Thursday, March 18, 2010

On zzz

Zzz zzzzz zzzzzzzzz zz z zzzzzzzzz z zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzz zzz zz zzzzzz zz zzzzzzzz zz zz zzz z.

That is how my mornings have been lately. Ever since I decided to not finish my thesis this spring, I’ve stopped stressing during the day. Unfortunately, this has led to stress during the night instead.

I don’t usually have stress dreams prior to exams or other such hectic situations. I am wound together (is that even something you can say – “wound together”? When tired, I tend to make up words and/or idioms…) in a much more efficient way – I usually sleep fairly well up until the point of the exam (with the possible exception of the last night), but then there is payback afterwards.

I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night, convinced that I have missed an important deadline, weeks after I made the deadline just fine. Once I very nearly murdered my flat mate for keeping me awake all night so that I missed an exam. Only she hadn’t kept me awake, and I had passed the exam days earlier. It was only a dream (which I fortunately realized just as I was sharpening my butcher’s axe).

While this is exhausting, it is usually relatively unproblematic, seeing as the incident that caused the stress is already over. I think it is a way of dealing with stress. My body may not be able to ignore stress, but it postpones it until I can “afford” to waste my strength. This, after all, is better than breaking down when I need that strength the most.

This time, however, I am not so sure how fortunate it is. Since, technically, I don’t have to stress as much anymore, my body apparently thinks it’s okay to catch up with all the accumulated tension. But right now I can’t really afford it. Because I still need energy and focus to work on my thesis, even if the deadline is much further away. And I can tell you that is very hard to do when you barely sleep at night.

This week I have been chased by a crazed serial killer with needles; I’ve been trapped by adorable but poisonous mini kiwi birds (!); I’ve been invaded by noisy teenagers; I’ve babysat a demon spawn; I’ve made life-changing discoveries (only to discover they were not as life-changing after all); and tonight I found out I was responsible for the Holocaust. All while asleep.

It is terribly exhausting, because the dreams both make sure I don’t sleep as much as I’d like (and need) to, and they are also not allowing me to relax as much when actually asleep. (Or could it be that the fact that I wake up more often and relax less is what makes me have these dreams? Either way it’s connected.) The result? I find myself collapsably tired (as I so eloquently put it in my Facebook status yesterday) all the time. Last night I almost feel asleep while doing the dishes (*splash*). This morning I nearly missed my tram stop because my eyes were closed (but I wasn’t sleeping. No, no. Well, yes I was).

Hopefully, it’s a phase that soon will pass. Often, when I’m sleeping poorly over time, I eventually do collapse, and that one 14 hour night of pure coma is enough to put me back on track. If that is what it takes, I sure hope it’ll come soon! Otherwise, I fear that I will end up as a splatter movie script writer. I certainly have the material to start plotting in thus direction!


Watery Tart said...

I sometimes have those post-event anxiety dreams too--and ALSO have them during something prolonged--sorry to hear you're not sleeping!

I think 'wound up' is the word you were getting at (think of those old fashioned tops with the rubber bands, that the tighter you wind, the faster is spins when released)

LOVE collapsably tired!

M.J. Nicholls said...

My dream is to be locked in a bedroom with every book ever written. And maybe a librarian. And a coffee machine.

Why are you reading this? Get back to bed!

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