Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lazy Sunday, Sleep

I spent the better part of yesterday doing some landscaping. The wife and I built some raised beds in front, which almost killed me. I had planned doing some mulch-spreading today, but it is raining. The wife, Cooper, and Babe are gone. My truck is full of wet mulch and really shouldn't be driven. I really have nothing to do. So today is a Lazy Sunday. It basically drives me crazy. Due to my industrious nature, and my many responsibilities (job, house, daughter, doomsday device research), I never really get to relax. I have so much to do in a small amount of time that most of my relaxing is planned, or during sleep.

That brings me to an interesting topic: sleep. I remember when I got alot of it. The first time I paid attention to sleep was probably high school. I probably went to sleep from on average at 9:30 on weeknights. I would wake up around 7, so that was about 9.5 hours a night. I also was a competitive weight lifter back then (aka powerlifter), and I think the workouts would make me want to sleep more. I didn't really put that together until much later, so I am unsure if that is why I slept so much. College was a sleep fest as well. Classes, friends, grades, were all second to proper sleepage.

Summer of my Sophomore year I took Calculus 3 (The Return of Newton). It was an early class, that I actually had to go to to get good grades in. I started drinking coffee at that time. That was basically the beginning of me getting much less sleep. But, it didn't last long, because when the fall semester started, I started back to my old ways of only attending post-10:00 classes. What a terrible way to start the day, at 10:00.

Really, I started getting much less sleep when I started my first real job as a teacher. I simply worked so hard that I had to put in a lot of long days and weekends and I could not find the time to sleep. I also drank a lot of coffee. Grad-school also showed me how much I can get done if I put in long hours. When our daughter came things went from bad to worse.

These days I probably average 7 hours and am unaffected if I get 6. the amount of times I have broken that rule this year can probably be counted on one hand. I worked so hard yesterday moving all that dirt that I'd thought I would sleep until 10:30 in the morning. I woke up today at 6:00 when my wife left for work and could not get back to sleep. There is no amount of activity or prior lack of sleep that would make me sleep 9 hours. I ran a mini marathon about 2 weeks ago and I did not take a nap that day or get extra sleep that night.

I tried napping today due to overall weakness and fatigue and just laid there. Sometimes I will be so sleepy that I am 100% sure I will fall asleep. And when I go to take a nap, I just lay there.

I think my problem is my mentality toward sleep. I basically view it as a chore, and something that detracts from the things I could be doing with my time. When I lay down for a nap, or in the morning when the sun is out, I think about all the things I should be doing, and I cannot rest.

I guess my point is, that I think it is remarkable how my sleeping habits have changed over the years. I have went from 9 to 7 hours, on average. That doesn't seem like alot, but 2 hours a day is alot of extra time. ( almost 10% of your day) I have also noticed that it takes me much less time to fall asleep now, which is great (even if I think about the murderers coming to get me). It used to take me probably 30-60 minutes to fall asleep, but now I am out in less than 5 minutes. That seems drastic but it is true. I am pretty sure that is because I only lay down to sleep when I am truly sleepy, and do not oversleep anymore.

Anyone else out there have opinions about sleep?

What a boring blog. I should have told you the story of how I became a Sea Captain for the day.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Paranoid Fantasies

When I am in bed, I am in a almost-constant state of paranoia. Oftentimes, in the moments before I sleep, I have thoughts about how people are going to sneak into my house, and without a sound, burst into my room and slay me in my bed.

Many times, these thoughts pervade my dreams, and I waken in the night suspecting that there really IS someone in the house. Sometimes I will search the entire house, but if I am feeling extra nervous, instead of going down the stairs and confronting the imaginary criminals, (where they could easily ambush me), I look out the window for signs of a get-away vehicle or listen intently in bed, at my bedroom door, or at the top of the stairs for further evidence of them sneaking about. I haven’t yet, but should I ever hear anything suspicious, I would have to jump into directly into attack-mode, which believe me, is so frightening it is beyond description.

Sometimes just waking up sends me into these panicky fits. The worst is when I wake up suddenly and for no reason in the middle of the night. If there is no obvious sound (such as a dog continuously barking), it bothers me because I don’t know the reason I woke up, and I lay in bed and wonder what made the mystery sound that woke me up but I can’t hear anymore. At that point, I can only assume that it is a burglar that made the noise, and they then realized their mistake, and would be extra sneaky on their way up to assassinate me.

Often after I get woken up abruptly, I fantasize about what the gang of maniacs are doing at that moment in my kitchen, and how I most effectively could dispatch them. After some thought, I realize that if someone really wanted to get me, even if I knew about it, there is little I could do about it unarmed and in my underwear in bed. This leads to more paranoia and less sleep (and some walking around, see above). Other times, I am too sleepy to care or I rationalize the situation based on the facts that A): I haven’t met anyone in my entire life that has had their house broken into , B): I live in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in rural South Eastern Indiana, far from the bad guys, and C): I don’t have anything really worth stealing or anyone that wants to kill me. Makes sense.

My only explanation for this behavior is that ever since we have had my daughter, I have had it in my head that I am now the guardian of my wife and daughter, who cannot defend themselves from the likes of the drugged-up murderous thieves that exist only in my mind. This mentality has festered in my brain to the point where I am obsessed about it and I continually go through these scenarios where someone would actually want to hurt one or all of us, and how to deal with them. These thoughts tend to happen in bed at night, where we are arguably the most vulnerable. These thoughts could be typical of fatherhood, or boarder-line psychotic, I am not sure. I also might simply just have an unrealistic fear of people getting us.

I thought I’d share it, because at this point, it is really kind of ridiculous. Anybody out there relate? Comments?

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