As I write this, it is extremely early in the morning. The sun isn’t up yet.
I could sleep an extra hour, I suppose.
But I really don’t want to.
It’s actually more exhausting to risk going back to sleep than it is to go to work.
I’m a really bad sleeper.
Right now, my problem is mostly in the horrifying dreams going through my mind between the hours of 3-4:30 a.m. Every single night.
The dreams are so bad they would scare Stephen King. And when I jolt up in bed, terrified, to thankfully realize it was only a dream – my heart is beating out of my chest to the point I think I’ll have a heart attack and I’m covered in sweat. Sometimes my legs even ache as if I’ve just run a marathon.
I’ve always been a really bad sleeper.
Years ago, the issue for me was walking in my sleep – especially when I was a kid.
There was the night I guess I thought I was making pizza. Apparently, sometime between midnight and dawn, I went to the kitchen and proceeded to get ingredients to make pizza, which I took to my room. The evidence this happened? The next day, there was an overwhelming smell of pizza sauce in the bedroom -- and upon opening the top drawer of my desk, my folks realized that I had spread the sauce and even grated mozzarella cheese over the pencils, papers and hair clips. Then, thanks to the electric heater behind the desk, the cheese melted into a stringy cover over it all. That was an embarrassing mess.
My parents used to wake up in the middle of the night, during the summer when the windows were open, and hear the clanging sound of items falling in buckets in the back yard. They'd turn on the outside light and there I would be, in my pajamas, unconsciously picking apples from the tree for no apparent reason.
My mother would say she found me in the flower bed, thinking that I was weeding, but I was really pulling out all the marigolds.
And there was the time I was discovered sitting at the dining room table, peeling potatoes "because the silage cutters were coming for dinner" -- but it was actually February and 3 a.m.
My grandma used to put a dresser in front of the stairs, when I stayed overnight in the upstairs bedroom at her house. She was just certain that I'd fall down the hard flight, surely to be found with a broken neck at the bottom when she got up to make Grandpa's oatmeal in the morning.
I don't think I've ever been really injured. I remember as a kid, though, I'd wake up with a few strange bruises on my knees and sometimes I had sandburs stuck to my nightgown.
And there were the years of strange sleep talking. My parents said they would hear me warn them that the steers were running loose or the cookies were burning in the oven or that the rodeo clown needed a ride to Clearwater.
Through the years, I’ve walked in my sleep less (or at least I think I have), gradually stopped talking as much (well, how would I know?) and that crazy night energy is now internal as I try to run from monsters, hide from the bad guys, ride on roller coasters, swim in a shark-infested ocean and fall off mountains in my awful early morning dreams.
I did some light research and was somewhat insulted when someone online said these sleeping issues are “typically a result of a mental disorder that is triggered by stress or anxiety.”
Well, that was a little harsh.
I’m not crazy, I’m just a really bad sleeper.
A really bad sleeper
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