Who Needs Sleep? (Me! I do.)

Remember when you were a kid and couldn’t sleep because you were too excited about something? Ya. Totally have that right now. 😒

So let me tell you a little bit about a legitimate thing that does keep me awake besides excitement. 😄

To the best of my memory, I have never slept well. “Light sleeper” doesn’t begin to describe how easily I could be woken. Years have passed and although I don’t sleep as lightly as I once did, I can confidently say that I am a heavy dreamer. My mom used to cringe when I would initiate a conversation with, “Last night I dreamt…”. Fast forward about 30 years and I’m sure you can find the same look on my face that my mom had.(Hey, Ma! I get it!) My 9 year old son now perfectly imitates what I must have been like as a kid. He will start recounting every strange, nonsensical detail of his dreams and I feel every ounce of my moms’ confusion and bewilderment when I would tell her mine. But then I started having dreams that would put my weird dreams to shame and I fear so badly for my son that I may have passed this on.

When I was 21 I started getting terrible nightmares that, through my own research, learned were part of a condition called sleep paralysis. The first experience I had included a dream of being abducted by aliens. I dreamed I was laying flat on my back on a hard, cold, metal table with an operation room light overhead. Staring down at me were blurry alien faces typical of those you might see in an alien movie created by people with little creativity and originality. The operating room lights were the source that began my levitation off the table and into the waiting spacecraft. At the moment my body began to lift into mid air, something unclear to me suddenly halted the process and I was dropped back onto the table. I was jolted into a conscious state, knowing fully I just experienced a nightmare, but I was paralyzed. I will never forget the physical feeling of having just been dropped from several feet in the air on to my mattress. My whole body tingled as your foot would as it gains feeling after having been “asleep”. But as I gained awareness that it was only a dream, I found myself unable to move. I could not do so much as raise an eyelid to assess and guarantee my surroundings. I was frozen.

Since then, the dreams have manifested consistently as loud, sinister, and terrifying. Most commonly I will experience a poltergeist energy that presents as invisible yet audible. Each time I will hear loud, demonic voices yelling words I never remember directly in my ear. In my dream I confront the invisible forces, demanding that they leave me alone. However, my voice will not come out. During this process, I start to realize it’s a dream and consciously try to wake myself. I don’t know how long it takes me to actually wake up, probably only a few seconds. But once I am awake and fully aware of my surroundings, I can’t move a muscle. I can’t open an eye, move a finger, or even call out to my husband. Nothing works. I am paralyzed.

For a while, I was able to avoid this affliction by not falling asleep on my back. Through my own awareness and careful internet research (no, not really, just Googling the heck out of “sleep paralysis”😆) I came to learn that positioning during sleep could have something to do with bringing it on. Unfortunately this only worked for a while and I now find myself confronted with it no matter how I sleep. I’ve also learned it can be something to do with vitamin and/or mineral imbalances and sleep patterns and habits, For me, it’s just part of the strange set of ailments that make me who I am. 🤷🏻‍♀️