Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Most Wonderful Dream

I have always had trouble sleeping. I was told that as an infant I would not sleep 22 hours a day like most babies, but only the standard eight hours, much to the frustration of my parents. It's not like I'm bothered by insomnia. sleep apnia, sleep deprivation or other medical condition. My trouble merely is falling and staying asleep, but only to the extent I fall out of my routine. If I stay with my routine I'm usually OK. No matter how tired I am, I never fall asleep immediately--it always takes maybe 10, 15 or 20 minutes. If I try to go to sleep before my normal sleep time, I won't fall asleep at all, not even when my normal sleep time passes, particularly annoying when traveling to another time zone. If I have any late mental or physical stimulation (e.g., working, driving home) I won't be able to fall asleep even though it's my normal sleep time. I cannot sleep in an upright position which means I've never slept on a plane, even on a long overseas trip. I cannot sleep if there's more than a little light. So the time I was in the intensive care unit after a serious car accident, and they keep the room subtly lit all night long, I did not sleep a wink the night of the crash. That also usually prevents me from sleeping in the daytime, and on the rare occasion where I might nap a short while in the daytime, that prevents me from falling asleep at night. If I wake up in the middle of the night and stay up for more than a couple of minutes, it's like starting all over again in getting back to sleep (i.e., another 10 or 20 minutes, if I'm lucky). More recently I have been sleeping only in two to three hour segments, waking up two or three times a night. I most cases I do go to sleep again quickly, thanks to a large dose of melatonin. For most people one melatonin pill knocks them out. However I take three to six pills at a time, and they don't always work. The one time maybe 25 years ago I did have a sleep disorder such that I needed medical attention, the doctor prescribed a sleeping pill so strong, seconol, that they would only give me 10 pills and the prescription had to be registered with the government. And it didn't work. And, if I wake up in the 5 o'clock hour, I usually am unable to sleep any more after that.

All this is background to what happened this morning. I woke up at 5 am, and as per usual I could not go back to sleep again, though I did take melatonin since I didn't have to get up at my regular workday wakeup time. Some period of time later I hear music, which I assume is my alarm clock. I open my eyes and Mrs. Chandavkl and the kids are in the room. Except the kids are small again, maybe two and three years old, instead of 29 and 30. Now I had written once before about dreaming about waking up and ultimately discovering it was a dream. But this morning was an extraordinary situation, since in this dream I knew I was dreaming, and made it a point to savor the moment of seeing the kids little again. I kissed them and hugged them, knowing that the dream would last only a short while longer. And it was the most wonderful feeling in the world, as I felt like I really went back in time for a beautiful short moment!

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