I am bone-numbingly, skip-dinner and collapse into bed tired. This is the result of a particularly bad few weeks of sleep.
I have parasomnia. Now, I’ve had insomnia (or as I think of it “real insomnia”) before. It’s draining, exhausting, and more than a little weird. It’s different to parasomnia.
Parasomnia isn’t defined by a lack of sleep. Oh no, you sleep alright. The problem is sleep-walking and sleep-talking or, in my case, sleep-screaming. By this I don’t mean the story everyone can tell of that one time they went sleep walking or the time they mumbled that hilariously random thing in their sleep. This doesn’t happen once or twice a year, not even once or twice a month. Instead, it’s multiple times a week, sometimes multiple times a night.
It must be eerie to wake up to someone, eyes wide and vacant, opening your door and silently crossing the room to stand at your bedroom window.
It’s also inexplicably bizarre to discover that during the night you have retrieved a brown texta (from where? You don’t own any textas. In fact, you live in a house positively bereft of textas) and drawn all over the bed with it; long, thin scribbled lines on the pale green sheets.
I can’t speak for the people unfortunate enough to share a home with a parasomniac, but I imagine it’s downright creepy. Whilst Miss Parasomnia is thrashing about in her sleep, screaming her head off at whatever horror she’s witnessing in dreamland, her poor housemates are sitting bolt upright in bed, heart pounding, wondering when the deranged murderer who has clearly broken into the house is coming for them.
Not that Miss Parasomnia gets to sleep through the screaming. No, she also sits bolt upright, heart pounding, trying to sort out the mess of vivid awfulness that was her dream as it lingers, still fresh in her mind.
This happens again and again and again and again and again and… Until you all awake to the nasty chirping of alarms, warily facing off over morning coffees. There’s no need to ask how the other slept when it can be clearly seen in the purple, lined bags beneath their eyes.