Monday, November 13, 2006


So I got to the dining hall around 7, hung around for several minutes, and it didn't open. I started wondering if it was actually Sunday instead of Monday (and therefore the dining hall would be closed), and couldn't for the life of me piece together even a sketchy timeline of my weekend to determine what day it was.
So I started walking back across the Porter Quad. A guy got out of a car and started walking in the same direction as me. I asked him, "Excuse me. Do you know what day it is? Sunday or Monday?" and he replied "Monday."

I was dazedly still walking in the same direction as he was, away from the dining hall and back towards my apartment. I think he asked me "Why?" as in 'how the hell could I not know what day it was?' I think I said, "I've been up all night." He said, "Me too. I have a midterm right now and I was studying." I don't think I said anything, just kept walking.

"Where you headed?" I think he asked. I replied, "I dunno." He responded, "That's not good," so I said something like "Maybe I'll go back to bed." He gave me a really funny look but just said, "That's probably a good idea."

Our paths parted then and I decided that, hell, I was halfway to the dining hall already, so I might as well just turn around and go back and have breakfast. So I starting walking back down. Then I realized that he must've thought I was some crazy person who had been wandering around campus in the rain all night (my hair was still wet from my shower) or some meth addict coming off a week-long high or something. I started giggling to myself.

The dining hall finally opened more than a quarter after seven. I had to sit in the Porter mailroom with a few other desperate tired and hungry looking students for over ten minutes. Breakfast was nothing special and rather anti-climactic.

My head aches and I'm feeling a strong sense of disorientation. Seems like the past week is one big blur. The only thing reassuring me that it is Monday is the clock on my computer. I better try to get some sleep. I've been awake for such a long time.



At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Jacob said...

My instructions to you: sleep. Sleep your ass off. It sounds to me like you're experiencing micro-narcoleptic episodes. Basically, scientists have discovered that your brain really really needs sleep (not just as a nicety), and if you don't get enough of it at night when you're supposed to be snoozing, your brain will try to make up for it by randomly shutting down various centers in your brain for a few microseconds during the day. The result is exactly what you're describing: confusion, lapses of time, inability to think clearly, etc. It can be quite dangerous, actually, if you're doing something like driving. Plus, they now know that when you're asleep is when your brain goes through new things that you've learned, processes them, and stores them in memory, but if you don't give yourself enough time to do that, you're going to find it much harder to learn.

In summary: sleep.

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous janaaaa! said...

Get some sleep woman! Take two to four Benadryl, give it half an hour to an hour and then you'll crash. It'll be good. That's what my psychiatrist was doing with me since my insomnia is beyond crazy right now. I'm too wired to ever go to sleep and stay that way - even the four Benadryl would only keep me asleep for two hours at most. Bastard brain.

But seriously, try the Benadryl. If nothing else, you'll get a good nap in which might help you get back in the routine of sleeping.

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Marie said...

Jacob: I figured it was something like that. Just didn't know the official 6-syllable word for it. :) Thanks for the luck; I finally made some progress on the first paper!

Smirkie-poo: I don't gots no Benadryl. Perhaps I'll get myself a caffeine regimen like yours and get the insomnia for keeps. But seriously I'm gonna try to get back on a reasonable (well, for a college student) sleep schedule.

At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Jacob said...

I should mention that, although Benedryl works, and I have used it on occasion to sleep if I really can't do it on my own (thankfully something I don't have a problem with anymore except in a blue moon), it's really not idea to use it for falling asleep. For one thing, it's primarily an antihistamine; although it also makes people drowsy, its primary purpose is allergy relief, so you're bathing your body in chemicals that it doesn't need, which is never a good thing. Secondly, if you take drugs too often to help yourself fall asleep, you can start to screw up your brain's natural mechanisms for falling asleep, which will make it only harder in the long run when you don't have Benedryl around. Here are some good tips, however, for falling asleep in general:

1. Beds are made for two things only: sleeping and sex. If you ever have even the slightest hard time falling alseep, do not do anything else in them. Really. Don't read, type on your laptop, watch movies, study, whatever, either in bed, on bed, next to your bed, while thinking about your bed, or while having a sexual fantasy about two beds going at it all night long. Anything other than sex and sleeping will train your brain that the bed is for doing awake kinds of activities (yes, sex is usually done while awake, but it doesn't count).

2. Don't think about it. The best way to keep yourself awake is to think about falling asleep. Well, that's not quite true. Worrying about falling asleep is even better. If you find yourself lying awake, get up and go do something productive instead of worrying about it (seriously). Remember that beds are for sleeping, not for thinking about sleeping. If you're into a little brainfuck, try this one: next time you lay down, try as hard as you can to focus on worrying about falling asleep. Again, seriously. The second you find your mind wandering, make sure you try as hard as you can to worry. Don't try to push it away, embrace it. I dare you. You might be surprised what happens.

3. Fairly obvious, but make sure you're comfortable. Add soothing sounds, turn on a light if you're uncomfortable in the dark, tell your neighbors to shut up if they're blasting Aerosmith at 2 in the morning and screaming about their "awesome bong," put on classical music or something else that you find relaxing personally, whatever. Or baseball. Baseball always makes me fall asleep, so you might have similar luck with that.

Good luck! And remember, this is probably the most important part: beds are for sleeping and sex only.

At 6:47 AM, Anonymous janaaaa! said...

Haha, I love people like Jacob who are against medication even if it will provide some (much needed) relief. It's not meant to be used as a longterm thing, anyone with half a brain knows that. But to try to coerce your body into sleep when it hasn't been working is not going to be productive even with the best intentions. Get some immediate reilef with the Benadryl and your body will relearn how to sleep. Sleep is trainable, so I've heard.

Need me to drive on over and get you some? I'm more than willing to if you have the need. I can even provide some laughter until I get annoying and then you will be so bored with me you'll fall asleep. Hey, either way it's a win-win. :) Feel better! Call me if you need me. I lubbers you! SISTER POWER FOREVER! Hahaha, ok I'm going to work now. Bye bye!

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Marie said...

Dude, how'd you know about my neighbors and their awesome bong?!

And, sorry, but the way my tiny bedroom is situated means that my bed doubles as a couch. I watch movies while lounging on it, play video games while sitting on it, crochet while I'm chillin' on it, etc. But basically the whole sleeping thing is because my usual patterns have been thrown off by my illness. Luckily, now that I'm feeling much better, things should be getting back to normal. And, if I still end up sleeping from 4 am to 12 pm, it'll still be manageable, since my earliest class this quarter is as 2 pm. The main little problem with that schedule is food, since dining halls are only open 7-midnight, but that ain't a big thing.

At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Jacob said...

Jana: Dude. You obviously have no clue who I am (which goes for me to you as well). I, as a matter of fact, take medication every day for my allergies, will not hesitate to take Tylenol if I have a headache, get the flu shot to avoid getting sick, and will take prescription steroids to kick a particularly bad flu in the ass. Thanks for the laughter, though. It always makes me giddy.

Marie: Good thing you don't have trouble sleeping normally then, because what you've just told me is exactly what could make someone have trouble falling asleep. Not that you have much control over it (dorm rooms suck), but true anyway for people who have trouble falling asleep normally. Have you thought about buying a small folding chair or something? Just a thought.


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