Sleeping is fascinating. The body shuts down in some ways and switches to auto pilot in many ways. The brain is the most interesting when it comes to sleeping. Minds have to tune out a lot of noise, whether it’s outside or internal noise yet the mind stays active enough to dream. Dreams are a whole post on their own.
Have you ever had a realistic dream? I don’t mean a dream where it seems so real at the time but after you’ve been awake for a while you recognize it was definitely strange enough to be a dream. I’m talking about one of those dreams where you see yourself walk into the bathroom. You don’t see yourself as if you’re looking in a mirror. No, you see yourself as you do every day with your eyes in your head that is perched on top of your neck and shoulders. So in this dream you realize your need to relieve your bladder and watch your legs and feet walk to the bathroom. Everything from your bed to the bathroom is exactly as it is in real life. Your hands reach out for the wall in the dark and you fumble for the light. You get to the toilet and decide not to wake yourself up with the light. You open the lid and do your business. The next morning you wonder why your bed and clothes are all wet when you know you went to the bathroom to pee in the toilet. You saw yourself do it! Right? Those dreams are the worst. Or so I’ve been told!
Ever spend the night tossing and turning wishing your companion would choke on their own tongue they’re snoring so badly? Then they go out of town and you realize you can’t sleep without them or their snoring. The story goes that when I was a kid I would snore so loudly that the walls of the house would suck in with my every breath. My tonsils and adenoids were so swollen I couldn’t breathe with my mouth shut. I would get out of breath just eating. I had surgery the day after Christmas when I was 8 and haven’t snored a day in my life since.
My sister used to dance on the wall at night. There are pictures of her legs up on the wall while she slept to prove it.
Some people talk in their sleep. I have been known to yell out a couple of times. My yells are strangled and muffled because when I have to scream in my dreams my mouth is full of sand and I can’t talk to save my life. One night Gwen was crying and when I went in to comfort her she started talking nonsense. She was all upset about me taking her baby downstairs or something else that had nothing to do with anything that had happened the day before, much less anything going on at 3:00 am. Heath will sometimes talk in his sleep but it’s all gibberish I can hardly make out. Which is too bad since it would be fun to tell him what he said and see if he actually remembers his dream. No such luck though.
Of all the crazy things that can happen while a person is sleeping, including Peter Gallagher's brother stealing his fiancé while Peter was in a coma, sleep walking is one I have had the least experience with. On TV they make it seem like people walk around with their arms out in front of them zombie style. They say stupid things with their eyes closed. You know the drill. That’s not really how it happens though.
One night we had the kids all in bed and were watching An Idiot Abroad. Interesting show from the mastermind Ricky Gervais, who also came up with The Office (the original BBC version). We’re watching this guy hate every second of being in China. He was appalled at the toilets that were nothing much more than a hole in the ground separated by cubicles with no doors so anyone squatting was doing so in front of God and everybody. Apparently there was no toilet paper either. He said, “I thought this is where they invented the i-Pod. Did I get the wrong place? This does not seem like the place that needs an i-Pod when they don’t even have toilet paper.”
Footsteps overhead. I suppressed my fear by thinking it had to be one of the kids. Toilet flushing. Yep, one of the kids. More footsteps. The next thing I know Parker is speed walking in front of us with a strange vacant smirk on his face. He leaped onto the couch and quickly but carefully folded his legs underneath himself. He blankly stared at the TV, which was paused to fully take in the bizarre scene unfolding before us, with a loopy smile on his face. We were calling out his name and asking what he was doing. We were telling him it was 10:00 and he was supposed to be in bed. Anything we said yielded zero response. There was no recognition in his face. Heath scooped up Parker who never unfolded so he looked like a pretzel in Heath’s arms. Heath and I were giggling wondering what in the world was happening. Parker’s eyes closed halfway up the stairs.
I asked him about it the next morning just to see what he would say. He seemed to know what he did but his answers didn’t seem to truly fit what had happened. It was almost as if he was just answering questions as if it happened when in actuality it didn’t. Very strange. He said he heard the TV come on so he came down to watch with us. The TV had been on for a good 90 minutes before he “heard it come on.” I don’t know. I think he was sleep walking. It was the craziest thing I had ever seen.
What crazy sleep experiences have you had? Take note tonight so you can share with all of us.