Friday, April 07, 2006

Avoidance Sleeping and Cheesy Dreams

I'm an unabashed morning person, able to tackle the early hours with a cup of coffee and an infuriatingly cheerful attitude. Especially in the summer. My body clock adjusts happily to the lengthening days.

After a rocky adjustment to daylight saving time, my body seems to have embraced its summer routine. Three days this week, I've woken up at 4 am, raring to go. I should have leapt out of bed and got on with things, but I didn't. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Why? Why would I go back to sleep when I wasn’t even tired? It was simply avoidance sleeping. I was sleeping because I didn't want to think about a variety of issues, from home life to work life and everything in between. The willingness to engage in avoidance sleeping is a personal demon I have to battle on a regular basis.

The worst part is that I know as I'm doing it that it's absolutely the wrong thing to do. When I go against my body on the sleep issue, I always lose. I know most people lose on the under-sleeping count. Losing on the over-sleeping count can be just as disorienting and groggy-making.

When my alarm finally went off, I didn't wake up feeling well rested and ready-to-go. I felt befuddled, exhausted, and annoyed. It doesn't help that I was awoken in the middle of bizarre dream.

It's my strong contention (as Lex can tell you) that eating cheese before bedtime causes strange dreams. I don't know if I can blame the deep-friend brie I had for dinner could affect a dream I had at 4 am, but it seems a likely culprit.

Editorial aside – I know that deep-fried brie is against the strict rules of my spring diet and is punishable by having to shop with a supermodel who will berate me as I try to cram my ever-widening ass into skinny jeans and straight skirts. But, as a mitigating factor, I was in a steakhouse in Wicklow town, so it's not like there were other items on the menu that I could eat.

Back to bizarre dreamland, here are the highlights:

  • Somehow, I came to have a baby, a very weird little foundling. I could put him into a Big Gulp cup and he could swim around. He could also sing underwater like mermaid. But then when I took him out of the Big Gulp, he'd expand into a regular-sized baby. He could talk too – fully formed sentences.

  • I took the foundling to the Hilton on the river in Chicago, where I had a big fight with the front desk staff. They were speaking about me in Italian, but I could see subtitles and knew what they were saying about me. They kept telling me I had to wait for my key because their system was down, but I knew they were just being mean because they didn't like me.

  • The desk clerk couldn't understand my last name, so I went to write it on a notepad, only to see the name was already written there, in my grandfather's handwriting.

  • My dad, grandfather, and uncle showed up, which I guess explains my grandfather's handwriting. I wanted to talk to them, to find out what they were doing there, but they said they had to go to a meeting and they would talk to me later.

  • The Jack Bauer showed up to protect me and the foundling. I'd apparently had a pre-Peter relationship with Jack, which he wanted to rekindle but I wouldn't because of Peter. Jack Bauer is not a man who is interested in taking no for an answer.

  • When my dad, grandfather, and uncle finally showed up, they brought along some refugees from Sierra Leone, all of whom were missing at least one hand.

  • When we went outside, the bridge over the river at Michigan Avenue was gone and was replaced with an impossibly tall Thai temple with a river gushing down its front steps.

  • Then there was a car chase, with Jack Bauer driving, but I have no idea where we were going or who we were chasing.

My alarm went off at this point. When I recounted this dream to Peter, he asked if I was upset that I didn't get to find out what happened. I told him I was sort of relieved, because Jack Bauer was starting to get really pushy.

I don't know what the dream means, if anything, but I think perhaps I need to skip the cheese and the avoidance sleeping in future.


At 7 April 2006 at 14:28, Blogger Arbusto said...

I need to have some cheese before bed.

Is there a heirarchy of cheese in regards to level of weirdness? It seems deep-fried brie would be high on the list.

At 7 April 2006 at 15:19, Blogger Shane said...

I'm sorry but I couldn't read your whole dream because the idea of the foundling scared the crap of me. I nearly got the jibblies.

At 7 April 2006 at 18:40, Blogger Terri said...

hahaha, I'm still laughing out loud... that's some dream you had there! So is it true that Jack is actually quite a shorty-pants?

At 7 April 2006 at 20:20, Blogger -Ann said...

Arbusto - According to the British Cheese Board's study: "all female participants who ate British Brie had nice relaxing dreams whereas male participants had cryptic dreams"

Maybe French brie has the opposite affect and it gives females cryptic dreams. I would definitely classify my dream as such.

The trick too is that you have to wake up shortly after you have the dream in order to remember it. (Or during the dream.)

Shane - Funny enough, the foundling was what I enjoyed most about the dream. I think it's that whole biologicaly clock thing.

Terri - That's what I've heard about Jack as well. Although I'm only 5 feet tall so everyone seems tall to me.

At 8 April 2006 at 03:59, Blogger Mirty said...

I think when we oversleep our brains churn out some weird stuff. Not sure about the cheese connection.

I can't imagine jumping out of bed at 4:00 a.m. ... My idea of torture really. I do try to jump out of bed sometime before noon, even on weekends.

At 10 April 2006 at 16:59, Blogger Col said...

Ugh... Come to Boston anytime. I was up at 4 am with a very fussy toddler who is acquiring four very large molars. Your dream was very creative... I don't know about the cheese factor. Maybe it's a sign. Like, I dunno, you shouldn't write any sitcom dialogue today.


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