Friday, December 12, 2008

The 4th Dimension

Between the hours spent being awake, either forced or voluntarily and a very skewed definition of the word "rest" in the last few years or so, I have managed to make myself very, very tired. And somehow, during those lost hours, something I used to rely on very heavily to make things better seemed to have disappeared from my vocabulary: The afternoon nap.

I remember hating those afternoon naps as a child. I'd always want to run around, play, or just do something, but I had to succumb to the pressure in the end. In recent times however, as soon as I attempted taking a nap, I'd be wide awake, just like that. Even the most boring, long winded 18th century literature could never put Terra back to sleep again.

What's worse is the condition seems to have detriorated as time goes by. Earlier this week, I had an extended weekend, which instead of leaving me refreshed, made me even more tired than usual, although I did try my best to sleep well. Anyway, yesterday was another holiday (The Sultan's Birthday) And yes, I'm loving December with my whole heart!! With the combination of a splendid weather and a shower in the afternoon, my eyes were closing as I was trying to read one of the books I recently got myself. You know how it feels when you're reading the same lines over and over again and everything stops making sense, and you decide that it's time to call it a day? Well, I called it an afternoon and slept like a proverbial baby for awhile.

After what seemed like hours (my room is very dark even during the day, so I actually thought it was late), I saw my sister enter the room. She said hi, and I was surprised to see her there because she was not supposed to be there, and a bit worried that she was going to disturb my precious sleep. She said that our dad picked her up and there she was, and she proceeded to jump on me (sister like bullying) and I tried pushing her away with my legs. She vanished, but then I found myself unable to move. Something was holding my hands down and I could feel their fingers holding tighter as I attempted to dig my fingernails into their hands. And I couldn't even scream out.

I've faced this before several times, where you're paralysed in a state of between being awake and sleeping, something's holding you down or pinning themselves against you and you can't scream. And you have to muster all your energy to push it off, whatever it may be. I've heard from a friend that this situation arises when you're too tired (which corroborates pretty well with my actual situation), but some others insist that it may be from those we can't see with our eyes. Whatever it was, my going to sleep, having the dream and waking up with a muffled scream all happened within 1 hour. I must say I was disappointed that I had only slept for an hour, but surprisingly, the tiredness seems to have disappeared for the time being.

And tonight, I'm going to scare my sister with the story.


  1. Your sister needs to have her damn hair pulled out of her head, that silly girl ;)

    I used to have that feeling when I was child and yes, it is very scary. I had a nightmare last night, thankfully I woke up out of it.

    Power naps are always best and trust me, even when you're tired and you don't feel at all like taking one you should just close your eyes and let your imagination do the talking, after 30mins of that you feel far more recharged.

  2. I love nap time. For some reason I have found it sometimes easier to take short naps in the daytime than get to sleep at night, but I think that something to do with putting pressure on myself to get to sleep at night, whereas in the daytime I feel it doesn't matter if I sleep or not, I just want to shut my eyes.

    It does sound like you are chronically tired/sleep deprived, I know the feeling, and the body takes over and says "no, you're not moving!". Sometimes I'm more tired after good rest and I think that's something to do with no longer running an adrenylin. So you give your body a bit of a rest, but not quite enough, which is probably what happened to you last weekend.

    This morning I'm a bit hungover so I'd love a nap right now!

  3. orhan: I just reread my post and I understand why you said my sister needs her hair pulled out. It's very vague, and I feel like an idiot for not putting it clearly, but I actually dreamt about her! Right before that being pinned down feeling :) And just because you are advocating power naps, I shall try them on Monday :)

    Aunty: Yeah, it's just like you give your body a little bit and there it goes demanding for more and more. I used to be able to nap so well in the afternoons, but now I really can't. People say that after you eat Indian food you can sleep really well, but even that doesn't work.

  4. Oooo, that nightmare/daymare has happened to me too! Feels very scary not being able to wake up fully.

    I thought it was caused by going to sleep before my tummy got the chance to digest a meal fully.

  5. Yeah, it is indeed pretty scary. I like your idea about how it happens, though.. :)

  6. My mom used to trick me with naps. She'd say I didn't have to sleep, I just had to pick one toy and stay on the bed with it, and not get out of the bed for any reason.

    I was usually out in about 15 minutes.

    I've heard of sleep paralysis as an explanation for the UFO abduction phenomenon. I just googled it and the symptons are exactly as you described.

  7. I think i read about this somewhere, the sleep paralysis thingy apparently evolved to prevent our arboreal ancestors from falling out of trees while asleep.
    You make it sound so cool, you definitely have a talent for doing this, power-cuts and now sleep paralysis, what's next you going to make me fall in love with exams too?

  8. Travis: It's weird how we take all those nap times available for granted when we're kids, and then as adults we complain that we have no time to sleep. If I ever have kids, I'm going to tell them THE TRUTH on why they need to sleep as much as possible when they're young and not those half truths that I never bought! As for the alien abduction part, that's even more frightening than ghosts!

    kartik: Actually, that makes lots of sense... it explains the phenomena where you feel like you're gonna fall off the bed, especially if you're the kind of person who always finds themselves precariously close to the edge when sleeping. And honestly, I'm very flattered that you think I make it cool. Obviously that was never the original intention. I've long left the exam world, but do have intentions to return to it in the not so near future... so, we'll see ;)


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