Sunday, September 11, 2005

I feel spectacularly bad this morning. I came home exhausted from the enjoyable, though long, Sonoma County Book Festival, so beat I could have and probably should have gone to sleep at seven p.m. I made it to bed at 9:30p.m. and then proceeded to have one of those horrible nights where I COULD NOT FALL ASLEEP. Or rather, if I did, it didn't seem as if I was asleep because I was dreaming so much. And it seemed as though I dreamed all night.

When you dream, you aren't resting all that much. Not the kind of restful sleep in which your little battered and abused bodily fibers are getting the spa treatment, your cells marching into their regenerators, getting new coats of amino acids, your DNA chain-links repaired. Dream sleep--REM sleep--is a specific kind of sleep, and anyone who is aware of their nighttime shenanigans, I think, will have noticed that the more you dream, the less you rest. I'm bothered by a function in myself, natural apparently, since we all seem to do it, that science hasn't yet been able to understand. They can hook people up to electrodes and have them write down their dreams, but they can't tell us why we dream, what biological function actually produces dreams (is it a hormone reaction? A chemical?). Some of the great philosophers believed that to become evolved we should stop ourselves from dreaming. And after a night like last night, I tend to agree.

I don't know if this strange aggregation of dreams last night that have left me today feeling as though I never slept at all, are a result of the fact that I'm writing about characters who dream in unusual ways, or if it was just something I ate.

Still, a night of bad sleep for me is worse than the worst hangover.

So please, keep your voice down...



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