REM

Had a particularly interesting occurrence today.

After many consecutive nights of sleeping at 3-4am and waking at no less than noon, this morning I woke up especially early to go to a friend’s place and partake in the watching of some mutual friends as they competed in an international powerlifting competition.

Unfortunately for the lovely crowd that were unlucky enough to be in my company today, I was in a particularly withdrawn and introverted mood. I have been for a while for many personal reasons, and I know from experience that sudden upsets in my regular sleep pattern is a major trigger for such a low mood. So this morning I was particularly quiet – I doubt I spoke more than a hundred words over the 4 hours I was present.

Upon returning home in a state that can be described as akin to jetlag, I made myself a strong cup of tea and planned to take a nap before heading out for the evening to the theatre (Telling Tales by Stephen Fry). As silly as this may sound, I had done this many times before and with much success. During this process the need to sleep becomes so overwhelming that at some point you will inevitably drift off into restorative REM, but the caffeine in your system will quickly yank you awake within moments and thus render you refreshed. It is essentially the most efficient way to take a power nap. These power naps rarely take longer than 20 minutes to accomplish, not to mention the caffeine already in your system serves to amplify the sudden effect of feeling rested and awake.

However today I was having trouble. The cup of tea I made was particularly strong, and I found myself drifting but very aware of myself progressing through the stages of drifting off into REM sleep. I was very aware of everything and especially aware of how, frustratingly, my body was still tired and pounding from being sleep deprived. Every pulse felt like sludge making its way painstakingly through my veins. Then it happened – at one point I felt myself drift off and almost instantly felt my pulse return to a markedly calmer pace and felt my whole body instantly relax. I conclude that I must have had the most efficient nap ever possible – I theorize that I hit REM for half a second and then came straight out of it. The odd thing was – I was totally aware of everything as it happened. The moment that it happened felt like the ebb and flow of the sea – one massive dip in energy levels and then uplifting relaxation a moment after. It was utterly extraordinary. Indeed I felt refreshed and relaxed, as if I had taken a full 20 minute power nap.

It was very much like slipping into a self-induced lucid dream. Years ago (much to the disbelief of some people I’ve told) I used to dabble in lucid dream experimentation. I got quite good an inducing lucid dreams at will, I think my record was about 3-4 nights in a row. So whatever mental capacity allows me to lucid dream must be linked to how I could be so fully aware of this experience I had today.

I thought it was interesting – even though at the end of the day it was just me taking a nap.

P.S: The show was lovely. Fascinating, unique, uplifting, and inspiring. Stephen is a great storyteller.

P.P.S: Was listening to Breaking Benjamin’s We Are Not Alone album while writing this. Really enjoyed it.

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