Friday, 24 August 2007

Nightmares

As the end of the Summer Holiday approaches, I can feel my anxiety levels increasing. I have a terrible fear of oversleeping, made worse by the fact that, left to my own devices, I would probably spend 20 hours under the duvet, surfacing at about 8pm. This term, my oversleeping anxiety is slightly heightened by the fact that I am due to start at a new school.

I can tell that it's nearly the end of the holiday: I have had my first nightmare... I dreamt that I overslept and completely missed the first day of term. I woke up thanking God that it was at least just an INSET day, so I hadn't actually missed much...

I have the ability to turn off alarm clocks in my sleep. I've tried putting them right next to my head, but that makes it too easy to switch them off. I have put them a reasonable distance across the bedroom so that I have to get up to switch them off, but I then seem to be able to ignore them. Notice that I refer to alarm clocks in the plural. I have a small travel alarm clock (saved for term time and important events), my mobile phone alarm, my old mobile alarm, a radio alarm and an old-fashioned fire-bell type alarm clock. And if it's a really important event, then I can arrange for a wake-up call from my landline phone operator...

Paranoid? Moi?? No, just careful.

The first day back after one Christmas holiday, my then single alarm clock went off. I switched it off, got up, washed, did my makeup and got dressed. I drove in to school, and wearily made my way into my Science lab. The first class came in, and I started to teach them something or other (I forget what.)

In the middle of the lesson, the telephone rang. Now this was a little unusual, not least because I didn't actually have a telephone in my lab, but I answered it anyway. A voice on the other end of the line told me that it was the Head's PA. She asked if I was actually going to come in to school that day...

This was really bizarre. I retorted, "I am in school, I'm..."

It was at this point that I woke up. At home. In my nightdress. On the phone (which was in the spare room) with the Head's PA on the other end of the line...

15 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

Oh, God Mac. that's so vivid it's scary. I've been known to wake up middle of the night dreaming something really good...have a "call of nature" get up to take care of it, but managed to hang on to the dream so I could continue it.... but that one's really scary.

I gotta get to bed soon though, I have an early work day at 8, rather than our usual night work. Feh. My OLD hand wind travel clock finally gasped its last..so I got a new one....that doesn't work worth a you know what... then when I get paranoid the alarm's not going to go off I can't sleep.

Mark said...

Awww... Mac, I know what it's like. Though I've never done that!

I too can switch them all (yes, many) off in my sleep, so I have to make sure I go to bed early enough to wake up naturally in time.

One thing you might want to investigate is a lumie alarm clock--over the thirty minutes before the alarm time, it slowly lights up until it is like natural light, at which point the alarm goes off. However, because your body reacts to light, you're generally already awake, or wakening. I love it!

faccio la mamma said...

Have you not tried the BVM alarm call? 3 Hail Marys and Our Lady will intercede for you to wake up at whatever time you need. She works for me every time (and I've used this method when I've been without an alarm clock and it has been really important that I waken on time)! Go on, trust your Mother to get you up in the morning and let us know how you get on...

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Although i haven't taught secondary for nearly 10 years i still wake up in the middle of the night wondering if i've done all my marking!

Kasia said...

Yowch!

I recall once having a dream in which I got up, got dressed, went downstairs, and started making breakfast. Not until I went to take my first bite of Corn Flakes did I realize I was dreaming...and then only because I didn't taste the Corn Flakes. Still has nothing on your story though...

Mac McLernon said...

Karen - I very rarely sleep well (if at all) the night before term starts (afraid it might happen again) or, in fact, the night before I have to get up early for anything... I generally wake up every half hour with my heart thumping, until finally, I either get up and decide to stay awake all night or I fall asleep so heavily I then wake up late (but not usually disastrously so!)

Mark - I can sleep in broad daylight, so that's not necessarily the answer... but I may find myself looking into the lumie out of sheer desperation...

Faccio - I've done the Hail Mary bit, and even tried my Guardian Angel. I have no doubt that they fulfilled their side of the matter. I, on the other hand, will probably be asleep during the Second Coming!

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

On a more serious note i'm having a hell of a problem getting of heavy duty sleeping meds..i've been on since i was last ill..i have total insomnia & cannot sleep without them..the problem is morning grogginess although strangely i have no problem whatsoever getting up at 6/7 am...

gemoftheocean said...

Mac on those "really important things" I've been known to set THREE wind up alarm clocks -- all set for 10-15 minutes apart. Starting with the FURTHEST alarm from the bed being set the soonest, so I have to physically get up. Haven't missed any early plane flights that way.

[Although there was ONE time I cut the last week of lectures at some college class, and they CHANGED THE ROOM FOR THE FINAL from what was published...economics exam. The time length was 3 hours long...and I showed up 45 minutes late. Daymare for real! To this day any mention of "Keynsian economics" or "market elasticity" is enough to make me break out in a cold sweat.]

Moretben said...

Insomniacs of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your jobs!

I have major sleeping problems. Today as a consequence, I failed my first PCV test. I only get another one and then it's back on the dole. Problem: I do not drive well when tired; but I cannot sleep before a test. Actually I get at most around six hours most nights, which is normally adequate, but leaves nothing in reserve. It takes only one small child unable to find the lavatory noiselessly at 2am to throw my whole week out of kilter.

Teachers' jargon baffles tired parent: several months ago, walking my five-year-old to school, she mentioned that she had the coming Monday off for "insect day". Reflexively sceptical, I probed her. "We get the day off to look for insects, then we take them all to school in a jar the next day". This sounded wildly improbable. I mentioned it to the Teaching Assistant who smiled and shrugged. My wife cleared it up.

Fr John Boyle said...

What a frightening cat picture!

Here in Vermont it's skunk I've been warned about. Apparently they cock their tails and spray you or your car with you-know-what and the smell is just awful and impossible to remove. So I'll be watching out as I hire a car tomorrow.

The other thing is Moose - apparently if you hit one with your car you're dead!

Ali said...

that has actually happened to me...several times... ha!

KateGladstone said...

Does this work if you are not Christian and do not believe in her intercessory powers?

KateGladstone said...

What was "insect day"? Was it anything to do with "INSET day" mentioned earlier? I don't know what "INSET day" is, because if we have it in America we call it something else.

Mac McLernon said...

Presumably, Kate, if one is not Christian and do not believe in the intercessory powers of Our Lady, then one is unlikely to try it... since one would be asking for her intercession. Prayers rely on faith - even Jesus said so.

I am a Christian and I do believe Mary has intercessory powers.

Mac McLernon said...

INSET days - in service training. A day when the students are not in school but the teachers are. INSET also applies to specific courses teachers go on.

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