Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent
athelind

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They Say That Waking Up Is Hard To Do

the_gneech just posted something about the internal struggle his brain has every morning, with particular emphasis on the way his subconscious tries to fool his waking mind into thinking it's already awake.

These are not issues I usually have. I'm normally one of those annoying people who snaps out of bed at the first alarm. In fact, when I'm getting up regularly, I start waking up a minute or so BEFORE the alarm rings.

Being "up" isn't the same thing as being "awake". When I was first in college, fresh out of high school, I would wake up every morning in the shower, hot water cascading over me as I stretched out in the tub. I had gotten out of bed, gotten out of my pajamas, adjusted the water to the perfect temperature, and stretched out to let Brain catch up to Body... while still asleep.

I slept in the top bunk, with no ladder.

A few years later, I was in the Coast Guard, aboard a High Endurance Cutter patrolling Alaskan waters. At one point in the watch rotation, I was due to stand the 0400-0800 watch on the bridge.

As usual, around 0300, the messenger for the midnight watch came down to wake me up. I woke up, put on my uniform, and stood a full rotation -- an hour on the flying bridge, an hour as messenger, an hour at the helm, and another hour on the flying bridge. It was a perfectly normal shift, nothing unusual happened...

...until the messenger showed up again, and said, "Hey! What are you doing? It's time to head up!"

I had dreamed the whole watch.

And even though the "first" watch was a dream... it still felt as though I'd stood on the bridge for eight straight hours.

Ever since then, the conscious mind hasn't fallen for the subconscious's little tricks. I think the subconscious knows that if it pulled that kind of stunt again, the conscious mind would take it out behind the amygdala and beat the living crap out of it.
Tags: dreams, sleep
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