Musings: Time Changes And Bad Dreams

I’m no fan of Daylight Saving; anything that negatively affects my sleep like this scheme is guaranteed to earn my ire. While I lay awake in bed last night, I wrote this post. After all, if I can’t sleep, why not create?

After “springing forward” involuntarily (does this not evoke an image of being catapulted ahead, perhaps into something unpleasant?) in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I spent the entirety of the day with the knowledge that I’d been – arbitrarily, capriciously, and cruelly – deprived of an hour of time. An hour that could have been spent writing, learning, watching, or napping. I wish I’d had the nap, because I ended up (surprise, surprise) having a terrible night’s sleep last night, the first night after DST began.

Yes, I went to sleep, but I didn’t stay asleep. And I had an unpleasantly realistic dream that caused me to wake up feeling exactly the way it would have if the scenario had occurred in real life: stressed. In the light of day, it was an annoyingly pedestrian dream, involving events that could actually happen. Who wants dreams like that?

I awake from the dream as if swimming up through water: I breach the surface, abruptly, disoriented. The memory of the dream is strong, my mind still sorting out the details, working on a solution. I think I see yellow lights in the darkness, flashing rapidly; I blink hard and wonder why I’m imagining them (are my eyes playing tricks?), then realize that they are real. The lights, reflecting off a window, go dark.

The dream slowly begins to fade, at first becoming blurry around the edges: images dissolving, leaving a feeling that I was forgetting something important. Something unfinished, unsolved. But what? Within minutes, the feelings that had been so strong while I was in the dream also begin to dim, softening.

But sleep eludes. Even though I know I should be sleeping, I am, instead, writing. I’m not even sleepy – for hours. But, like an evil spell, when it’s finally time to get up and begin the day, I find myself extremely sleepy. And, frustratingly, it is too late to meet up with Hypnos again.

If you’re also dealing with the effects of DST-induced circadian disruption, the tips in articles like this one from the Sleep Foundation may be helpful. I find the article’s statement that “some studies have suggested the human body never fully acclimates to DST…circadian misalignment may become a chronic or permanent condition” rather alarming.

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