Friday, February 08, 2008

Further On The Subject Of Sleep

Occasionally, I wake up, and the act of doing so really surprises me.

It's almost as though I didn't realise I was asleep, but not quite. It doesn't stem from not realising I've fallen asleep, because honestly, who's aware of that? You don't know you're asleep because you're asleep. When dreaming, I'm well aware I'm asleep, so waking up is generally a good way to get out of whatever ridiculous dream I'm in. When not dreaming, there is some part of me that is still active and aware I'm asleep, and so waking up is not a surprise.

It's almost, almost as though I'd forgotten to be me.

Does this make sense? Probably not. I try explaining this to people, and I'm either a very bad explainer, or no one else experiences this phenomenon.

There is some part of you that is always actively you, yes? Say, if you're nodding off on the couch, and you know you shouldn't indulge in an afternoon nap but you're going to anyway. While in that nap, some part of you is feeling guilty. Well, this is true for me, certainly. I'm just that good I can feel bad in my sleep. There is a part of you that is still mulling over the day's events, chewing over what every problems you're attempting to overcome, worrying away at little setbacks, and generally processing your life. That goes on, while in sleep. That's you.

That goes away. Sometimes, when I sleep, I'm not there. I don't exist. Waking to discover that actually, I'm me, is quite a shock.

Does anyone else in the world have this happen?

Where did I go?

Why on earth did I come back?


  1. Anonymous8/2/08 05:42

    I know that feeling well.

    Its almost surreal.

    It's hard to articulate it.

    but the moment of sepperation from those thoughts is wonderful.

    until they hit you like a speeding bus and the only thing you can thik is "Oh fuck, that's where I left the bike pump"

    even though you haven't use a bike in years

  2. My sleep is more like this black, violent thing I wrestle with. I'm just glad to be alive at the end of it.

  3. ...can't help thinking that it must be a taste of what it's like to come back from the dead.

  4. I know the feeling, oh yes. I think it really does depend on the dreams or thoughts... how deep you're sleeping, perhaps.

    I'm a funny sleeper too, actually. Sometimes I love it and do it a lot, sometimes I sleep three or four hours a night for a week or two. On site, sometimes, I get next to no sleep and work eighteen hours a day, but it's ok somehow. As for jetlag... sometimes it gets me and sometimes it doesn't. At the moment, of course, I keep waking up to need more fucking painkillers. Gah!

  5. Chris, that doesn't sound good. Hope the pain isn't anything too serious. : /

  6. Anonymous9/2/08 03:37

    No the taste of coming back from the dead is copper, dirt and vomit.

    been there done that many times.