Tag Archives: Sleep

Resurrected Daymare

Shadows, stretched taught by the minutes
ticking tocking ticking tocking
skies darken their hue
as another day begins to fade
and not just from our memory
from time itself

we exit the light
we enter the night

soon our dreams shall claim us
sleep our ever-present friend
banishing these daymares
turning them to dust
to gather in the hour-glass
as we slowly drift away

darkness takes us by the hand
leading us into never-never land
a time to frolic, dance and play
the sounds of laughter holding sway

sleep long sleep tight my dear
for morning shall soon be here
our dreams will again be disturbed
as we once more become perturbed

Sandman my ally, Sandman my friend
I pray to you, in homage
may this night
never end

because tomorrow,
we enter
another daymare

we exit the night
we enter the light.

After reading a few posts recently, and empathizing with them and trying to offer some solace, it appears to me that night is no longer our enemy,  more of a friend to be welcomed so we get some respite from, well, whatever it is that mars our days. I just prefer to think of it as our daymare. The nights I get some peace that I no longer get during the daylight hours. When I sleep, the meds knock me right out and I dream or just sleep, undisturbed. Then, I wake up and the grind of another day greets me, laughing like some demented hyena on speed.

I don’t exactly fear daytime, but my condition has zero effect when I am asleep, its only when I am awake. The nights are easy, the days, well, I get through em best I can and I know others exist who find the same. So this is my tribute in a way to all those who find each day a struggle.

Of course, this is added over at dVerse, which is about the only place I hang in poetry as the folks there are great and very supportive. So pop along and peruse some awesome offerings from the ever-growing clientelle.


Lost and Found

Life is a bitch sometimes and I mean a real BITCH!

I really thought that I was at the end of the tunnel. I could see the light, shining, guiding me away from that dreadful place I did not want to be in. I thought I had done what was required of me. I talked it over until I was sick of talking. I thought it over until I was sick of thinking. I went deeper than I have ever been and yet, somehow, I found a way back. But the voice is back, teasing me and taunting me, drawing me back into that fuckin tunnel and I do not wish to meet what lurks there, not again. Why does it feel like I have no fuckin choice, no conscious say in the matter, fuck, its my life.

I dream a dream. I am back in my shell, protected from harm and protected from doing harm. I dont NEED to exit this shell, I dont WANT to exit this shell, but I must if I am to survive. Thats what is left now, survival. I dont love, I dont hate, I just am, here, sliding back into the dark, one inch at a fuckin time, looking over my shoulder, pleading, begging not to go back there. This time, I might not come out. The flame extinguished, the spark is dead, the fight is over, the race is run and I dont think I have the energy left to run anymore. I am sick of running. The further I run, the closer to that place I get. Fear, real, palpable fear directs the show and I am just a bit part actor, making up the numbers, waiting until that day comes, which it must, sooner or later.

I do what I have always done. I spit my defiance and issue my challenge. You want me you fuckin son of a bitch, you come and get me, I am not on a plate for you.

Its like this every fuckin waking hour. 2/3 of me just wants to give up and let what will be, be. The other 1/3 still shouts and screams and will take on anyone or anything. That 1/3 used to 1/2, that 1/2 used to be 3/4, that 3/4 was a whole number. But the dark chips away, one bit at a time.

So I am there, staring into the void once again, looking for any straw to clutch at, any inspiration I can find. Living with this constantly is a drag and a real drain on energy.

I was lost in, a dream so deep,
No one was there, to help me sleep,
I was lost in, a dream so deep,
No one was there, to help me sleep.

I was lost to, the light of day,
No one was there, to show me the way,
I was lost to, the light of day,
No one was there, to show me the way.

Loneliness, was my only friend,
I could only see, a bitter end,
My life was done,
My life was done.

I was lost in, a lonely place
You were there, I saw your face,
I was lost in, a lonely place,
You were there, I saw your face.

I was cowed, on bended knees,
You reached out, to set me free,
I was cowed, on bended knees,
You reached out, to set me free.

From the pit, I slowly rise,
Leaving behind, the pitiful cries,
My life was done,
My life was done.

I was blind, now I can see,
You were there, to rescue me,
I was blind, now I can see,
You were there, to rescue me.

I was lost, but now I’m found,
My love for you, knows no bounds,
I was lost, but now I’m found,
My love for you, knows no bounds.

Out of despair, you gave me hope,
Every day, you help me to cope,
My life goes on,
My life goes on.

I try to move on, with my life,
Every day, only trouble and strife,
I try to move, with my life,
Every day, only trouble and strife.

I hear the voice, calling out to me,
Taking me back, where I dont want to be,
I hear the voice, calling out to me,
Taking me back, where I dont want to be.

