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Sleep is a complicated thing for me. I’ve always hated it. I like the idea of sleep. I love the idea of resting my head on a pillow every night and waking up to a new day snuggled up next to the person you love most. But the act of sleeping has always been a difficult and painful experience. I’ve had everything from extreme insomnia, to sleep terrors, lucid dreaming, and sleep paralysis.
My dreams have been the biggest problem. It’s not uncommon that I wake up in fear or worn out from all the hardships faced in my dreams. It’s also not uncommon for me to have dreams that leave me unsatisfied or unhappy as I awake in the morning because I am left longing for unattainable goals or ideas. I can tell the most in detailed stories with my dreams. I normally only spit out a few important key points when explaining my dreams, but in reality, my dreams are so in depth that I could easily be left rambling for 45 minutes about the details— anything from the color of a shirt, to the texture of a wall, to the placement of a hand. I commonly wonder how these stories are made. Where does my mind find its inspiration? Why are certain themes reoccurring? A lot of things can be placed back to images or things seen throughout the day or past weeks, but what about everything else? Is there something deeper? After vaguely explaining my dream the other day, a friend replied with:
 “according to dream dictionary..travelling is heading towards your life goals or escaping a burden, itching represents sexual urges, anything poop related translates as something shameful, and golf means you are indulging yourself..as for your ex and your friend..who knows..symbols of masculinity.”
Maybe this all makes sense– everything stated is completely relevant to current feelings and situations, but does my brain really know that? Does colliding a golf cart into a cage of lizards creating a spill of feces, really translate into feeling shameful or indulging myself? What does it mean if I place other people in the cart with me? Does it translate differently, am I only feeling shame, because of who was sitting next to me, or is it something else? I really don’t know. It all sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?
I don’t nap. I won’t nap. I find my dreams are more complicated then. I find myself blurring the lines between dreams and reality. And I am left with a haze of confusion for the rest of the day.
Now, once again I am waking up throughout the night with a teething baby, and once again, not taking naps throughout the day, and I am tired. Very tired. I’m 26 years old tomorrow. 26 years of hating sleep. I wonder, will it ever be different? I hope so, because if it’s not, I will always be in a complicated relationship– and longing for something, you often times hate is: confusing. 

14 Comments

  1. I was always told that dreams were the already taken events in your life, emptying from your brain to make room for new memories and events. But then what is deja vu? I always have the same complicated sleep, never being able to keep my eyes shut through the night, endless tossing and turning, but doctors say its hereditary. I say bull. A few years ago I was having the same horrible dream every night, I was told my many sources that it was the fate of my life. That terrified me. So I started meditation before sleep. It works. I am at peace with myself, even if life seems hectic or unbalanced. Maybe that will work for you? I only hope for you that you can find that balanced, uncomplicated, sleep and relationship you long for and very much deserve.

  2. blah, i know what you mean! during pregnancy, i was completely nocturnal for the first half. then once i could sleep at night, doesn't mean that i did.

    my dreams have always been very vivid. very real. so i too wake up with unrealistic expectations.. thinking i accomplished something in dreamland.

    dream dictionary.. interesting!

    Drink some nice hot tea before bed, calm your nerves. maybe sit for 10 minutes in silence [yes, nearly impossible with a baby, i know] but try to clear your mind. no tv or books right before bed… again, easier said than done.. but my mind tends to run wild as soon as i close my eyes

  3. my dreams are always very vivid as well. and i've experienced lucid dreams and sleep paralysis as well. i think lucid dreams are fun, but sleep paralysis can be pretty terrifying!

  4. Oh man that is gnarly. Have you ever considered getting a dream book or seeing a dream professional. I always look up what my dreams mean. It is crazy how it is interpreted.

    Hope it gets better for you!!

  5. I rarely remember my dreams, so i have no advice for you. =[

    It does make me sad that you don't enjoy sleep.

    Good vibes are being sent your way in hopes that you are more relaxed about it!

