because most cultures have interpreted Sleep Paralysis as some kind of demonic possession.  The word "nightmare" is actually derived from some Norwegian term for Sleep Paralysis.  (I told you I read all about it.)

Also I learned that the whole paralysis while sleeping thing mostly occurs during REM sleep.  You know, 'cause you're dreaming. 

And, guess what?

That's all I ever do.  I don't actually enter any stages of deep sleep.  I just dream.  All night.  Every night.  Then I wake up exhausted the next day because my brain is tired from dreaming all night.  But that's beside the point, because more importantly now I know that I am at risk for Sleep Paralysis and hallucinations every single time I close my eyes.

So I would say that I vow never to sleep again, but that's pretty much impossible.  (Wikipedia told me that too.) 

And because I also looked up sleep deprivation, which is pretty much the sum total of my life the past 7 years.  (You have kids, you know what I mean.  And don't even tell me that you get 8 hours of sleep every night or I'll just have to hate you, and call you names, out loud, to my laptop.)

Apparently sleep deprivation can cause all these horrible symptoms.  I'll just list the ones I have:

-aching muscles
-irritability (don't even bring it up, I do NOT want to talk about it.)
-high blood pressure
-increased risk for diabetes
-memory lapses or losses (man, do I ever.....wait, what?)
-slowed word recall (I never knew there was a real reason for this.)

-symptoms similar to ADHD or psychosis (so I'm not psychotic yet, depending on who you ask, don't ask my husband,  he LIES, I know it, the voices tell me he does, especially when it involves losing my cell phone, I know he's hiding it during the day, from his office, downtown, with his telekinetic abilities...)

I originally thought that stress had killed off all of my brain cells, because I read in a magazine that it could do that.  But now I'm wondering if I could just catch up on the loss of sleep from the past decade-ish I might actually be able to remember things and use real words when I try to talk. 

I called the school today to set up an appointment for kindergarten registration, which I had forgotten to do, and luckily saw the paper that reminded me, because they're only doing it tomorrow.  And when the front office lady picked up the phone I forgot the word "registration."  And they have caller ID.  And the front office lady knows me, sort-of-ish.  So when I said, "Um, I need to set up a.....thing.....the kindergarten thing.....you know?" and she said, "You mean registration?"  I really felt like a doofus.

So more sleep equals less doofusness.  But a higher risk of Sleep Paralysis.

I'm almost thinking being a doofus is worth it.


Emmy said...

Oh so that is why I have those problems. I get an average of 7 hours of sleep I bet, some nights less some more. But yeah words... they just disappear these days.

Heather said...

You know Mark has actually experienced this. He's awake but he can't move. Ask Tamara about it. Actually, maybe you shouldn't. It probably wouldn't help your phobia. haha.

Loralee and the gang... said...

My husband has this thing where he thinks he never, ever, sleeps, but really - does one snore while awake? And if he never ever slept like he always claims, he'd be dead for sure by now...

Loralee and the gang... said...

...and even though I sleep pretty well, I forget simple words now and then, too. So what's MY problem?

Jen said...

1. I recently lost my keys for two weeks, but it wasn't my husband. It was the CHILDREN. They were only able to redeem themselves by being the ones who found the lost keys.

2. I thought my sleep was bad until I read this post. May the Lord bless you with a good sleep doctor for a neighbor.

3. I forget random words, too! I would give an example from recent days, but I have already forgotten it again!

Rocketgirl said...

That's seriously creepy! And now you've given me a new neurosis, merci!

Wonder Woman said...

Superman dreams all night long, too. So I have an inkling of how exhausting that is for you, but I can't imagine it combined with the normal exhaustion of motherhood.

I hate being stupid and forgetting words, too. I really, really hate it.

Alison Wonderland said...

There's a chance that you just worry too much. (I'm willing to believe that that's another side effect of sleep deprivation.) I'm just sayin...

Rachel Sue said...

Confession: I read the first two paragraphs and yelled, then had to come comment.

SO, when I was at girls camp there was one leader who had the mother of all scary stories. It involved an intruder in the house hiding behind the shower curtain while she was going to the bathroom. Luckily, this wasn't a murderous psycho, just a thieving one. But still, all shower curtains in my house have ever after ALWAYS remained OPEN. It is a requirement.

And I thought I was the only one who felt that way about shower curtains.

Claire said...

Wow. You've made me realise I have real problems! Hehe

Brooke said...

At least you don't have to worry about chucky hiding in your college dorm room closet!...inside joke for all of you puzzled readers...anyway, I've woken up in that sleep paralysis state and it is freaky, but since you know what is happening now, if it happens, count to 10 and really try to wake yourself up and you usually can pull yourself out of it, be patient it's a odd experience.
By the way friend it's been way too long! I miss you, lets catch up when one of us gets a moment to breathe!

The Wingnut's said...

I have experienced the frozen body thingy even though I was wide awake! It happened after each of my babies were born - so three times! I could not even use my mouth to yell at my hubby for help. It was then that my grandma (passed away grandma) walked into the room and looked into the crib for a moment and then walked back out of the room. Only then could I move and grab my husband for help. It was terrifying! Your post was extremely informative and now after twenty years of not experiencing this strange event I am petrified to go to sleep tonight!

Melanie J said...

I thought my baby was sucking my words out with the breast milk. The sleep deprivation thing makes more sense.