The black is back, to carry me away,
Today I smell, deaths sickly bouquet,
My life is done,
My life is done.

Its been a long road,
My life is done,
Its been a long road,
My life is done.

The flame is gone,
My race is run,
The flame is gone,
My race is run.
My race is run,
My race is
My race

Inspired by a song I heard for the first time yesterday.

Sleep Study [part two]

So, here we are with the second part of the recent sleep study. Yesterday was very interesting and showed me a couple of things I didn’t know about myself. I shall come to that later.

The session began with another couple of paper studies that to be honest, were very easy I thought and I was through them inside of 10 mins. Off to a good start. Then we came to the computerised parts. The software was casing a few problems, which meant switching rooms and computers halfway through.

The first test was in 3×5 minute sections and were not too bad. On the screen was a little + icon, dead centre. I had to focus on that. Then, a series of arrows would pop onto the screen, either above or below the + icon. What I had to do was, concentrate on the centre arrow of the five and click a mouse, either left button or right button depending on which direction the middle arrow was pointing. Example,


Four arrows point right, but the centre arrow points left, so left click the mouse. Simple huh. It gets a bit harder as they throw in a few * before the arrows, just to try to catch you out. So instead of seeing the five arrows, you will see *+*, then the arrows. 5 minutes of doing that hurts my eyes, that’s for sure. The first batch went ok, a few mistakes made, that’s certain. The second batch went well I thought and the third batch were so-so. Once that part was over, I took a five minute break, just to close my eyes and relax. The room was way too hot for me, but the windows were sealed so they couldn’t be opened. At the start of the session,  had to provide another saliva sample, which is difficult when your mouth is so dry. But I managed, then gave another two samples at 5pm and 6pm.

The next test was easy enough. One the screen, there were a random set of squares. The squares lit up in sequence and you just had to replicate the sequence. Thats easy when its only three squares, but once you get up to seven and eight, it gets a little harder. But I got through it, right up to the 9th sequence where I failed twice, that was test over. I was happy enough with that. I wanted to crack on whilst I could as I was starting to tire. This is the first time in over three years I have tried anything remotely like this.

The next part was something similar to the previous one. On the screen were a series of circles, we call them cups, as that is what they represent. Underneath one of the cups is a marble. You touch the cups to see if it reveals a marble, if it does, you move the marble over to the right hand side of the screen where it is deposited in a column. Then you repeat the process. Easy peasy, pudding and pie [haven’t said that for many a year]. But, there’s a twist. Once you touch a cup and it has revealed a marble, you have to remember which cup it is, then not go back to it for the rest of the test. Its easy with four cups. Once each cup is eliminated and marble deposited, you try not to look under that cup again. I did well in this one and was up to nine cups. I got 9 cups wrong the first time, but hit it second time, 10 cups was too many to remember and that’s where I stopped. I wish I could recreate on the screen, but I can’t, I hope you get the gist of it though.

I took another 5 minute break, but was waiting to move rooms to get onto the 2nd part. The lad in there was taking forever. 90 mins he was in there when it should take 50-60 mins max. I had to wait until he had finished before I could progress.

The final tests were tougher. If you can, imagine your screen is split into two, right down the centre. On the left hand side are four icons, a train, a plane, a book and a pencil. They are just placed randomly around the area. You have to look at it for a specified time period, then the icons disappear from the screen. On the right hand side, they are four dots replicating where the icons were. You have to put the icons back onto the dot that represents where they were originally on the left hand side. Thats easy with four icons and the dots to know where to place them. But try it with nine icons. Then, there’s another twist. The dots are taken away from the right hand side. Now you get four icons on the left hand side for a specified time. Then they disappear and you have to try to replicate in the right hand side not only the correct icon, but also where you think it was positioned. Its tough when you get to seven. I really struggled with this, which surprised me. I didn’t do well at all throughout and was slightly annoyed with myself.

Next came the faces. A face appeared on the screen and you had six options. Was the face angry, fearful, disgusted, happy, sad, neutral. It was very difficult to decide, just from a persons face what emotion they were feeling. This again was in 3×5 minute blocks and again, with the popping up of images, it hurt my eyes. But I got through it and thought I did ok, but nothing more than ok.

The final test was with the faces again. 3×5 minute blocks, but with a twist. There are two boxes on the screen, left and right. They each measure 10cm x 8cm. In one box, a face flashes for a millisecond, then a small icon appears in one of the boxes. It could be the same box as the image flashed in, or the other one. So if a face flashed in the left box, then the little icon appeared in the same box, you click left, if the icon appears in the right box, after the face flashed left, then right-click. Sounds easy enough right. Pffft, you would be mistaken, just like I was. It fools your brain, you see a brief image and you reaction is to click where you saw that image, but then the icon appears, its like 5mm x 5mm and your brain gets a little confused. First block was terrible. The second block I really focused about as hard as is possible and did ok, I think, but can’t confirm, I made 2 errors in 5 mins. The last block was tough. I focused so hard on the second block, my brain was on overload and I just skipped through them, not really too concerned about getting them right or wrong.

