Addicted to sleep


I admit it. I have an addiction. I am addicted to sleep. Seriously addicted to sleep. Allow me to explain …

Once I’m up and going, I am fine. I love my work; love doing things on the weekend. I’m generally a go-getter. At work I am a high achiever. I am driven to achieve excellence. In fact, my last performance review had me down as excellent … pretty much the highest you can go without being president of the company. I am also a perfectionist. As Rooster Cogburn would say “no brag just fact”. Did I mention I was modest? Weird Al Yankovic has a song called I’ll Be Mellow When I’m Dead. That’s me when I’m awake.

This summer I suffered from a bout of insomnia. Probably self-induced because when I’m doing things I really don’t want to go to bed. But once I finally fall asleep that is another story altogether.

How can I explain? Have you ever been addicted to downers of any kind, opiates, heroin, etc.? Have you ever suffered from mind-numbing pain and then suddenly it went away? Have you ever been anxious or worried or fidgety and suddenly you felt calm? No worries no anxiety no pain just sweet bliss. That perfect state … pain-free, worry-free, anxiety-free, comfortable, mellow, tranquil. That is how I feel when I’m asleep. Once I am asleep I don’t want to get up … EVER … and I have the as ability to go right back to sleep once I wake up. Hell, I can even get up and do chores and go right back to sleep. (As long as I’m not up too long or get some kind of adrenaline rush)

For me sleep is that perfect escape where everything is wonderful and tranquil and calm or in some cases adventurous and exciting. I have really interesting dreams. Some repeat with regular frequency. Others are new and entirely different. I do of course have the occasional erotic dream but most of my dreams are fairly mundane. Some are mysteries, some are adventure stories. Some are just day-to-day life, but usually with some bizarre twist. I never have nightmares. As a child I learned to control my dreams. If things got bad I could change the outcome. I get shot … no no, that will never do. Rewind. Let’s do that scene again.

One of my bucket-list items is to be able to sleep as long as I want until I finally have had enough. Over my birthday I took some time off and my wife let me sleep pretty much all day. Like 18-20 hrs. You might think that would be enough but it wasn’t. The only reason I got up was that stuff needed to be done that my wife wasn’t able to do.

One theory of dreams is that they are the movie that the mind plays to keep you occupied while it sorts through your memories saves them and files them. I tend to think of dreams as the screensaver that plays while your brain defrags itself. Defraging a computer hard drive takes more time as a function of the amount of data stored on the hard drive and the amount of empty space available on the hard drive. If my brain were a computer hard drive it must be very full and running out of space.

Maybe it’s stress. I will admit that this has been a fairly stressful year for a variety of reasons. 

Maybe it’s depression. Not the “My life really and truly is a living hell and there is nothing I can do to change it” kind of depression. Rather the “chemical imbalance in the neurons of the brain” kind of depression. Serotonin and norepinephrine. Perhaps associated with the aging process. I’m already on an SNRI (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor) originally prescribed for the symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy. But it turned out to be due to spinal nerve damage due to hereditary spinal stenosis and arthritic vertebral bone spurs. TMI? Surgery, exercise, and NSAIDs mostly solved that, but when I weaned myself off my wife said to go back on because I got very short tempered. I call them my “being able to deal with stupid people” pills. Maybe I need a higher strength. As the old Dupont motto used to say … “better living through chemistry.”

Goodness look at the time … almost 1 AM … and tomorrow is a work day. No sleeping in for me.

Gotta go …

1 thought on “Addicted to sleep

  1. I’m off the anti-depressants and anti-anxieties. They tried a couple of different things and I was really good about taking them. But once I figured I as no longer acute in the PTSD side of it, I weaned off at about the two year marker. Which is pretty good actually.

    My point is…I still have days where I just want to sleep. Sleep is good for you. It’s our over-drive motivations that make it so hard to accept that sleep is necessary, and WANTED.

    Today I got up, did some things that needed to be done and then felt like I really needed a nap. So I laid down and slept another two hours. The truth is…I probably NEEDED the sleep…medically, because I am still recovering.

    At some point, I hope I stop feeling guilty about the fact that there really are some days when I just want to hang out in bed and look at the ceiling in between naps 😉


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