Question of the day.

What time of day does your energy level start to decrease?

My answer:

It’s actually nothing fixed for me, since my whole circadian rhythm likes to shift around a lot, so it can vary a fair bit, also depending on how I’m doing mentally and all sorts of things. But, very generally, as I think I’m more of a night owl, at least by default, I think I can say that for me it’s more like I tend to start with low energy levels and then they keep increasing. It usually takes my brain some time to get going when I wake up, and I’m also kind of physically sluggish in the mornings as well a lot of the time. It’s not because I tend not to have refreshing sleep though of course this can vary too, I guess my brain is simply the kind that takes its time to boot and I tend to have low blood pressure, and I guess the dysthymia may also have something to do with this. Coffee used to be extremely helpful with this, but now that it’s started to give me really bad anxiety, I can no longer rely on it so I have to use other things that are less effective but eventually my brain will get going on its own, it’ll simply take longer. If I’m peopling a lot during the day then my energy will be draining a lot faster. Currently (that is for about a week) my sleep/wake cycle has been pretty messy and I sleep A LOT, and I can’t even really put my finger on why it’s so because I can’t say I feel tired or sleepy, but once I do fall asleep I just can’t stop sleeping. I purposefully went to sleep very early last night wanting to hopefully wake up reasonably early yet give my brain time to sleep if it needs it so badly, but despite I fell asleep at like 10 PM I woke up after 11 AM! I didn’t even hear my alarm go off earlier in the morning and must have turned it off in my sleep. πŸ˜€ The other night I slept through a whopping 15 hours. Sofi managed to come back from school and I was still sleeping! Such things do happen sometimes so it’s absolutely not abnormal in Bibielland, or, in any case, not extraordinary, but I’m not a fan of it unless I’m really depressed and thus really escapist and sleep feels like the only way to live or when I have super cool dreams but lately it’s been meh where dreams are concerned. But at least I do feel rested after this sleep, so it’s not like it’s all wasted time, and things will probably shift in a few days anyway. So the way it is right now I also tend to start with lower energy that increases over time. But sometimes it can just as well be so that I wake up insanely early, say 3 AM even, and feel very energised, and then my energy will start to decrease around early afternoon.

How is it with you? πŸ™‚

Song of the day (20th September) – The Chieftains ft. Maire Brennan – “Lullaby for the Dead”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

I thought I’d share this beautiful, very sad, Irish lullaby with you. I like a lot of lullabies and I love how Irish Celtic folk music is so full of lullabies. This one is soulfully sung by, probably well-known by now to the readers of this blog, Maire/Moya Brennan from Clannad, Enya’s sister, who is accompanied by the very popular Celtic music band from Dublin – The Chieftains – who were formed in the 60’s during the Celtic music revival in Ireland and often collaborate with other well-known Irish folk musicians.

Question of the day.

What is your favourite word in the English vocabulary?

My answer:

I honestly wouldn’t be able to pick just one, in any language that I like. There are too many words I like and I like them in different ways, so it’s kinda like asking a child who she loves more, mummy or daddy. But I did decide to pick one word, just for the sake of this post.

When talking about favourite words, people often focus on the really sophisticated, long ones, or the particularly weird or funny slang words that they like, or some swear words that they find particularly useful, expressive and/or versatile. But people rarely talk about the really mundane, common words that are used on a daily basis. Perhaps they’re less thought about because they’re so rare, or perhaps no one likes them? So I decided to talk about one really mundane, simple English word that I LOVE very much, and perhaps part of why I love it so much is this simplicity. This word is sleep. No language out of those I know has a better word for the thing! The word sleep just says it all and encompasses everything about what sleep is. And it sounds so insanely cute. I like saying it. It’s so calm, peaceful and fluffy, like a sleeping baby, better even, like a sleeping kitten. In a tactile way, it feels really nice too. It’s also round and… not quite fluffy, because it’s made of something hard, metal I think, but it’s small and cute. And gustatorily it tastes like walnuts. The Polish word for sleep – sen –
feels insanely bland and flat in comparison. Plus at the same time it also means dream, not like a daydream but specifically the dream you get while you’re asleep, so it’s also not very logical because they’re too different things even if they occur together. If I’m Polish and it’s illogical to me, I guess it must be all the more illogical for non-native speakers. πŸ˜€ So mostly when I see the word sen without any context, I think dream, not sleep. It’s also cheesy, because synaesthetically it feels and tastes like cheese, perhaps because cheese is ser so it’s just one letter’s difference. And it’s not even good quality cheese in this case, it tastes kind of artificial. The Polish verb for to sleep is spaΔ‡, and it’s also very boring, even more so actually, but I’m a big fan of some of its conjugations. Like the imperative form of this verb is Ε›pij (SHPEEY) and that sounds so much better. Or you can ask someone “Śpisz?” (SHPEESh) (Are you asleep?). I wish the infinitive form was Ε›piΔ‡, not spaΔ‡, it would sound more like what it actually means. The Swedish sΓΆmn is way too heavy for a healthy kind of sleep, like you’re sleeping on particularly strong sleeping pills or something, or like you’re drunk and when you finally wake up, whenever that might be, you’ll be mightily hungover. Much like I always end up on Hydroxyzine. πŸ˜€ And the Welsh cwsg (COOSK) is really nice but too light in turn and just not enough personality (which is rare with Welsh words but here it’s just how it is), so like sleeping with no dreams and waking up at every smallest rustle. Sleep is just right. It’s the kind of healthy, peaceful sleep from which you wake up rested, happy and refreshed, and looking forward to when you can go to sleep again, but not because you’re sleepy or have nothing better to do, it’s just a nice state to be in.

