Posts Tagged ‘hypersomnia’


July 25, 2008

Sleep is becoming more of a chore these days as I freely sample sleep disorders like hors d’oeuvres at a fully staffed buffet. On introspection, I realize this began in earnest – surprise, surprise – after the midnight screening of The Dark Knight. I couldn’t sleep afterwards, and still showed up for work b4 9am the next morning. Because of a friend’s birthday party, I didn’t get home that night ‘til 4am, yet I was wide awake at 9am on Saturday, unable to sleep again.

That night I only managed another 5 hours, much to my chagrin, meaning 10 hours of sleep in the last 84. Then, to mix things up, Monday thru Friday, I found myself unable to wake up and rise, a condition mirroring hypersomnia, which can arise from clinical depression.

I’ve never been the best sleeper – despite what people tell me – and I find myself juggling mild forms of insomnia, hypnagogic terrors, and hypersomnia – none big deals in and of themselves, but can be a real bitch when chucked together during a working week. It’s becoming a real pain-in-the-ass, but at least the hypnagogic terrors are not as bad as I’ve experienced. I’ve always wanted to try to write such a condition into a character in a script, but while the sensation is novel (and literally breathtaking) it doesn’t lend itself well to the visual medium without becoming hokey or being really far-out and off-the-wall ala Terry Gilliam (and I’m, sadly, no Terry Gilliam).

For the uninitiated, hypnagogic terrors are – at least in my case – an irrational but overwhelming fear that seizes you during hynagogia, which is the phase between sleep and wakefulness. So, on occasion, I’m unable to fall asleep because of a powerful fear, which arises only on the very brink of falling asleep, that I will never be able to wake again. No amount of logical argument dispels this, as it occurs at a time when one isn’t really in a thinking mode. If I can’t kick it, I might as well exploit it in a script, but how dramatize something so incredibly palpable and powerful yet happens only in the head?