We all get nightmares. Male and female, young and old, nightmares are one way our brains handle stress. And each day brings its own stressors, you know?
For some, nightmares are vivid and terrifying, waking up the sleeper and disrupting not only their sleep, but also the next day.
The correlation between nightmare frequency and day- time tiredness reflects the negative effects nightmares exert on the next day. – Nightmare Frequency in Patients with Primary Insomnia, IJODR, 2,2, 2009
This would explain my appreciation for a good nap, I daresay. I do like to nap.
I had nightmares obliterating my rest from the time I was eight years old. Horrific nightmares. Nightmares that a little girl from a stable, happy home who mainly watched The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie while she read The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit shouldn’t have been having. Graphic horrors involving mass murder and other such scenarios invaded my sleep on a regular basis. When I was eight and played nice with my Barbies®.
Insomnia came, too. I think my body forgot how to sleep all night, after a while.
I discovered, back at the end of 1997 when I first began to write, that the process of writing had an unexpected benefit: no more nightmares.
Insomnia? Well, that is still an issue, even now (unless we get a long run of freezing nights!), but the nightmares went away when I wrote. So over the past fifteen years, I have tried to keep pretty busy on the writing front.
Recently, having finished my draft of Éire’s Viking, I took a break from writing. A few days off to catch up on books I wanted to read but had set aside in my mad rush to finish the manuscript. The opportunity to catch up with TV series I hadn’t seen (I love catching episodes online and am enjoying Downton Abbey on PBS.org enormously.) The break was. . .odd. I am researching for other books and all, but I didn’t create for a few days.
I had forgotten about the nightmares. How could I have done so? I don’t know.
I spent a few rather uncomfortable nights, let me tell you. But then I remembered a story I wanted to write for a friend’s birthday, and I got that done. I haven’t created anything new today, so I’m writing here (I wonder if that’ll count to my psyche?) and hope that the terrors of excess neurons can bleed harmlessly into ether.
If you’re reading, I invite you to share with me your experiences with nightmares and/or insomnia. Or what about your need to create? Painting? Music? Words? Crafts? Maybe I should find a new outlet for those days when I am not “writing” as such.
I welcome your comments. 🙂