Opinions

Restless sleep cycle causes intense struggles, bedtime panic

By Austin Norville ’15
THE ROUNDUP

Sleep to me is an important part of life.

However, it was not always a great release.

Sleep for most of my life has been a struggle and often my view of sleep changed.

It began in the second grade when my cousin spent the night telling me ghost stories.

After that day, I began to sleep with my head below the sheets for several years, out of fear.

My imagination was always stronger at night, which led to some good nights and often lousy nights.

I had a problem with hallucinating.

There was one time I woke up believing I needed a special pillow and I went to my parents asking for it.

I never hallucinated during the day; it only came out at night and made sleep miserable.

One night in the fifth grade I saw ships flying across my room and I kept standing up and walking around my room just to calm down.

The problem was that I could not turn my brain off so I just kept on thinking, which still affects me to this day.

The hallucinations did stop, but the dreams became intense and real and often had me walking around the house with music playing and the presence of someone following me.

The weirdest dream was when I thought I had woken up three times, but each time I “woke up” I was in another nightmare.

When I did wake up I could not move and had shortness of breath.

As time went on I began to have extreme ringing in my ear followed by intense panic to the point that I could not sleep, forcing me to go upstairs and watch TV for an hour to calm myself down, which did not always work.

I began to play games with myself and create stories in my head that I planned to make novels out of.

It kept me at peace.

It has improved incredibly but I do still often panic when trying to go to bed.

I never figured out what caused it.

For most of the population sleep is a release from the days stress, but for me it has been a puzzle and a fight to get myself to fall asleep and stay asleep.