10 December 2008


My dad has a host of sleeping troubles. Aside from the fact that he suffers from chronic pain, he is a naturally light sleeper. Also. He suffers from Narcolepsy (I'm about to talk about the symptoms, so if you want to follow the link, it might be easier to follow along). The things, specifically, that plague him are sleep paralysis and excessive daytime sleepiness.
His mom (my grandmother) suffers from Narcolepsy (she has some sort of speed prescribed to her as a treatment option). I think that at least three, if not all four of his sisters suffer from some level of the disorder.
While I'm loathe to draw any comparisons between myself and any Rob Schneider movie, I will say that I have a tendency to maybe fall asleep if I'm bored or understimulated at all, and it's maybe possible that I HAVE to take NoDoz in order to drive on long trips, because I'm afraid that if I don't I'll fall asleep at the wheel and die. And I promise you I'll fall asleep in class. That is a fact. And sleep paralysis? It's the most horrible feeling in the world. The first time it happened, I was in 18 years old, in Spain. I had taken a siesta, and I woke up, only...I couldn't move my body. I couldn't open my eyes, I couldn't scream. I could hear my roommate in bed next to me, on the phone. I was vividly, acutely, awake and conscious and aware of my surroundings. And I couldn't...I just couldn't do anything. I thought I'd had a stroke, or that I was dying, or Jesus was I dead? It was awful. Then, just like that, it was over. Now that I know what it is, it's less alarming, but when it happens (generally in times of high stress), it's never pleasant. Oh, and another listed symptom? Hallucinations. Here's the thing about that. I don't have I'm-awake-and-I-see-little-monsters hallucinations, but on the border between being asleep and being awake, my dream will sometimes sort of, come with me when I wake up. I'll wake up completely still in my dream setting. It's hard to explain, but Paris shared a room with me for 3 years, and she can tell you that sometimes I said some really weird shit.
Laura and Duncan (my two adult siblings) both suffer some range of symptoms as well.


That was all foreshadowing.

Gabriel is a crappy sleeper. Sometimes he just wakes up screaming, for no reason. Sometimes he wakes up babbling nonsense, angry with me for not understanding what he's saying. Well. Last night he woke up in tears, babbling about me not giving him a rocket ship and could he please just have it, and I realized something important. The kid's asleep. And I should be a WAY more understanding mother, considering. So I actually got out of bed and held him and helped him wake up and fall back asleep. And he was fine for the rest of the night.

Just like that.


  1. I'm convinced my grandmother had narcolepsy. Everyone else just blamed it on old age. But I can remember her doing it ever since I can remember anything about her at all, and she was only in her 50's when I was born. We'd be sitting there at the table talking or eating and she'd just stop talking and I'd look over at her and she'd be asleep, completely upright, usually with a cigarette in her hand. I was always afraid she'd burn herself up like that.
    Sleepwalking also runs in my family. I haven't done it that I'm aware of, but I have severe insomnia, and I'm afraid to take anything like ambien because it might cause the sleepwalking to come out.

  2. Sprucing up the place? Can you fix the margins a tad? There's all that wasted space on the sides, making your content narrow and long. Just my 2 bits

  3. I have those shoes!
    Sorry, randomness...nothing to do with the blog...

  4. My dad has narcolepsy -- and despite our numerous inquiries, they have never clarified if it is hereditary...

    I'd be interested to know if any drs have confirmed this for you --

  5. Anon: I've actually never seen a doctor about it. I was going based on the fact that three generations of people have it. My grandma, my dad and his siblings, and a large percentage of their kids (my cousins)

  6. I have sleeping problems, too, but nothing like that. Its from an extra piece of brain that causes the muscles in my arms and legs to move (sometimes violently) while I'm sleeping.

    As I'm sure you know, the lack of sleep gets really old after a while.

  7. Sleep problems suck! Gabriel might just be going through a phase, though. My son had a very short phase around four where he had night terrors and walked around when he was obviously asleep. He grew out of it, luckily.

    Here's the link for the pretender post at my girl Pam's blog where she let her have it. You could click on her name to get to her blog, but I refused to give her any attention for being such a scumbag.


  8. You should have just given him his rocket ship. Jeez.

    Sleeping in class is a definite problem. I tried a couple of science classes in college. They were both in Nat Sci hall, which at least in the 1990s was an ugly old lecture hall with the most uncomfortable, hard wooden chairs in the Universe. That I regularly fell asleep in.

  9. omg. Never knew there was a thing called sleep paralysis....I DO THAT...I thought I was just crazy
    its so scarey
    am i part of your family? I have all these symptoms too...
    new name: Katie Johnston

  10. Sleep paralysis? That's downright scary!

    I feel for Gabey. My son walked in his sleep for about a year, in between four and five. The first time it really freaked me out. I thought he was awake.

  11. I've had mild sleep paralysis a couple times. Very mild, it is creepy. Gabe is 4, he could just be going through a stage. Lil moonspun used to sleep great, then slept walked for a while, sometimes wakes up and now sleeps like the dead.
    Homeopathic meds are great for sleep issues.
    I'd get yourself diagnosed, though....couldn't hurt.

  12. I've never heard of sleep paralysis before...freaky.