23 July 2008

Sleep disorders

I have an alarm clock disorder. The beeping sound instills in me a fear of The Jesus, and gets my heart fluttering in my throat and my adrenaline pumping more than any car accident or natural disaster or any number of other potentially life altering events I've managed to live through WITHOUT FREAKING OUT. My current theory is that alarm clocks remind me of smoke alarms, etc., and send my brain into hyper-defense mode, although in all fairness it could just be that I just abhor waking up in the morning.
So what's my coping mechanism? I'll tell you right now it's not something logical like waking up to music. No my friends, every morning I wake up 1-3 minutes before my alarm is supposed to go off, and circumvent the panic attack. Obviously, my internal clock is finely tuned, because I sleep soundly up unto this point, and I do set my alarm clock for different times on different days, etc. Obviously, my brain needs constant reinforcement, because if I don't set my alarm, then I don't wake up.
When I do actually wake up to my alarm clock, it's under the following circumstances: I am under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol that have rendered my Crazy inoperable, OR I am extremely overtired and operating on NOT ENOUGH SLEEP. And when I wake up in that dreaded state, my blood is pumping, ready for fight or flight, and I'm far too startled and unsettled to go back to sleep, or hit snooze, or any of that other stuff that I've heard tell that people do. I don't make time in my morning for hitting snooze, because I don't.
Consider that foreshadowing.

Last night, after work, I went with my sister, nephews, mom, youngest brother, and 5-year-old cousin to the Boardwalk for 1907 night, which is when it's only 1 ticket per ride, and hot dogs and soda are just 75 cents. We had a really great time. I haven't been to The Boardwalk in at least 8 years. I took Gabriel on the log ride and he didn't flip out, and took him on a bunch of kiddie rides that he LOVED (pictures to follow). We walked along the levy path from my sister's house (about 25 minutes when you're walking with two 5-year-olds), and when it was all said and done, we didn't get back to her house until almost ten, and I didn't get Gabriel in bed until 10:15, and didn't get myself into bed until almost 11. 11 is not that late, even for me, the girl who really loves going to bed at 9:30 during the week. But I had a really long, sleep deprived weekend, and I've been running on empty for awhile now. I. Passed. Out.

My deep, unshakeable sleep led to the following: My first conscious moment this morning was my alarm going off 36 minutes later than planned. And I was already wearing my pants and bra. This means that I woke up this morning, got HALFWAY dressed, and crawled back into bed, all the while not turning off my alarm clock. I have no memory of that.

I also learned the following things:
1. My snooze is 9 minutes long.
2. Gabriel will never wake up to an alarm clock, even one that's been going off every 9 minutes for the better part of an hour.
3. Leaving late and getting stuck in the morning traffic? Sucks balls.
4. I AM SO GLAD THAT I DON'T NORMALLY WAKE UP TO MY ALARM CLOCK. All of my internal mechanisms have been set to Insane all morning. I'm typing at something like 110 wpm right now.


  1. Lol I can't believe you got dressed without being awake. That is awesome.

    One morning I woke up and JJ asked me if I was mad at him. I was like, "Umm, no. Why?" He told me that I had been punching him and swearing at him all night in my sleep. Huh. I felt bad. But then I realized I cannot be held responsible for what I do when I am sleeping. So then I didn't feel bad.

  2. Lol. I have that same alarm clock dread programmed into me. Maybe you could try using a less shrill alarm device. I can't use my clock radio alarm because it scares the bejesus outta me; so I use my cell instead.

  3. dude. 1907 night used to be coined 50 cent night. when drinks & hot dogs were only 50 cents. stupid inflation.

  4. I actually remember when it was 10 cent night, and how mad we all were when it became 25 cent night. It went to 50 cents when we were in junior high I think.

  5. The special internal clock only works for me sometimes... generally in a not very accurate way -- as in when I need to get up early OR ELSE and then I wake up over 1/2 hour before I should -- or just can't sleep the night before.

    That said, I refuse to wake up to the beep, I use the radio setting.

    The radio lasts for two hours before it gives up... and when I am very tired (most days lately for no good reason), that means I wake up 10 seconds after the two hours is up.

    For the record, though, when I used to use the beep, I could transform it easily into a train whistle and never wake up, just dream about the trains.

  6. I hate to admit, my alarm clock is only the radio because when it would be the "beep beep beep" really loud I would panic too. Scary.

  7. Duuuuude! I want some'a what you and Aub take. I snooze forever and HATE IT! Never once in my life have I woken up when the damn thing goes off. Me right now? Oh I took 2 Tylenol PMs an hour ago and am not sleepy. So I'll sleep in but not really sleep as my damn phone goes off every 7 minutes. I really do hate it

  8. Hi Grace!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I'm still recovering from that conference. I was so happy that you turned around and told me that you were a librarian---that was one of my goals for the conference: meet librarians. I met two!

    I installed an alarm clock program on my iMac that uses playlists from iTunes as waker-uppers. Unfortunately, sometimes I just end up lying in bed listening to music.