33yrs • M •
A CTL of 3 indicates that Decius has been a member of Captain Cynic for some time and continuously engages in discussions throughout the site.
||My Sleep Deprivation Nightmare
For the last two months, and maybe just a little longer, something very strange has been happening to me.
Initially, it came about as a series of what seemed to be illogical decisions, but that was resolved in an emotional manner. Yet, it seems this underlying issue contributed to those decisions because after that issue was cleared, some odd behavior remained.
We had recently moved into a new place and the bed that I slept on was an inflatable mattress (an expensive one) that I found to be relatively comfortable. One caveat of it, however, was that everytime I shifted positions the plastic material it was made out of made a stretching or rubbing sound. It wasn't a hugely problematic thing but in retrospect was much louder than I was totally registering it was.
Anyways, initially I was able to sleep on the bed and felt fine. But after about 2-3 weeks I began to sleep shorter and shorter periods, only for about 4-5 hours at a time. No matter what I wouldn't be able to sleep longer, even if I had been awake for like 20 hours the day before.
Now, historically when I would stay awake for extended periods of time I would sleep for a good 12 hours the next night, but in this case no matter how much I wired myself when I slept it only lasted about 5 hours.
My partner concluded it was because of the noise the bed made, but I didn't agree. However, eventually I thought that maybe I can't tell the noise is awakening me because it operates in this subtle manner whereby when I shift position the bed makes the noise, then I am slightly awoken, and by the time I actually awaken I have no memory of the noise, hence no knowledge that the bed was the problem.
Nevertheless it was only until I was no longer able to fall asleep that we concluded I needed a real bed. I would lie down and sleep would simply not come, and I concluded that it was because my subconscious was somehow afraid of the noise and I was being conditioned not to sleep on it.
After we purchased a new bed I was sort of able to sleep more readily. I thought all would be better.
Over the next few weeks, although i felt physically normal, my mental state began to continuously deteriorate. My depression became much worse and I was more and more obsessive about money and success, and worried uncontrollably about things that I probably shouldn't. Also, though I was now able to sleep when I lied down (to some extent) I still was not sleeping more than 5 hours a night, no matter how long I stayed awake the day before.
It all came to a head when at some point I suddenly couldn't think clearly.
I was working on my computer and trying to think about something logical, and my mind simply kept "interrupting" my thoughts, and i kept forgetting what I was thinking about.
In the middle of conversations with my partner I would suddenly stop talking and have no memory of what it was I was talking about.
This began to really, really freak me out.
I believe as a result of this freaking me out I became even increasingly worried, stressed or depressed and hit some weed really hard. I took three or four really deep inhalations and held it in my lungs.
I need not describe my "trip" but suffice to say i became extremely paranoid. And for anyone who has ever become paranoid on a drug, you will understand what I mean when I say that it was, as all paranoid trips are, one of the worst experiences of my life.
It did not cure my fear or worry, nor did it aid my mind in trying to think clearly or in a linear fashion. Even after the trip subsided and I slept, shortly after I awoke I still could not think logically consistently and every time this problem arose I kept getting even more paranoid that there was something wrong with my brain, or that I was losing some part of myself.
What was the conclusive solution to this problem?
What had happened to me was an example of the dangers of conditioning and how powerful it can be. Without even being aware of it, at the sub-conscious level, this plastic bed I had been sleeping on had trained my mind to not fall into a deep sleep to ensure I shifted my position less as I slept. Because the noise would awaken me, I was simultaneously trying to sleep while my subconscious was trying to keep me awake and aware of my movements.
Accordingly, somehow, it trained my mind not to sleep in some deep manner and kept my alertness piqued even when I was dormant.
If there are pictures of a person's brain when they are sleeping, and it is supposed to be dark in certain parts of the brain, you could say those parts of my brain were still very active, and accordingly my sleep time was strangely concurrent with "linear thought" whereby I was calculating my movements to minimize the noise.
The thing is, it became a conditioned response because even after I was sleeping on a noiseless bed my mind was still doing the same thing (hence only sleeping 5 hours a night).
I believe over time this is why I was not able to think clearly during my waking hours (because I had exhausted some part of my analytical mind while I was sleeping) and after a few weeks of this my brain was becoming exhausted.
What I did to remedy the situation was inspired by my partner who said you can force yourself to sleep by lying down and not getting up.
And so I did just that. And shortly after I slept for the first ten hours straight in about 2 months.
The fact that I am able to write this post is an indication in itself that I am able to think in a clearer fashion.
The lesson I have learned from this is that bar none, your method of sleep is the most important thing in your life, because you can literally lose control of your mind if it is disrupted or tweaked incorrectly.
I was embarking on borderline psychosis, not knowing what the problem was, if it was depression or what, when all it was was not having a good night's sleep.
"Illusions never break reality, but reality always breaks illusions. Think logically and you will prosper."