Tag Archives: sleep

September Column Michiana House & Home Magazine : A Wake-up Call

By the time I was 18-years-old, I had mastered most of the fundamental life skills one needs in order to function as an independent adult. I could attend to my daily grooming, read, do basic math, cook a few simple meals, write a check and drive a car. However, despite being old enough to vote, serve in the military, attend college, and rent an apartment I could not make a bed or operate an alarm clock.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No, this isn’t me, but she kinda, sorta looks like me! 

Most people find this factoid hard to believe but it’s true. I was 18 before I learned how to make a bed or to use an AM/FM clock radio. Now before you get the wrong idea, it wasn’t a goal or anything and I’m pretty sure there is no award for this level of underachievement, but between you, me and the lamp post, there is nothing that can’t be avoided if you really put your mind to it!

I place the blame for my deficiency squarely on my mother’s shoulders. It’s her fault that I was incapable of doing such menial labor. After all, she was the one who came into my bedroom each morning with a glass of apple juice, a multivitamin and a smile and gently rub my back until I woke up. (She did the same thing with my father, but he drank orange juice.) After I finished my juice, I padded down the hall to the bathroom and by the time I returned, the bed was already made and my clothes were laid out. (I wore a uniform to school so the fashion options were limited.) I ask you, who would ever need to set an alarm or fold a hospital corner with that kind of wake up call?

Now I suppose that some people would say I was spoiled, but I disagree. My mother systematically stunted my growth by not insisting that I wake up to a series of irritating beeps or forcing me to straighten my sheets with military precision. She’s responsible for the fact that when I moved into my first apartment, my bed didn’t get made for three months. In my defense, I kept going to the restroom, but nothing happened! Naturally, I assumed the beverage service would cease (unless she had plans to creep into my new place each day) but I hadn’t realized that without her presence and morning ritual, I would not only be living in a pigpen but I would be chronically late for everything.

It took several months, but I eventually learned to tuck the bedspread under the pillows and double check the alarm each night. Still, I remain bitter about the whole experience. Parents are supposed to prepare their children for a life where no one holds their hands or rubs their back. Unfortunately my mother failed where that was concerned. Her gentle gestures did not prepare me for life without her, but caused me to realize how I’d taken them for granted when she was here…

And how much I would miss them when she was gone.

 

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Tingle Tuesday: A “Lucid” Realization

Lucid Dreams        When I first “discovered” the ASMR community, I was amazed to learn that there were so many people in this world who all experienced the same feeling I did…but who all thought that they were unique somehow. See, over the years I have suffered from a number of issues, but being unique is not one of them. I have to be the only Tingle Head out there who honestly thought that everyone probably did this, just no one was talking about it. As I began researching this book, I was convinced that I was going to stumble upon some research somewhere that would call ASMR something completely different and explain the whole thing once and for all.

Who knew? Turns out I am on the cutting edge of something for once in my life! LOL

However, I have come across something that I do experience and that has come as a complete shock to me. The Lucid Dream experience. Basically, the lucid dream is a dream that you are aware of and, in some cases, can control. Prior to learning about this phenomenon (and its connection to ASMR) I thought that my ability to control some of my dreams was a super power left over from my days as a Wonder Twin (long story…but trust me). My family were impressed when I would tell them that I riddled out an answer to some crazy problem in my sleep or had encounters with dead relatives in which they explained things that I needed to know. The running joke around here is that I need to dream of numbers so that we can play them and win the lottery. Sadly…I don’t dream in math.

A lot of my recent lucid dreams have to do with my mother. My mom died 6 years ago and as you can imagine, this was devastating to me. A few months after her passing, I was driving her van when it began to rain and it suddenly occurred to me that I did not know how to operate the windshield washers on the vehicle. I tried everything that I did on my other car, but to no avail. I went to sleep that night and during my dreams, I was riding in the car with my mom when she made the car do the very thing that I couldn’t figure out.

“Hey, how did you do that?” I asked.

She looked amused. “You mean I never showed you that?”

“No!” I replied.

While I didn’t see exactly what she did, I saw where she moved her hand and the next day while taking my son to school. I reached around and found the mechanism that operated this feature.

“Hey, how did you do that?” he asked.

“Do what?” I asked, knowing full well what he meant.

“Make the windshield washers work,” he said.

I shrugged. “Oh that….well, grandma showed me what to do last night.”

The boy looked at me like I had lost my mind. “Um Mom…grandma died.”

“Yes, I know that,” I told him.

“So how could she show you anything?”

I shrugged again and turned on the turn signal. “She did it in a dream I had last night and I asked her about it.”

While I would like to believe that what I experienced was something “transcendent,” all evidence suggests that it was a lucid dream, one in which I was able to kick around my problem, infuse the person who bequeathed me the car, and find the answer. I seem to know when I am dreaming more than a lot of people. I am aware that I dream in color. I have been known to stop nightmares in their track and I have had conversations with my parents that have resulted in a very real physical feeling when I wake up. I can’t figure out if I am excited by this discovery…or a little bummed out.

That’s one of the problems with research. Sometimes you find out things that you would rather not know and in the course of piecing this all together, the things I thought were unique are fairly normal and the things that I thought that were normal are actually kind of unusual.

So the question becomes…how many of you are lucid dreamers and what are some of your more unusual experiences with this phenomenon?

-J

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