Insomnia

In the world of microsleep, there is a realm of untapped ideas. A dream world of unlimited creativity and endless visions. Dealing with bouts of insomnia for the last few years has exposed me to this hidden and seldom visited realm. On occasion I may have been without sleep for two to three days. Having to take care of day to day activities and the daily stresses of life, I find that adrenaline takes over and I am able to complete tasks even when running on virtually an empty tank of energy completely drained and in desperate need of sleep. Without any complete scientific information and solely based off my own self observations, I have come to believe that the mind and body go into automatic pilot mode and everything becomes surreal. It’s like you’re moving without knowing you’re moving. For example, the phone may ring and I answer it without even knowing I had picked up the phone to answer it in the first place, or completing a task and minutes later not remembering I had completed said task. It’s as if the mind becomes super focused at intervals throughout the day depending on what I’m doing at the moment. Now here is where things get really interesting. During these periods, if I didn’t stay occupied, I would fall into periods or segments of microsleep. Microsleep is an involuntary action of unconsciousness (sleep), for a very brief period of time, usually several seconds, due to sleep deprivation. It was in this state that I had the most vivid dreams and ideas flowing through my mind. Though very brief, in an analogy, I think it could be compared to something very small but with high potency. Very vivid, very colorful, directly in your face like an action packed 3D movie.

The drawbacks of this wonderful dream state are obviously the sleep deprivation, the risks associated with microsleep, especially for people who operate heavy machinery, and those that spend large amounts of time behind the wheel. The thing is, when you go into microsleep, most times you’re not aware that your eyes have been closed for several seconds, or that you have actually slept for several seconds. I have been embarrassed on more than one occasion by someone waking me up, only to tell me that I had been snoring. Another issue with these dreams and visions is that as beautiful as they are, they are hard to capture and be retained in my memory. As hard as I had tried, I never could remember all or most of these vivid dreams; usually just a fraction of them could be retained. Nonetheless, vivid, prolific, creative, and colorful they are. I found that usually after two to three days without rest, on that second or third night, I would get at least six to seven hours of deep sleep. On other nights without the bouts of insomnia, I would and can have vivid dreams, but not nearly as vivid as my dreams during microsleep. I attribute these dreams during my normal sleeping patterns to REM sleep. In conclusion, I would say that the trade-off of insomnia and sleep deprivation, for an extremely vivid dream world with an ethereal undertone, is totally subjective. As for me, I’m still pondering this very question as I write. Insomnia is not pleasant, but just a glimpse into that heavenly dream world is more than inviting to this author.