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Thursday, August 11, Before that, I slept like a monarch in my Cal king bed. I never thought much about the subject at all. But by some great stroke of fortune, the gene had skipped me. For 59 years, sleep was that invisible, soft redemption separating today from tomorrow. Right through August 10th it was that way and then abruptly I stopped sleeping completely.
One night awake is nothing to worry about. It happens. Trans-oceanic travel. Or the eve of a big event. Work, love, family, loss—the pot of soup that forever simmers. With cable television, the internet, all-night call-in sports shows, we have a myriad of reasons keeping us awake.
But my one night of no sleep became two, then three, and on the fifth day I confessed to my wife my circumstance. Janet gazed at me. It was more of a rhetorical question.
Janet was aware by then that I preferred to stubbornly power through setbacks rather than suffer the indignity of discussing them. Janet held up the screen of her laptop for proof. Insomnia is an attack of such a private nature that my initial reaction was embarrassment. Sleep is the ultimate version of personal time.
You don the barest of clothing and have the license to drool.
Nightly, in slumber, the strange movie house of dreams opens in your brain. The stories are by turns mundane, scary, thrilling, sad, cruel, happy—and, occasionally, all of the above. The whole enterprise of sleep is a nifty magic trick. Publicly, I acted like nothing was wrong. I chose instead to treat my budding sleeplessness like a transient cough or outbreak of poison ivy. I tried to ignore it and hoped it would go away on its own. Insomnia is a universal condition that probably dates all the way back to that original cave-person peering up at the roof of the grotto while the rest of his clan caught some shut-eye.
Insomnia seems to suggest a deeper psychological underpinning at work, an outer sign of an unwell soul within. Some 30 percent of the population suffers from chronic sleeplessness. It gets worse as you age, when the numbers rise upwards of 50 percent for year-olds. One in three individuals slog through some form of insomnia over the course of a lifetime. Women nearly twice as much as men. In pure population data, some 60 million Americans have a sleep disorder.
Most of those who do, wind up trying to power through it. Why see a doctor? In my case, I was anxious and moody, both of which stemmed from not sleeping. The problem appeared to be more psychologically based. Instead, I began to inventory what might be keeping me up at night. My starting point was that I was happy. For the gift of Janet and our three dogs, two border collies and a Parson Russell terrier named Little Daddy.
This typically results in Harry spending or trying to spend two or three days in a non-stop blend of combat, investigation and fleeing. Predictably, this results in one very tired wizard trying to save the world. In addition, after the fourth book, he starts to get increasingly pissed off when people point out that he looks like he could use some sleep.
He knows. It also explains his constant pursuit of coffee, Coke, and high-sugar snacks. He has a small Healing Factor , so after the dust settles, he can take a few days and heal up from whatever side effects his famed showdowns have caused him. In Left Behind , after his death and "resurrection" by Satan indwelling him, The Antichrist Nicolae Carpathia becomes this for the remaining period of the Tribulation, never needing rest as his body is in a constant state of regenerative activity.
It is only for the brief period that Satan leaves Nicolae's body and also when Jesus commands Satan to leave him that he shows that his true form is that of a decaying animated corpse being kept alive for the purpose for fulfilling the role as the Antichrist.
The diary of a sleepless night
The narrator of Fredric Brown 's Letter to A Phoenix had some rare endocrine disorder and then got irradiated during a nuclear war. Now he stays awake about 30 years, then sleeps about 15 years in some hidden shelter and then emerges with a new identity. Thus he ages 1 day per 45 years. To avoid suspicions he pretends to sleep several hours every day. A woman from a Haruki Murakami short story finds one day that she doesn't need to sleep and has more energy.
She spends her "sleep" hours reading and drinking expensive liquor. Number Two in The Mysterious Benedict Society hardly sleeps in order to watch the narcoleptic Benedict and take care of other odds and ends , though she consumes food regularly to keep her going.
It's mentioned that she does sleep, but only for very brief periods, a clarification that is made after it's quipped that Mr. Benedict can't stop falling asleep he has narcolepsy and she never sleeps. In the second installment of the series, she is left quite delirious after not revealing her additional food needs to the Big Bad Mr.
Curtain after he captures her and Mr. Benedict and thus not revealing the reason why in order to trick them by working feverishly to escape while they were sleeping. The One Who Eats Monsters : Ryn only sleeps one day a month on the day of the new moon, during which she sleeps the whole day and night. Rose Thorburn, in Pact , has this as one of the reasons she considers herself Ambiguously Human — in addition to the fact that she doesn't breathe and lacks a heartbeat, and exists only in reflections.
The Sleepless () - IMDb
She puts it to use by catching up on her reading while she'd normally have to sleep. The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds features a woman named Jane, who had the misfortune of falling prey to one of the villain's booby traps: a mechanical scarab attached to her neck that will kill her if she falls asleep it will also explode if anyone comes near her, thus preventing attempts at removing it.
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Nova from Renegades haven't needed to sleep - nor been able to - since she was six years old. In A Song of Ice and Fire Melisandre is troubled by bad dreams, sleeps about one hour a night, and hopes for the day her god R'hllor will remove the need for sleep from her entirely. She's able to function fine on this amount of sleep and also doesn't need to eat at all , so it's a reasonable hope. Tyrion notes that his mercenary companion Bronn never seems to sleep either, although he's otherwise an apparently normal man.
Palpatine vowed to never repeat his Master's mistake, and never slept again, presumably relying on The Dark Side to sustain himself. One of the short stories in Arthur C. Clarke 's Tales from the White Hart is about a man who loses the need for sleep. Vampires in Twilight. Decapitated Dan from Too Many Curses reminisces about how, when he was still alive, he used to spend the whole night in a chair gazing at the moon rather than sleeping.
Live-Action TV. In 30 Rock Kenneth refers to a bedroom as the place you "wait patiently for the next day to start-I mean sleep". In an episode of Angel , Lorne temporarily had his need for sleep removed. It didn't go well.
Similarly, Buffy is said to barely sleep during season 7. It doesn't help her decision-making. As part of his inverted Pinocchio Syndrome , Cavil from Battlestar Galactica has engineered away his need for sleep.