Its been a very interesting exercise. I have enjoyed doing it, even though it was hard on my brain. My spatial awareness is terrible. Trying to put icons into a smallish area, they way they were when you saw them proved that. I dealt with sequences quite well. They tend to be more logical and I have always been ok with logic. I tended to think in a logical way before 2008, so its good to know some of that still works. Flashing images tend to hurt my eyes, which I already know, and trying to focus and concentrate is difficult and tiring.

I hope in the future I can get involved in more studies like these as I think I can learn more about myself and that’s what I need to do. The fellas who are doing the study were really pleasant and always encouraged me, which was pleasing. I finally arrived home about 7.30pm, which was later than I thought it would be. I should have been out not long after 6pm and a ten minute taxi ride and I am home, but that’s neither here nor there. I enjoyed it overall and learnt something from it, that’s the important part.

Sleep Study [part one]

After one false start, I am finally underway in the sleep study I am helping with. I found the right place this time and the miserable taxi driver actually dropped me right at the door. On entering the almost deserted building, 3 people stepped out of the elevator and I asked one person which floor I was on. It may appear obvious to the reader, but trust me when I say that with this place, you can never be sure! However, so I do my drunken walk thingamebob over to the elevator, only to find you can’t access them without using the intercom. So I stagger over to the intercom and press the button…..Nowt, zilch, nothing, nada. OK, try again, same result. So I am left with a flight of stairs to climb, must be my lucky day methinks. I make it up to the first floor after some huffing and puffing up the stairs and there’s no one in sight. Ring the bell at reception, riiiight, nowt, zilch, nothing, nada. So I just shout hello down the deserted corridor and a face pops out of a door. They don’t say anything, just look at me like I am stupid for disturbing them. OK, I can live with that.

Eventually, the person I am here to see appears, only its the other person, not the one on the phone, they both happen to be called Andrew. Told you it was my lucky day! Anyways, off to the nearest office, Andrew2 explains a few things then presents me with a bundle of forms to complete. I hate forms. You have no idea how many forms I have completed in the last 3 years. It must take 5 trees to make the forms I have filled and that’s a conservative estimate. But anyway, I complete said forms to the best of my ability and Andrew2 is happy with that. Then he gives me a double columned list of words, just single words, nothing else and asks me to read them out loud. I would imagine 40 words total [guess, I didn’t count] and came across three I had never stumbled upon before. Pronouncing them was difficult, but I gave it a shot anyway. Andrew2 said I had done well.

That was the paperwork complete, now to the equipment.

It’s absolutely amazing what can be found on U Tube. Andrew2 told me I would find a video if I forgot anything. I didn’t. We managed fine. I met Andrew1 in the corridor as we took the machine to be programmed, another nice fella and it was good to put  a face to someone I had only spoken to over the phone. The two of them are helping out a research dept, doing PhD’s in Neuroscience and this is all connected to that. They are both decent people and made me feel very relaxed.

So the little gizmo was programmed to activate at 1am, my usual bedtime, and switch off at 8.15am. I usually wake around 7.30-8.00am. I was wired up and ready to go by 12.45am and lying flat on my back in bed by 1am. I looked like some kind of cyborg, but it was all connected properly and by 1.15am I was fast asleep. It didn’t really interfere with that. I woke up a couple of times, once, one of the leads had slipped out of my nose, so I hooked that up again and promptly fell back to sleep. I got up at 8.05am and then the messy part started.

The whole study is set up to measure cortisol in the system during sleep and on awakening. To do this successfully they need saliva samples. One before you go to sleep and a further five when you awake the following morning. 1 when you wake, then another 4 at 15 minute intervals. No food or water until they are done. I don’t know about you, but I don’t function in the mornings until I have had a nice hot cup of tea. But none of that this morning. My mouth was dry as a camels arse and tasted like said camel took a dump in there while I wasn’t looking. So I had some plastic squares to chew on as chewing helps stimulate the saliva glands, apparently. So I am chewing on plastic and trying to drool/spit into tubes that are about 1cm in diameter. Not an easy task I can assure you. Anyway, it got done, to the schedule and just about gave the right amounts.

I go back later today with my samples and hand the gizmo back and then have a couple of hours to do some computerised tests. They should take about 2 hours, then its £50 in the back pocket for my time. Its the first time ever anyone has paid me to sleep! I think also that they have some more studies lined up, so I will also try to grab some information on those while I am there later on.

Part 2 will follow tomorrow.