What’s yours? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What was the greatest pleasure you ever felt?

My answer:

It’s really hard to pick just one thing, since there were several experiences in my life that I felt great pleasure from, and now after some time has passed it’s difficult to say which one was actually the strongest. But I often have a whole lot of pleasure from hearing “my” languages. Sometimes it’s to the point where it goes beyond just being aesthetically pleasing or even synaesthetically pleasing and I feel it like on a physical level, especially right before I fall asleep or when I wake up but haven’t yet woken up fully, and when I hadn’t heard the language in question in a long time and the speaker has an interesting accent or uses some word that I like the sound of and that is new to me or something like that, it’s absolute bliss when it happens. The same thing can sometimes happen to me when listening to music when something really really really really really resonates with me on, like, a sensory level, I don’t know how to put it. Just like there is music which can give me sensory heebiejeebies, so there can be music which works in the opposite way, except the latter phenomenon is sadly less frequent. It’s kinda like frisson except more intense because I get frisson a lot and it’s not quite the same.

Another thing that stands out to me is the intense relief I felt after my final exams were over. I guess it was only then that I fully realised how much of a strain on my brain the whole year has been, especially with all the preparations for the math part. At that point I didn’t have the results yet, except for oral exams and I got 100% from both oral Polish and oral English (with oral Polish it was mostly just a stroke of luck that I got the best question I possibly could), and while from the beginning I knew that it’s entirely possible that I won’t pass the math (and I didn’t, as you may know) for the time being between passing all the exams and getting the results I decided not to think about it at all. And I can still quite clearly remember the feeling I got after all the exams were over and when I came back home (I wasn’t taking them in my actual school but a special school for the blind a few hours’ drive away, but a different one to the one I used to attend earlier, which from perspective I can say wasn’t a good idea because it only ended up being way more stressful and didn’t give me any benefit over taking them in my actual, local mainstream school). I came into my room and it was like I got hit by a wave of euphoria and relief and like my brain was flying, it felt so good not having anything to do with the screwed education system anymore haha, and not having to deal with all the math stuff or travelling to that fricken school anymore. It was like all the stress I’d been feeling for the past year suddenly left me all at once.

Also when I have some real cool dreams, the first seconds after waking up feel priceless. It feels a bit sad because you know the dream is over, but you’re still stuck in the dream with one foot and you can still experience the great feel of it while being almost awake, I just totally love it.

What was such a thing for you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

How are you feeling?

My answer:

Very decent really. I got some good sleep, which is much appreciated because lately my brain thinks that when I’m going to sleep, it’s the best time for doing some deep, intense thinking, and then of course it’s difficult to fall asleep. The good thing is that I’m not having a particularly stressful time right now so there’s nothing stressful or scary to ruminate about, so I mostly think about neutral or really nice things, but still, when you’re trying to sleep and are actually tired, such very intense, all-consuming thinking sessions can get slightly exhausting. πŸ˜€ But yeah, like I said today I got real good sleep, and am having quite a lot of energy and generally feeling fairly positive about things. I’m gonna do some Welsh learning in a while so that’ll probably further boost my mood. I was slightly headachey in the morning so thought I’m going to end up with a migraine or something, but it went away completely.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day?

My answer:

Usually it’s Misha, at least when he happens to sleep with me. I always close the door for the night so that if I’m up when everyone else is asleep I don’t wake up anyone, and if I’m still asleep when people are waking up, they don’t wake me up. Plus it just seems very privacy-invading sleeping with your door open. So whether Misha is or isn’t here, I always close it, which means that when he wants to go out in the morning, I must let him out. People are often surprised how I find that tolerable to hear a moaning cat first thing in the morning and have to get up even when I’m the sleepiest just to let him out, and that it’s like having a baby. I don’t really care, it’s nice to see Misha first thing in the morning and cuddle him for a while, and because I’m so used to doing it by now, sometimes I guess I do it without even waking up. πŸ˜€ Also if I need it, I can go back to sleep right away. Typically Misha will be back at my door for his morning nap, waiting to be let in, and then he’ll also need a snack.

If Misha’s not in the mood for sleeping with me, I simply rely on things I like that I have to do every day. Like my language learning or blogging or replying to my penfriends etc. It usually works to get me out of bed. Another motivator which works really well is that it’s not really something my brain likes to keep laying in bed for too long without actually sleeping, because then at some point before I even realise it, even if I had the best night’s sleep, I’ll start feeling extremely and quite unusually sleepy again, or more like tired, in a way that is really difficult to overcome, while at the same time the still awake part of me is getting all panicky out of the blue, in a totally primal, irrational way, and then if I won’t manage to get out of this state I end up having sleep paralysis within minutes. And then it’s all the more difficult to get out of bed, when I’m finally out of it, because it makes me really exhausted, floaty and foggy-brained, plus my anxiety’s usually through the roof at the same time. I don’t even have to lay in bed awake for very long, sometimes all it takes is being awake for a bit longer between sleeps, like when you wake up at night and then it takes you a while to go back to sleep. So I guess ideally if I wake up at night and am not asleep again within like 15 minutes I should get up, even if I’m still feeling like I could use more sleep.

