I’ve been getting a lot less sleep than normal over the last two weeks. Our daughter Rosie has a substantial part in a local production of the musical Scrooge. This has meant lots of weeknight rehearsals for her ending late. Unfortunately I still had to work, which meant getting her home between 10 and 11 p.m., making sure she took a bath and got all her medicine, putting myself to bed, then getting up at 5 a.m. the following morning. For some people five hours of so of a restless sleep a night is plenty. It’s not enough for me apparently. I’ve felt like a dead man walking a lot recently.
Yesterday though was one of my earned days off. (I get one every two weeks by working an extra hour a day.) I looked forward to having some downtime. Instead of getting up at 5 a.m. though I got up at 6 a.m. Someone had to insure that my indefatigable daughter also got up and shuffled off to school. Terri usually does this but since I was home I felt it was my turn. Once I’m up I can’t usually go back to sleep, but yesterday morning was different. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. So after Rosie was off for her bus and after my wife left for work I slipped under the covers again hoping for sleep but not expecting to get any. To improve the odds (I am very light and sound sensitive) I tightly closed the curtains, put on a pair of night blinders and pulled the covers up over me.
I reached a certain point where I was nearly asleep when I realized I still needed to get up in a couple hours to meet a friend for lunch, and I hadn’t set the alarm. Unable to summon the will to set it I put in a mental wakeup call to myself. And then amazingly I did drift off.
I wasn’t sure how long I was slept. I don’t remember dreaming a thing but my little mental alarm clock went off. It was time to get up, or at least check the clock. I issued instructions to my body to get myself up. I thought I pushed myself up in bed and grabbed my night blinders … but I was not up and I couldn’t see a thing!
What the hell was going on? This was very bizarre and had never happened to me before. I tried again. I told my body “I got to get up RIGHT NOW! Muscles, swing into action!” But nothing happened.
I felt very creeped out at this point. I went through this scenario several times. I felt myself getting up. I felt myself removing my night blinders. But nothing was happening. I was not up at all. I could see nothing.
Now I was not just feeling creepy, I was getting more than a little scared. Just what kind of state was I in? Was I dead? I could see nothing. I could feel nothing. I couldn’t move a muscle. All I knew was I wanted to do something and I couldn’t get my body to respond. I couldn’t even feel my body.
I kept trying over and over again: get up and remove the blinders! After a half dozen attempts or so finally something happened and I was sitting up in bed and really pulling my blinders off. My heart was racing. About ninety minutes had passed. I stumbled into the bathroom.
What the hell had just happened? I still have no idea. My wife says it was just a dream. But it was more than that. At least it felt like it was more than that. I really felt like I was in some sort of altered state.
If this has ever happened to you, please let me know!