I woke up at 10:30 this morning, yet I hardly feel rested. Admittedly, it's been a hectic few weeks. Yesterday, Max and I said good bye to our 16th visitor since July. We also just returned from another whirlwind trip. And even though I paced myself like a responsible adult, Oktoberfest proved to be an overwhelming experience.

But none of this is the root cause for why I am so tired. The last several days, my sleep has been anything restful because my subconscious mind has been busy producing all-out theatrical and suspenseful productions.

In other words, I've been having a lot of dreams lately.

Sometimes, the dreams are short, but intense. Friday night, for example, I woke both Max and myself up when I screamed out loud after dreaming I had been walking in dark, narrow alley only to be seized by a madman. On Saturday, I jumped up in bed and started to shake off hundred of imaginary spiders that were crawling on my body.

Other times, however, my dreams are more complicated and seem to run on forever. Last night, Max and I were on a boat with, what turned out to be, a Doomsday cult convinced the world was coming to an end. And when we decided to try and sneak away and find a safer passage, the David Koresh-like leader ordered a manhunt to find us. Apparently, Max and I knew too much about the group and jeopardized their ulterior and sinister mission.

Yeah, it has sucked being me (and poor Max) the last several nights. With each dream, I can point to a real-life, innocent event or conversation, which sparked the subconscious, late-night explosion in my brain. But I also think my dream life is more active when I need an outlet for the underlying stress I am feeling.

Recently, I have been feeling stressed out--not because of anything going on in my life per se, but because of current events playing out on the world scene. I worry, for example, about the state of the world financial markets, wondering why, all of the sudden, there is an urgent need for a 700-billion dollar bailout. What is really going on? What isn't the government telling us? More importantly, if this plan doesn't work, then what?

I also think I am suffering from self-inflicted, post-traumatic stress over this year's election campaign. I download every political podcast I can find even though I am often outraged by the political punditry, divisive tactics, and outright lies that are passed off as fact. Moreover, a few times a days, I find myself browsing political blogs and news websites looking for the latest revelations or poll numbers. If I don't find a way to curb my election addiction, I probably will not make it to November 5th.

And then again, maybe the real problem is that I have too much time on my hands.

Whatever the causes, I am in desperate need of peaceful and easy night's sleep. Aside from turning off both my computer and television, do you have any suggestions? And while you're at it, tell me whether you have an active dream life? What's the craziest dream you remember?


patches said...

The current political and financial climate is enough to cause many people nightmares. I'm caught between wanting to know and wanting to bury my head in the sand.

Perhaps distracting yourself with a few funny movies during the day would trigger less intense dreams?

swenglishexpat said...

I dream a lot too. Sometimes I believe I live an alternative life in my sleep. I used to have "flying dreams", which are supposed to tell of happiness, but these days I tend to have unpleasant dreams and I am often woken up by my own voice, almost like a deliberate way of getting out of the dream. Weird! What does that say about me?

Sizzle said...

I can see where you are coming from- I think a lot of people are suffering from some PTSD or stress related to the economy or the election. It's a tumultuous time right now! I know I am not sleeping as well.

Dianne said...

I never sleep well. Have been having trouble with that for years.

I dream in phases. Every night and vivid and then nothing. I'm in a dream less phase right now.

If I think of McCain winning my head hurts and my stomach turns and knots. I'm actually afraid for us/US.

Web MD has some great natural cures for insomnia. Just search there - tells you foods to avoid after 7, vitamins that help, even scents that help. Some of it has worked for me.

Sweeter dreams Lady :)

kenju said...

I have just about given up on the TV news, and I read the papers by scanning lightly. I don't discuss politics and I pay little attention to the political email I get. Otherwise, I'd be dreaming scary horror flicks every night.

Claire said...

I tend not to dream. Apparently this means I sleep well. And sure enough, if I start remembering too many dreams, that's when I'm getting too little sleep.


Dixie said...

I'm bad at remember specifics of dreams but my dreams follow certain themes. In them I'm often trying to get somewhere but am impeded somehow - I'm lost or I can't move or someone is waylaying me. Most of the dreams I have have strangers in them - I may know them in the dream but they are not people I know in reality. Also in my dreams often we communicate without actually speaking out loud. It's more like we can hear one another's voice without having to say the words. And in my dreams I often have to fulfill some sort of mission which connects to my having to get somewhere.

evercurious said...

the scariest dream I ever had was about the end of the world. I'm still a little spooked by it. I haven't been sleeping well ever since the hurricane hit us. I'm not the only one. The worst is when I dream about work. You're home and need rest, but you're still at work in your sleep. I hope that you can get past all the craziness of this world and find more peace in your sleep. If you do, please tell me your secret.


Connie said...

I enjoy dreams and often am aware of myself dreaming - like watching tv, I can switch channels if I get scared. altho nightmares can be entertaining too. My favorite is dream real estate - I have a bunch of houses in my dreams that I revisit. They are old houses that I am fixing up, been working on some of them for decades.

Sorry to hear that you are having uneasy sleep. You have been very busy. Maybe it is a case of too much stimulus without enough time to subconsciously process it all? Instead of too much time on your hands, maybe you've had too much FULL time on your hands?

Good luck, and restful nights (I hope!)

jen said...

Try exercising. I know, it's a bad word in my dictionary, but it really helps me with my lifetime insomnia.

I've always been a vivid dreamer and remember my dreams when i wake up. These days, being pregnant, i am dreaming dreams that seem to be someone else's. it is so weird. none of the symbols or locations are familiar and all the themes are dark and scary. I'm not liking it at all.

Charlotte said...

Hey, I feel your PTSD! In my neighborhood, we're the only ones with an Obama sign on the lawn--which sparked all our neighbors to put up BIGGER McCain/Palin signs on their lawns. Zombie attack dreams? I've had them.

Only 5 more weeks to the (hopefully) "blessed event". Then I can go back to some crazy pregancy dreams.

Sending you many hugs.

V-Grrrl said...

Yes, I've been having vivid, interesting, and sometimes disturbing dreams lately too...