I feel really grateful that even though my dysthymia plus circadian rhythm issues regularly make getting out of bed difficult, it doesn’t often happen to me that I’d be so depressed or out of energy that I totally can’t do it for hours or at all. I guess what also motivates me in a way to get going is that people around me, while mostly supportive, don’t really get the nuances of what it feels like when you have depression or stuff like that, and it’s difficult for people to make the connection between being depressed and having no energy, so I feel like I should get out of bed simply because otherwise people will think I’m lazy or something. One of the signs by which I can tell that I’m properly out of brainergy is that I don’t care about such details as whether people will think I’m lazy or not. I think it’s helpful to always have some sort of an idea, maybe not a whole fully-fledged plan but a reasonably clear idea, of what you’re going to be doing the next day, and especially regarding things that you generally like doing. Since I have dysthymia and not major depression, I’m not normally anhedonic (unable to feel pleasure out of doing normally pleasurable things), which makes finding things I like doing easy.

You? πŸ™‚

Sian James – “Cysga Di Fy Mhlentyn Tlws” (Sleep My Pretty Child).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Since it’s already early evening here, I thought I’d share a lullaby with you, and I picked this beautiful Welsh one performed by Celtic harpist and singer Sian James, whose music I’ve already shared on my blog before. Here is the lyrics translation that I’ve found:

 

Sleep you now, my pretty child,

Sleep you now, my pretty child,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

The door is closed, and safely locked,

Lullaby, my pretty child,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

All the birds are sleeping too,

Lullaby, my little one,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

The wooden horse is by your side,

Lullaby, oh darling mine,

Sleep until the morning,

Sleep until the morning.

Today, I…

Recently, I came across this simple, mini prompt in the PaperBlanks app, and so I thought I’d share with you what I am doing, thinking, feeling etc. today.

Today I… feel really tired and sluggish. My sleep has been fairly weird lately, lately meaning a couple weeks, I think. It’s like as soon as it’s night time, my brain suddenly gets a kick of energy and I just can’t settle myself down for sleep, whatever I do. I had a proper zombie day on Friday, having not slept for the whole night, then the next night I crashed as is usually the case with me after a zombie night and so got a lot of good sleep, but my sleep system didn’t reset, for some reason, as it normally does after a zombie day. Today it was back to where it was. Well, except that I actually did feel rather tired and in need of sleep this time around, but was at the same time kind of wired or something and it just wasn’t happening. Since I had to get up at 8 AM, I’ve only got like 3 hours of sleep and my brain’s not impressed. I generally don’t like taking my anti-anxiety medication for sleep even though it does work, but if this keeps up I’ll just have to resort to it for a while, I guess. Since I guess Jack the Ripper is about to visit any time, PMS coupled with little sleep means I’m having a rather shitty day mood-wise.

Today, I am finishing a sort of prayer challenge or whatever it could be called, that I’ve set myself. I promised God and myself that I’ll be praying for three weeks in July, until this Sunday, for someone that I sort of know and am rather concerned about, even though I don’t know him very well. He seems to be dealing with a lot of yucky stuff, multiple addictions being one of those things, and many years ago I’ve decided that I am always going to pay particular attention and have special dedication in my spiritual life to those people that I know or have come in contact with, with whom it seems unlikely that anyone prays for them, or at least not consistently and seriously, despite it seems that they might need it particularly much. I’ve learnt it well in my life that God loves creating what we’d usually call coincidences, and so this time, when I got into it I learned that July is actually considered a month of prayer for people who struggle with addictions. At the same time, addiction is a sort of… hmm, hot topic in my family currently, and my Mum is also praying for someone who has this problem who is our family member, so I felt a bit stronger having company and support like that, especially that my Mum really has been my best spiritual director and always has the strange talent to say or point me towards something that is exactly what my soul seems to need at a specific time. This whole challenge thing has been rather difficult, with a lot of ups and downs, and I wasn’t even sure if I was seriously going to stick to it, I mean, I really wanted to, but some part of me didn’t think I could manage with all that praying, IFing etc. for long. I also often had thoughts that I don’t believe strongly enough in that God could actually do for me what I was asking Him for, because from a human perspective, a dramatic change for the better in this person’s life doesn’t seem very likely and is even hard to imagine. But I tried my best to believe as strongly as I could, and even though I always experience a lot of hurdles with praying, in that I find it difficult to actually concentrate on it properly, I have a feeling that, while I don’t know if I could have put more effort into it, I’ve put a lot more of it than I thought I even could. I am so hopeful for some better, fuller, more valuable life for this person, whatever God considers that to mean in practice for this guy. Pretty much exactly at the time when I took up this little challenge, I also learned about a 30 day Gospel challenge that is a thing now on Hallow (a Catholic prayer/meditation app that I sometimes use). The goal is to read 2-3 chapters of a Gospel every day, so that we’ll be finished with all four Gospels in 30 days. And while I thought it wasn’t for me at first, because I’d never be able to stick to it, and because I’ve always been somehow apprehensive of reading the Bible in English mostly because then I tend to focus on the language more, haha, eventually I figured that the timing of this is very telling, and that I probably should take this up too. I have previously read all four Gospels chapter by chapter several times, as well as the whole Bible, but I initially thought it would be challenging to stick to it every single day and finish exactly in thirty days. But so far it’s going extremely well and I’m actually very surprised! It’s day 14 and I’ve never missed a day. The linguophile in me also manages to keep reasonably quiet, and I feel like I’m more actually engaged into it than I was all those times before, when, despite being Christian, I’d always read the Bible more like I would any other great work of literature, more intellectually than anything else. It is rather difficult for me to just sit down and listen to the Gospel for 20 minutes without doing much else in the meantime, I usually do several things at once and it feels more natural, but at the same time it feels weird to be listening to the Bible while doing something else very trivial in the meantime and give God only part of my attention. So this has been an interesting time in this respect and I’d never have expected it.

