Stressy Sleep

A recent bout of stress has been taking its toll on my sleep patterns.  I’m not a chronic insomniac, but when work/school hit certain stress peaks, like a lot of people, it impacts my zzzzzzs.

For some people, the result is not being able to fall asleep.  For me, it’s not being able to stay that way.  And what sleep I do get, is highly disturbed.

The cycle goes something like this:  first come the weird dreams: more vivid and memorable than normal.  I may sleep all night, but I don’t feel refreshed afterward–like all that dreaming saps something.  Then come the dreams, apparently accompanied by, well, me.  Kristy has witnessed this one back when we were room mates in college.  Apparently I was rather angry in my demands that she answer the phone (which wasn’t ringing), emphatic that “You can’t call a witch ‘Bob’!” and horrified as I declared, “I woke up, and the psychic friends network was GONE!” Passing this point, we get to the part where I actually wake myself up.  I had a great episode during law school finals where I woke up in total terror after a dream where I got to my Torts exam and was expected to write it in French.  I launched myself out of bed, got dressed and walked all the way down to the law quad before I realized that I didn’t even have an exam that day.  And if I did?  Probably wouldn’t be starting it at 5am.  And once I’m into the waking myself up stage, that’s when I can’t get back to sleep.  Or if I do, it’s in short bouts that cycle back through the weirdness and shocking wake up.

And here I am.

Again.

The things-in-a-foreign-language theme is apparently popular this season in Brain of Cammy, because I’ve had a few episodes with that one (I seem to be harboring a real fear of French).  Oh, and snakes.  I hate snakes.  A lot.  So that’s just a recipe for waking up yelling.  And there was a whole series involving a rather elaborate crossover between Downton Abbey and North & South (and a few others–it was like the British costume dramas exploded in my head) only sometimes it was the characters and sometimes their actors.

I’m experimenting with solutions.  Sleeping pills are mildly effective.  I still wake myself up, but I seem to get back to a fitful sleep a little faster. Herbal tea, aromatherapy, they all seem to be fine for relaxing me to sleep in the first place, but they are no help on the interruption front.  I actually even gave drinking a shot on Saturday night (two g&ts and a shot of rum)–no aid to sleep, but I did send out some incoherent e-mail and laugh harder than normal at Glee.

The upside is, I know this will end when things taper off in real life.  The downside, is, in the meantime, I’m getting run down and sick (ran low grade fever Saturday morning).

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