Thursday, January 24, 2013

Turn down the contrast

  I have learned that sleep issues and insomnia are a symptom of Aspergers.  I have always had sleep patterns that are unusual.  I can remember when I was about 4 being awake most of the night and contemplating whether or not sleep was something I would ever do.  I was awake (and stimming) that much.

   My mother had an unusual sleep schedule.  She would stay up past midnight and set her alarm to go off at around 4:30am.  Then she would hit snooze repeatedly for the next 2 hours.  I asked her why she did that once.  She told me that if she ever fell into a "dead sleep" she did not feel well.

  I believe I have the same issue.  There is 3 types of sleep I go through.

Light sleep:  This is when I barely sleep at all.  It can be because I am stressed out but more likely a major change in my routine is incoming (like having to go to bed and get up 3 hours earlier)  I sleep lightly for an hour then wake up feeling like I was hit by a bus,  more tired than when I went to bed.  I cannot sleep again regardless of how exhausted I may be.  I have taken up the silva method and meditation but neither of those help much in this scenario other to relieve the stress and anxiety caused by not sleeping.  I go through the day very groggy and with low energy.  Not really irritable or depressed, just tired.

"Normal" sleep:  My normal is similar to the situation my mother set up for herself.  I awaken from a good deep sleep after about 4 or 5 hours and doze lightly for the next 2 or 3, being asleep half the time.  I have a decent chance of remembering my dreams during the first phase and an excellent chance of remembering during the 2nd half.  My moods and senses are what I consider to be normal.

"Dead" sleep:  I fall into a dead, deep sleep and do not awaken for at least 7 hours.  Sleep experts would tout this as an excellent nights rest.  I call it a disaster in the making.  My head hurts and feels heavy.  My mood is very irritable.  I am very disoriented and easily confused.  Aspie deficits manifest in exaggerated ways.  I can't understand what people are saying.  Sounds are loud and painful.  Right now I feel the vibration of my eardrums with every stroke of the keys.  If you have ever turned the contrast on your TV too high, that is what the world looks like to me.  Its as if there is a distortion field between my eyes and what I am looking at.  Meltdowns are rare in my 30s, but if its going to happen this is when.  If I sleep for 9+ hours in this manner the results are a call off from work and a lost day.

This morning is a "dead" sleep morning, 7 hours.  A few hours ago I was too disoriented to make this post.  I'll manage.

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