Today, I am a little anxious about living practically on my own for the next two weeks. You might recall that in one of my recent posts I was saying that I’m going for a trip into the mountains with my family on Friday/Saturday. The Friday/Saturday eventually was postponed until this coming Tuesday, because my Dad’s leave was postponed until then. Then Sofi decided that she’d like to take our cousin along, as she thought she’d be rather bored otherwise. As I’ve said, I’ve been feeling a bit off recently, very crampy and with rather little energy, and am pretty sure Jack the Ripper’s coming any time, and I started to feel kind of doubtful whether going for that trip is a good idea in my current hormonal and brainstate. So, as our camper isn’t very huge, I thought that was a good enough reason not to go, ’cause our cousin could go in my place. And so that’s what going to happen. Olek is also going to stay, as he always does, since he has work and stuff to do, but he’s out most of the day, so it’ll be mostly me and Mishmish. Which is fabulous, but, like I said, I’m a bit worried. I’ve never really lived on my own for this long, and, while Olek will be here in the evenings and he’ll also bring dinners for us both, so that at least I won’t have to deal with any delivery people or anything like that every day, I’m kind of scared, like, what if something goes wrong? I don’t even know what… anything could go wrong. From Misha choking, to Olek forgetting to clean his litter box, to me letting him slip out accidentally, or having some sort of an accident and doing something to myself, like in the kitchen or whatever, as usually if I do something in the kitchen Mum supervises me more or less, to needing an “eye” to help me with something asap, to having a bad sensory anxiety flare in which case I really don’t cope well with being totally alone. My sensory anxiety has actually been pretty bad this week, and it’s the sort of thing that is extremely easy to set off or exacerbated by thinking about it, more than any other anxiety that I have, so in a way that feels kind of unavoidable, especially if we consider my shitty sleep lately. Still, an equally big part of me is really looking forward to this, and, if things go reasonably well, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for Misha and me to be pretty much only by ourselves for so long.

Today I am very glad that Misha has been with me all day so far, and not hiding under the bed or anything like that, but properly laying in his own bed, and he’s very cuddly. I hope this state of things won’t change soon and he’ll be like that once my family leaves for the trip.

What has been your day today like? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (21st April).

What do you wear when you go to bed?

My answer:

Usually some PJ’s, and a light bra or bralette or something like that. Sometimes, after I shower but before I go to bed, especially in colder months, or sometimes when I’m already in bed but before I go to sleep, or on days when I don’t feel like putting anything more presentable on myself, I wear my overalls which I got from Mum on Christmas two years ago. They’re partially hand-made by her so that’s one reason why I really love them, and there is a cat on them and they’re very warm and fluffy.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Are you an early riser?

My answer:

Yes and no. I think I wrote about my crazy weird sleep a lot on here. I don’t like the morning lark/night owl classification of people, well I don’t mind it in general but it just doesn’t really work for me personally because I could say I’m sort of both and neither. πŸ˜€ And I’m sure I’m not alone with this. So in this post, I’ll go beyond just answering the question and try to explain in more detail why this labelling doesn’t work for me and what’s the deal with my sleep exactly, especially for those who don’t know me outside of the blog.

Basically, if you don’t know about it yet, I’ve been totally blind since birth, and totally also includes no light perception, so, quite naturally, my brain has always been more or less confused what time of day, or night, it is, so instead it decides on its own. There were times in my life when I was quite frustrated about this but generally I’m used to it and it’s just how it is.

Whenever my Mum talks about what my siblings and me were as babies and toddlers, she always says that she had no big problems with me in terms of behaviour then, except for sleep, and she learned quickly that mid-day naps were not for me ’cause then I’d be full of beans for most of the night, and that would of course affect my parents as well. I now know that there is something called non-24-hour sleep/wake disorder, which is a circadian rhythm disorder affecting mostly totally blind people, but I only learned about it as an adult and I’ve never found any resources about it in Polish so I don’t think anyone in my surroundings as a child even had an idea about it existing, plus even though a lot of problems that people experience with it sound familiar to me, I’m not sure that that is exactly what is the problem with my sleep, because it’s a bit different for me. I’d say it’s kind of more irregular, but at the same time I guess I seem to struggle with the whole thing less than most people with the condition and it’s easier to manage by things like avoiding naps, while many people who actually have non-24 diagnosed or are very sure of having it don’t seem to be able to resist the urge of napping as easily as I can, and no, I’m not particularly self-disciplined at all, although I do hate naps because they turn my clock upside down, but there are times when you just can’t fight it. I guess in my case, it must be quite a mixture of things causing the circadian rhythm situation that I’m in. I was born with hypopituitarism, and of course pituitary regulates a lot of things, and according to my Mum it’s circadian rhythm as well. I was taking growth hormone injections as a child as I had a deficiency of it and I remember reading somewhere that this hormone plays some kind of a role in regulating the circadian rhythm. And then of course there’s all the mental health stuff on top of it and it definitely has a strong impact on one’s sleep.

