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09:57:28 AM
Written By : Richard SchwartzCategory : 1. Life
Location : Nashua, NH

As happens to me quite often, especially over the summer when I'm home alone while the rest of my family is at summer camp, my sleep/wake cycle has gotten way out of phase. My circadian rhythm, if left to its own devices, would currently be closer to a 29 hour cycle than the geologically mandated 24. I've had to deal with this for pretty much my entire life -- including when I was very young, though it probably wasn't stretched as far as a 29 hour cycle back then.

When it gets really out of whack, I have little choice but to rely on sleeping pills to try and reset my body clock somewhere closer to normal. If I take them too many nights in a row, however, I experience one or two side-effects. It doesn't happen until the next night though, when I don't take a pill. The first side-effect is that I have even more difficulty falling asleep.. but that's totally expected, of course. The second is that when I do sleep, I have extremely vivid dreams. Last night I got both. Sometimes the dreams are so vivid that they wake me up several times during the night, and that's what happened last night. They weren't nightmares though, and I actually woke up fairly well refreshed this morning even though I know didn't have more than two consecutive hours of sleep last night.

Actually, there was one nightmare. I have acquired the bad habit, from my wife, of keeping a television on in the bedroom. All the sleep experts say that this is bad, but my wife doesn't sleep well without it, so it's one of those compromises that we learn to live with. Even in the summer when she's not home, however, I usually keep it on -- probably because it creates a sense of comfort and familiarity while she's away. Anyhow, just as I was falling asleep, I had the Conan O'Brian show on. It was a re-run. I heard him say that Joe Jackson and Todd Rundgren would be performing together as the musical guest, but I must have fallen asleep just before they came on. That's when the nightmare happened. I have an incredibly vivid memory of Joe Jackson and Todd Rundgren doing a terribly butchered version of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". It was just horrible. Rundgren's voice was ok, but his guitar was out of tune. Jackson's piano was fine, but his voice was way off. And there was a string quartet... yes, I dreamed that it was a string quartet doing all the wailing parts instead of Rundgren's guitar!

It was a nightmare. It had to have been. Wasn't it?

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Comments :v

1. Stan Rogers07/12/2005 12:29:27 PM

Drugs and withdrawal can do terrible, terrible things to one's mind and body, Rich. Unfortunately, they can't do that.

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