  6. i have similar sleep issues, although thankfully not on a grand scale. i veer between great restful sleep and broken sleep with scary lucid dreams. not pleasant. do you ever fear you will say something awful in your sleep? i do, its my worst nightmare!

    x.

  7. I have a dream dictionary/book that helps me translate my dreams. I love it & it has helped me sort of figure out where these thoughts are coming from.

  8. I have had many recurring dreams that stick with me for days after having them.

    Many of my dreams involve loosing my kids to tragic accidents, getting lost, being in an out of control elevator and being in highschool again.

    A lot of times I don't want to sleep for days because of these dreams.

    I haven't found anything that helps out with this.

    I am sorry you have to deal with it!

  9. first off, i want to wish you good sleep in this next 26 year of your life.
    i'm so sorry you are so troubled by your sleep and yes, i do believe your brain knows that.
    when i do dream, i have very detailed dreams.
    funny, my friend was just over and asked me about my dream the other night.
    i keep dreaming about my single/childless friend with a baby. in the first dream, she had recently given birth. in the second dream, the baby was months old and she was breastfeeding.
    now, the weird thing is that i think the baby is our friend who passed away. every time i think of it, i give myself the chills.
    sorry to have gone on and on…

  10. Being a new mom myself, I know how hard it is to take care of a baby running on little sleep. To know that you are a single mother who takes care of sweet little Marlowe and deals with these night issues makes me think how do you do it?! You are so strong it amazes me!:) I hope you find rest. You deserve it! 🙂

  11. When did your sleeping problems start? I hope you get some real rest soon! Happy un-birthday : )

  12. aww….*hugs*. I know what it's like to battle with sleep. I had such bad insomnia that I didn't sleep of like…4 years.

    This may sound kinda weird but sometimes I have knack for interpreting dreams…
    a lot of times disturbing dreams can represent fears or anxieties we may have.

    driving a golf cart into a cage of lizards spilling feces:

    I think this may represent a fear of things suddenly going wrong or getting derailed, the "shit hitting the fan" so to speak. basically dealing with the common anxiety that "things couldn't possibly stay good for long." like part of you is just waiting for something to go wrong.(this is a super-common anxiety by the way.)

    If that is a subconcious anxiety of yours be encouraged that that is a LIE that is whispered into our heads aimed at destroyed our peace.

    hope that helps. and hope I didn't just weird you out. 😉 I wish blessings and "pleasant,golf cart rides.aka smooth sailing" ahead for you!

  13. You should see an Art Therapist! Dreams are often harder to describe and easier to make visual. It might clear some things up for you and help you catch some zzzzz's. As a recent Art Therapy graduate, I felt I should share. 🙂

  14. I cannot believe I'm reading this. I thought it was just me! I used to dream weekly (about 5x per week) about snakes. Straight up nightmares. Cold, panicky sweat nightmares. Then, I moved to the beach briefly, and I started to dream of tidal waves every night, even after I left the beach. Then, they switched to recurring dreams of either cats (normal house cats) that were evil and would try to bite me and I knew they were probably going to give me some kind of disease – or, I'd dream of driving in pitch black darkness, and I was going super fast, and I couldn't slow down, and I was just waiting to slam into a wall and inevitably die. I would hit the wall, but I'd live, and I'd be able to see myself in the hospital bed and hear my relatives freaking out. I started acupuncture for other things, but she treats my anxiety as well (my perfectionism makes me so stressed out), and the nightmares have mostly stopped. The snakes are there, but I'm like, "big deal". I do, however, still dream for what seems like all. night. lonnnnng. They aren't scary like they used to be, but I still feel exhausted when I wake up because I feel like I've been walking through some weird alternate universe or perhaps a movie all night. And, like you, I can remember tons and tons of details – smells, colors, sounds, moods, etc. My acupuncturist says that in Chinese medicine, there is actually a name for the condition of dreaming lucidly, which results in poor rest and constantly feeling tired and run down. We are not working to treat that yet, but I sure am excited to work on it in the future. Good luck to you. I know it sucks. 🙁 PS – found you from the #making2014count link up. Happy New Year!