At this particular point in my life though, I’m happy to say that it doesn’t really matter whatever the name of my sleep problem is, because I can adjust my life to my brain’s whims if need be, having a very flexible schedule and being in charge of my own time for the most part, not having to work at strictly set times or anything like that, which is a great luxury after having had lived a very structured life earlier at the boarding school, where I felt quite sleep deprived a lot of the time, not just because of the schedule but also because I would often stay awake at night willfully when I could, to be able to do something more than the usual school stuff, like write the Jack Hamilton novel, journal, listen to music or just plain be with myself and my own thoughts, which I felt was essential to my mental wellbeing and for which I didn’t have a lot of space during the day but which also made me a zombie the next morning. I don’t think that, even if I had a diagnosis and a label for it, someone would actually be able to offer me a lot more help. I have an impression that accepting it as something that is a part of me (which of course wouldn’t be as easy if my life right now looked differently) and not fighting this all the time has actually improved my sleep situation over the last five years.

Usually what people say to me when I tell them more about my sleep problem, regardless whether they’re just casual people or some professionals, is that I should try melatonin. Since it’s such an obvious thing to try, I did and a few times. It would always make me feel drowsy during the day even at low doses, and, very bizarrely, I had the weirdest, scariest nightmares on it. Even more bizarrely, I’ve heard I’m not the only one in the blind community who had this experience, even though I also know a bunch of blind people who take it with no problem and it really makes a change for them.

I’d say the way my circadian rhythm works right now is that, most of the time I have a bit of a compromise with my brain, where both of us are having our requirements that need to be met but also try to be flexible as much as possible in regards to one another. I guess people with classic non-24 can’t afford that on a regular basis as their brain are less inclined to make a compromise.

I sometimes say that my brain is in something like a constant mild jet lag, travelling between different time zones. The times when I’m asleep or awake, or at least sleepy and alert, shift in a bit of a cycle. I still haven’t fully figured out how exactly it works, what kind of rules are there at play or maybe how many hours it typically shifts per what amount of time, because time involves too much math for me. And there must be many factors at play which can influence the way this cycle evolves, but there definitely is some sort of a pattern, even if it’s a subtle or a complex one perhaps. I’ve had my iPhone for over half a year now and I’ve been logging my sleep since then, but that hasn’t really given me much more of an idea so far either.

I’d say that one specific trend in my circadian rhythm will usually remain more or less of a thing for about a week, but it also depends on my lifestyle and loads of other things. So my brain may think one week that it’s really cool to wake up at 7:30 AM and go to sleep by 12 AM, which is okay with me too and this is always the sleep schedule I’m trying to aim for, because even if it doesn’t work out, I think it’s better when you have some sort of a reference of when you should/want to sleep and be awake. And then, gradually, I may be waking up later and later and falling asleep later and later, until at some point I won’t be feeling sleepy at night at all and will end up having a zombie day, which is, as you probably know already, what I call a day after a sleepless night. I typically have one zombie day a month, more if I’m stressed or something weird is going on. Zombie days are obviously quite horrid, I don’t think I have to convince anyone as I guess most people have enough first-hand experience of that, but I’m quite used to that and they seriously can have their upsides sometimes. The biggest upside to a zombie day, however, is that it resets my brain clock. It hardly ever happens that I’d have more than one zombie day in a row unless I’m having a lot of anxiety or something else is seriously off. Usually, after a zombie day, I’ll have a fabulous night of restful sleep and, if I go to sleep early enough – that is I think something between 7-9 PM –
chances are high that I’ll wake up feeling very refreshed in the morning and wake up at a decent time similar to when most human beings in my time zone wake up. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be able to fall asleep just as smoothly and decently, but a reset has happened, so I have a chance to try and do everything I can to continue a normal or near-normal sleep-wake cycle for as long as possible.

It doesn’t have to always look this way though, because I can just as well wake up early and go to sleep early, or wake up late and go to sleep early, any combination is possible. What particularly seems to disagree in my case with what I know about non-24 is that for me the amount of time I spend awake or asleep also shifts over time, whereas, at least from what I know, for non-24 folks it’s only the times. It can also change whether the amount of sleep I’m getting feels enough for me, for example I may be sleeping like four hours and wake up refreshed and bursting with creativity, or another time I may be sleeping just as much and feel like I could use some sleep. That’s also been the case lately, since about last Thursday, as I keep finding it difficult to fall asleep at night and usually do about 1 AM, and then wake up about 4-6 AM and would love to sleep more but it just doesn’t work. I still prefer that than over-sleeping which usually makes me feel awful even when it’s actually what I need and is refreshing.

