Normally it doesn’t take much for me not to sleep well.  An overly stressful day, any disruption to my sleep pattern, or just random bad luck and I’m off into a minor insomniac spiral.  I’ve learned how to keep this to a minimum–I have a fairly regular sleep pattern and I have a very solid bedtime ritual.  But I’m a student and sometimes the paper has to get finished and that means losing sleep.  And I’m a friend and sometimes that means staying up late because one of my friends (or me) need that time to work through something, or just to catch up.  I know what these decisions mean when I make them and I don’t make them terribly often–for every late night paper or conversation there are many more nights where something goes unfinished, undone, or unsaid.  Overall, I think I’ve found the right balance for me.  This is part of life.  Even more, this is part of the life I like living. 

Right now, life has a fair amount of stress in it.  Surgery looms in the near future and my sleep is…unusual. 

Some nights I don’t want to go to sleep.  (Even before this I’d reached the point where medication was occasionally my best option.  I had been cautious about using this but have found it to be wonderful.  I’ve learned how to use the medication to help maintain a ‘normal’ sleep pattern.)

Some nights I’m so tired, I’m asleep within minutes of laying down.  Very unusual for me.  Very.

But even more unusual is the fact that I’m dreaming.  Normally I never remember my dreams.  I can remember a few of my more vivid childhood dreams, but almost none in, say, the last 10 years.  People who know such things say we all dream every night–that’s just what happens in REM sleep and I trust that they are correct.  I just never know what I was dreaming about.  Until now. 

I’d forgotten just how odd dreams are.  The wierd double awareness that this is both real and not really real.  The way objects and people and foci can change instantaneously.  The way the memories linger in your mind for the next day. 

My dreams are not overly spectacular or prophetic or doom-filled.  I haven’t had a single surgery or hospital dream yet.  But they are back.

And now, off to bed.  Last night I dreamt about a camera, maybe tonight it will be flowers, or clowns, or a scanner?  Who knows.

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