So because of all that, as you can see, I can’t really say whether I am an early riser or not, it really depends. Like I said though, I do try to stick to some kind of sleep-wake routine, by having an alarm set to 7:30 every day and falling asleep by midnight. I do think 7:30 is pretty early. That does help with having a bit of a reference for my brain to what’s relatively normal, or getting back on track faster when things get messed up. I don’t know if that makes me more of an early riser, because even though that’s what I aim for and I manage to succeed sometimes more often and sometimes less, I don’t push myself for all means to get up at 7:30. If I wake up at that time and my brain says “No way, I want to sleep at least three hours more!” that’s what we’re doing, as long as there is nothing I have to do urgently in the morning and nowhere to go. Same about going to sleep. If it’s 11 Pm and my brain clearly doesn’t want to go to sleep, I’m not going to force it unless I really have to do something important the next day in the morning, but even so, I probably won’t be able to fall asleep anyway and will only get stressed about it more when lying in bed than if I were doing something more productive instead until I’ll feel sleepy. And feeling stressed makes me only less likely to fall asleep. I also won’t typically lay in bed if I wake up at 3 AM until my alarm goes off, unless I truly feel I may fall asleep again soon. If I don’t fall back asleep in about 15 minutes, and don’t feel any more sleepy than I did when I woke up, I’ll usually get up, unless I really have no idea what I could be doing this early and don’t feel like getting up. Usually I regret it though, because if I stay awake in bed for too long after having slept earlier, at some point I’ll often start feeling groggy and then drift off straight into sleep paralysis. It’s not the case every single time though, which is why I sometimes fall into this trap, thinking that maybe this time it won’t happen and not wanting to get up at such an insanely early hour, and then it starts happening so quickly that I can rarely pull out of it. Sleep paralysis is one sleep-related thing that I do find very difficult to live with.

I normally try to restrain my brain from sleeping after noon as that hardly ends well and is rarely actually properly restorative, but sometimes is very difficult if not impossible to resist if I had a bad night’s sleep. And like I said I really hate naps and avoid them at all costs. Sometimes when my sleep cycle is really messed up and it bugs me, and I can afford having a super low key, lazy day of doing nothing and possibly being a mental mess, I’ll go as far as to force a zombie day to reset my brain clock. I’ll get as much sleep as possible one night and day, and then won’t go to bed at all the next night. Sometimes that works, but sometimes I have to give up and go to bed early in the morning and sleep through most of the day, other times I just have to have a nap and then end up right where I started off. These days, ever since I’ve started having more frequent migraines, I don’t really do that because it’s a sure thing to give me a migraine, and migraines always make me sleep more so it just no longer works and is generally rather unpleasant and radical.

Other than that, my anti-anxiety medication also works for sleep and it really helps me immensely in crisis situations, but I try to only take it when I absolutely have to, plus I often only know that I’m going to have trouble sleeping when it’s already night, and no point taking anything for sleep at night as that will surely make me properly hungover tomorrow and I hate the feeling with a passion.

And of course I also have a lot of other ways of dealing with all the sleep stuff, which a lot of people typically use when they struggle with it. I have my sleep habits like how many pillows I sleep with, the fact that I listen to music quietly while sleeping or read before falling asleep, etc. and cultivating such habits helps me fall asleep and create a sort of sleepy atmosphere. I love to listen to Misha purring before sleep, even though he never purrs loud. I like having a hot bath before sleep when I can, or a mug of cocoa or something else that would make me feel cosy in a sleepy way. Or I like to imagine something calm and friendly before going to sleep. That doesn’t always work, because I’m a professional ruminator, but when I can focus on all things Bibiel-friendly, the results are often very good.

Okay, now over to you. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

If you could take a pill every day that perfectly replicated a good night’s sleep – made you feel physically refreshed and chemically balanced, like a real sleep – would you take it every day? What would you do with all that newly acquired time?

My answer:

I probably wouldn’t want to take it every day, because I love my sleep and dreaming and all that, but, if that was an option to do so, I’d probably take it once in a while. Sometimes I could use a longer day, to be able to squeeze more things in. Not because I’m that busy on a typical day, I just have a lot of ideas and things that I’m into, while at the same time being quite disorganised in general so having more time for things would sometimes be helpful. Also sometimes I don’t like sleep, like when I have a lot of yucky dreams or sleep paralysis or something, then I have a sort of mild fear of sleep until things go back to more normal. I could use such a sleep pill in such situations and just not have to bother with sleeping. Other times, sleep is just not refreshing or chemically balancing, so I’d take the pill after waking up to be more functional. Or when I’m a zombie and haven’t slept at all the night before. Or if I just wouldn’t feel like sleeping, wouldn’t be sleepy at all. That would be a fabulous invention if we had such a pill. Only I’m fairly sure that since it would have such a major effect on one’s overall state and affect the brain, which is still quite an unknown territory for us, it would probably come with its fair share of side effects and possibly addiction or some sleep dysregulation. Wouldn’t be surprised at all.

How about you? And what do you think about this idea? Would such a pill work out, if it was a real possibility? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

If you wake up at 3 AM and can’t fall back asleep, what do you do?

My answer:

As someone with quite erratic sleep-wake cycle which shifts a lot, mostly due to the fact that I have no light perception, I end up in such a situation quite often. Unlike a lot of people who struggle with sleep problems and disorders though, it’s not a huge source of frustration for me. Largely because it’s always been like this, and now I’m in a very comfortable life situation where I am in charge of my own time so everything is very flexible, I can sleep in if I need to, I can go to sleep very early if I was up all night, or I can have a more low-key day if I’m a zombie running on no sleep. Having lived in an exactly opposite way most of my life, where I did have to live a very structured life and having to fit in my constantly more or less “jet-lagged” into it, I appreciate this luxury all the more. So it’s not a big deal for me usually if I can’t sleep at 3 AM or wake up at that time.

I do lots of different things if I can’t sleep at night, I just take it as an extra amount of time that I can do something interesting with. Sometimes, when I’m in a phase when I don’t need a lot of sleep and can go on four hours or so and feel quite rested for a few days, I’m feeling quite energised at night and put my energy into something creative. Generally, regardless of my energy levels, I feel that I’m often a lot more creative and deep-thinking at night and come up with a lot of interesting ideas. πŸ˜€ So I’ll do some journaling, sometimes write a short story or try to write something more in my huge, neverending Jack Hamilton novel which I’ve been writing since like fourth grade and Jack Hamilton has been a great friend of mine and especially on sleepless nights, my Mum says that he’s like an old dog who’s barely alive but you’re too attached to him to put him down. I rarely add something more to that these days because I don’t need Jack as much as I used to as a teenager and we both have changed a lot, but I do not want to put a clear end to this whole thing, so these days if I write something more to it it’s usually just a little bit. He’s going to be celebrating his 100th birthday quite soon, I believe. Other times, I’ll just listen to some music and daydream (wait, nightdream) or go into my Brainworld, as I’ve always been an avid paracosmist (I’ve been a paracosmist my entire life and only recently learned about the existence of this word πŸ˜€ ).

If I’m less creatively inclined, I’ll just read or listen to music, often without even getting out of bed, although if I can’t fall back asleep for longer than an hour I usually get up because if I fall back asleep after such longer but still not very long time, I have almost guaranteed sleep paralysis and while people have varying attitudes towards it, for me it’s always been extremely scary because it features stuff I’m scared of in real life and sometimes one relatively short episode of sleep paralysis can affect me for a few days and make me super anxious.

Since we’ve got Misha, I’m often not the only one who isn’t asleep at 3 AM in this house. Misha’s sleep cycle is also totally different than the cycles of the peeps in here, so he’ll also often have loads of energy in the middle of the night, running wildly around the living room or playing with his glass balls. If that is the case, I’ll often bring him up to my room, as here his play won’t wake up anyone else, and we’ll play together.

Other times, I just go online and write with people or something, or play BitLife, ever since I’ve got my iPhone, because yes, I still play it quite a lot. Or just start my day properly, get dressed, eat something and do whatever I was going to do in the day anyway.

How about you? Does such a scenario often take place in your life? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What was the last thing you said out loud?

My answer:

“Come back when you’ll make up your mind” to Misha about half an hour ago. He was crying very pitifully at my door, so I let him in and gave him something to eat. After that, he’ll usually go somewhere to sleep in here or want to have a cuddle with me or something. He clearly did not want any physical contact, as straight away after eating he fearfully dove under the bed so obviously I didn’t pressure him and went to do my thing. After a while, Misha found the courage to come out of there and climbed on the armchair in my room, which he does either to go on the windowsill and people/bird/Jocky-watch, or onto the wardrobe where he slips into a cartboard box on top of it where there is a quilt and a place for him to sleep which he’ll usually use when he’s particularly tired, scared, overwhelmed or fed up with the peeps and doesn’t want anyone to see him. However this time he just stood on the back of the armchair and seemed very undecided, as he very often is, especially when sleepy, and I’m pretty sure judging from his behaviour and the spectacularly pitiful cries that he was very sleepy. He stood like that some more and then started crying, so I came over to him to see what’s wrong but couldn’t figure what he wanted, and when I tried to pick him up he got scared and backed away immediately. I thought perhaps he wanted some assistance climbing up the wardrobe – sometimes he likes to play baby even though he’s obviously totally capable of doing it by himself, even more capable than with my help I’d say ’cause that wardrobe is quite a bit taller than me so it’s a bit of an unnecessary hassle putting him up there and I’m always a bit scared he’ll fall down when I do that or something, because I don’t really know when he’s standing steady on his paws up there and when I can leave him and there’s not a lot of space up there really, so it’s even safer for him to do it on his ownn I think. So I kept talking to him which sometimes stops him from crying, but he kept crying which started to annoy me as I didn’t know what to do with that and it’s not fun to have a roommate who is constantly moaning like that, so I just opened the door and told him what you already know, and he promptly left. As I said, I’m pretty sure he was very sleepy, and there are always troubles with Misha when he’s sleepy, he’ll be like barely able to stand or even sit and his eyes will close but he won’t settle and his whims as for where he’d like to sleep constantly change, or it looks like he’d sleep somewhere happily but something is wrong with it in his opinion so he won’t before we read his mind and fix what’s wrong. He’s generally very much a creature of habit and routine to the point where it gets ridiculous and absurd sometimes, but with those hundreds of sleeping places it’s totally mad and unpredictable. But as he hasn’t come back and I haven’t heard of him ever since anymore, I think he must have gone to his second most favourite bedroom at this time of the year and is probably sleeping in a basket on the radiator in the living room.

Your turn. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

When was the last time you cried, and why?

My answer:

Can’t remember for the life of me. I’ve often been getting those weird dreams for the last half a year or so, from which I can often hardly remember anythiing, but when I wake up I either feel like crying for a little while before I feel fully awake and realise there’s no need for that, or my eyes are wet as if I was crying not long ago. Other than that I really can’t remember.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What small change could the world make to become a better place tomorrow?

My answer:

People could make sure to get some proper, good quality, long sleep tonight. A lot of people don’t get much sleep around the start of the new year, so if they finally did catch up on their lost sleep tonight, tomorrow we’d have less car accidents, and many other types of accidents, more happier people, smarter people, and people’s immune system would work better.

Your turn. πŸ™‚

Anuna ft. Lynn Hilary – “CodhlaΓ­m Go Suan”

Hey people! πŸ™‚

So I was looking for something that would be in line with the current period and that I haven’t yet shared with you, and finally I did find something that I’m quite surprised I didn’t share with you before because I really love this piece, it’s so beautiful. I’m generally surprised that I’ve never shared anything from Anuna on here.

This is not necessarily a Christmas carol or anything like that, but it comes from one of Anuna’s Christmas albums and is like a contemporary Christian hymn, so I thought it still would be very suitable. It was composed and written by Michael Glynn – the musical director and founder of Anuna – and the soloist is Lynn Hilary who also used to be part of quite a popular Irish Celtic group Celtic Woman and has released some solo music as well.

Anuna is a very interesting project, they do choral music that is very much based on Celtic elements but also draws a lot from the Christian choral singing tradition. I am not a huge fan of choral singing but I like what they do.

Here are the lyrics to this song in English:

 

He comes with the wind

He goes on the waves

He hears my prayer

When I call Him in the darkest moment of the night

 

Softly, softly, softly

I sleep softly, my Christ

Softly, softly, softly

I sleep softly in Your heart

 

Naked He stands at the dawn

In the new-born child

He is there at the end

As the soul parts from the body

Softly, softly, softly

I sleep softly, my Christ

Softly, softly, softly

I sleep softly in Your heart

 

There is no one so full of mercy and love

There is no way to understand Your goodness

You are my teacher and guide

I sleep softly in Your heart

 

Softly, softly, softly

I sleep softly, my Christ

Softly, softly, softly

I sleep softly in Your heart

It doesn’t seem to be on YouTube, so below are the links to Spotify and Songwhip, and on the latter you can find all the other streaming services where it is available:

Anuna ft. Lynn Hilary – “CodhlaΓ­m Go Suan”.

Question of the day.

What are you thinking about?

My answer:

That after writing this post, I’m gonna go sleepy sleep. I’ve been feeling quite dreadful today because finally, after like half a year, Jack the Ripper, aka Jack the Butcher has come to visit me yesterday, and he’s been catching up on all the lost time. Although from what my gynaecologist has told me in the past it’s not overly concerning yet, especially if you have some hormonal problems to begin with like I do with pituitary not to have your period for about half a year, I was beginning to get a bit concerned very recently and Jack must have read my thoughts and came yesterday showing his full potential. I’ve had a terrible headache all night and most of the day today and am feeling achy and lousy overall, and I’ve actually slept already today, which is not like me because I normally don’t nap during the day and avoid it for all costs, but I still feel like bed is the best place to be in right now. But hey, at least I didn’t seem to get any bad PMS symptoms, and am feeling okay emotionally and mentally today, that’s a big plus! Perhaps tomorrow will be the other way around. But I better not say it if Jack can seriously read my thoughts. Well I was a bit mood-swingy lately but not so that it would be a problem or that I’d even noticed it could be PMS. So yeah… 😴

Oh but speaking about all things hormones, have I told you guys about my thyroid ultrasound? I mean the results? Well I don’t remember now so if I did, I’ll just tell you again. As I wrote before it I was a little worried that something may be wrong, but the ultrasound doctor said it was totally normal, so I’m happy. Even the socialising wasn’t too bad, somehow I managed to get along with him without much difficulty, perhaps because his daughter apparently is also called Emilia, lol, and it went more smoothly than it always did in the past back when I was going to Medical Academy for all sorts of pituitary and thyroid testing when I was a minor, the ultrasound there always took ages and something about it was super stressful so I was very surprised. As always, defensive pessimism paid off.

Okay, your turn now, my thinking brain is shutting down so I have nothing more to say on the topic. πŸ˜€

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

What was the last thing you cried about?

My answer:

Can’t recall anything I’d cry about recently, except for that I had a weird dream a few nights before and woke up crying a bit but once I woke up for good I could not remember what it was about, other than it was a bit upsetting but couldn’t recall any details at all. Such strange dreams have been happening weirdly often to me for a year or so. Not like super frequently but it almost never happened to me before and now it’s every few months or more often. But since I normally don’t remember the dreams in much detail afterwards, or if I do, they’re no longer that very upsetting after I wake up, it’s not a big deal, just kind of strange. Perhaps my brain compensates for my crying inhibition during daytime or something.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (13th August).

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Do you read or watch TV before falling asleep?

My answer:

I always read before going to sleep. I also listen to the music before I fall asleep and while I’m sleeping, as that helps me with anxiety and also I just like it this way. I read on my PlexTalk, and have a sleeptimer on, so that the book doesn’t keep on going or at least not too much when I’m already asleep. And in the background I have my iPhone quietly on, just enough so that I can hear it, either playing music on Spotify or some radio. If it’s radio it’s either playing some station which plays only music, and such that I really really like, and there are only few stations whose music I’d love so unreservedly, or, more often, it’s just talk in one of my favourite languages. Sometimes I also listen to some podcasts in bed but that’s rather if I’m not planning to go to sleep just yet.

How is it with you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What time do you go to bed?

My answer:

As in my answer to the previous question, my circadian rhythm is screwed up so there are no rules whatsoever in practice for what time I fall asleep. I do try to have a more predictive bedtime though if possible, so my standard goal is to be in bed by midnight, not later. I might eventually get up if I’m not having any luck falling asleep for an hour or longer, or when I’m feeling mentally crappy and if I am only able to sleep, I like to go to sleep earlier and sleep as much as possible.

You? πŸ™‚