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The 3-Month Sleep Experiment (2021)

by Megan Baker 8 months ago in coping
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Part Three: December 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021

The Journal I'm Writing the Dreams in

This is the 3rd and final part of my 3-month "experiment", during which I have stopped using recreational cannabis in order to have dreams that I have recorded, largely for upcoming therapy. The idea was to see if the dreams are as dark and stressful as they were before I began using recreational cannabis about 7 years ago and found that using it allowed me dreamless sleep; sweet oblivion.

I suggest reading "A Dreamless Sleep" to understand the full situation and examples of what dreams used to be like for me. Click here for part one and here for part two, if you wish. At this point in the "experiment", I am not using recreational cannabis, not using CBD at all, and not using any other sleep aids such as tea, melatonin, or stress relievers. Trust me, I wish I was using any of that; this last month without any of it has been rough.

By Jed Owen on Unsplash

December 1, 2021:

First up is something that could have come straight out of the Tremors franchise - because the Graboids sure were! In it, Valentine (Val) of the first movie races by on the horse he borrowed from Walter (the store owner from the first film). Rather than Val continuing his part in the film, he and his borrowed horse are individually eaten by Graboids. A new female character winds up on her ass on the ground - with one of the subterranean beasts right beneath her, tentacles searching for her. It was a tense scene, and could have been right at home in the films - or even another horror movie!

Then, in the next dream that night, I am drawing a few scenes. One of my aunts keeps trying to interrupt, but I act like I can't hear her. My dad then comes in, asking about my drawings, as some seem to feature same-sex couples.

Last for that night, my grandma simply shows me her schedule on the wall of her home office and informs me when is a good time to call.

By Kasper Rasmussen on Unsplash

December 2, 2021:

In this dream, the recurring theme of, "someone is trying to get away from someone else and of course the door doesn't close in time/right" comes back out to play. This time, one woman, scared out of her mind, hides behind the front door she just managed to close as a killer, hired by her female boss, is ordered to break in and kill her to keep the woman from finding out/revealing what the boss has done. Both the woman hiding in the house and the would-be killer do find out what the boss has done, as they find some papers in the house. The hired killer takes pity on the woman, and does not kill her. Was largely a tense dream, as similar ones are.

December 3, 2021:

Even with a van full of family, if my dad isn't around, it is up to me to care for my disabled younger brother. Throughout the dream, everyone is asking or demanding me to feed, change, carry, or otherwise move my brother - as well as do crafts! I'm tired just remembering this dream...

By Sergiu Vălenaș on Unsplash

December 4, 2021:

Mom is pissed off at me for a slight. When I come outside to show my dad a damaged book encrusted in jewels and "cemented" pages, he carelessly chucks it onto the cement porch steps before I can tell him it might be a rare, lost book worth some money. Mom snidely remarks maybe I shouldn't be such a bitch and someone would help me, and my "uncle" - my dad's best friend since childhood - tells her to be nicer. I feed a family of backyard critters some bread before asking dad if using a rake on a dried up area of grass would help it seed better next year.

I will also admit that it took a long time for me to fall asleep this night; a lot of tossing and turning meant I didn't fall asleep for at least an hour and a half after I tried going to bed!

December 5, 2021:

Also took a long time to fall asleep this night - it took me around 3 hours after I tried to go to sleep!

This dream saw my aunt in South Dakota and one of my favorite cousins escorting me to an airport to return home. We go through a small store in the airport before take off with towering shelving. There, I find a fold-up brush and fold-up whistle I like, and I get in line to buy them.

By Silas Baisch on Unsplash

December 6, 2021:

A brief dream, it simply featured a liopleurodon swimming leisurely fairly deep in the open ocean with nothing else around it. Nothing says "nerd" like dreaming about extinct marine reptiles!

December 7, 2021:

Admittedly, I didn't write the details of this one down right away; after several days this week trying to go to sleep and having hours of issues doing so, I guess I wasn't so concerned, and wound up rolling over and going back to sleep rather than writing down the dream right away.

In it, students and an older man seek a teacher inside a greenhouse during a winter storm. Smaller details were lost, but at the end of it, this teacher shows another woman clothes inside of a suitcase, mentioning something about "getting off". Inside, crawling on the clothes, are small, reddish insects or crabs...

December 10, 2021:

Dream I am playing D&D with a respected friend and his crew for the first time. It’s great fun and afterwards, I write a short story to emulate how much fun I had. My friends reads it and hands it back with edits that riddle the entire piece, pointing out error after error. Starts fun but ends in disappointment and dejection.

December 11, 2021:

By Karalina S on Unsplash

In the first, I am to watch my brother. While doing so, my dad shows me hows he's made something called pumpkin fries. Turns out, they're a thing, but I'd never heard of them before this dream!

In the second, I am to watch my sister's house. After I think her and her family have left, I go downstairs in a shirt and underwear, only to nearly be seen by a neighbor from their backyard. I then walk to what would be the middle of the house, only to find there is a bar connecting my sister's home to their other next door neighbor's. The "bartender" neighbor offers me a complimentary bottle of wine, which I wait for but never receive. My sister sits at the bar, drinking with neighbors, laughing. The whole thing felt claustrophobic and I felt like there was nowhere to go where I wouldn't run into someone. No peace or privacy.

December 12, 2021:

I dream that some guy named Marquis is part of/runs a gang, and he is in a high school looking to kill a guy named Derrick. Details mostly forgotten as I rolled over and went back to sleep before I could write anything down. Also, weird how spellings show up in dreams!

I am considering starting to use CBD again for the last few weeks, as I am having difficulty "turning off" to sleep, staying comfortable/asleep, and am sleeping much longer in order to "make up" for the late sleep as a result. I forgot just how much difficulty I had with such things before I started using cannabis....

December 13, 2021:

By Jakub Kriz on Unsplash

Aang and Sokka (Avatar: the Last Airbender) find themselves in trouble after sailing to an island of giant, talking mice. Seems to be a harbor, and the air is foggy, the mice dressed in old-fashioned clothes. Presumed to be New York-like. Upon landing, they learn that "the disturbance" they have caused by showing up has earned them a death sentence!

The "same" dream, but the scene switches to my boyfriend, his best friend, me, and another, fictional guy try to attend some sporting event in a large building. We witness our friend in the story is unable to join in - his "green card" is up and he is to be deported! He makes a run through the crowded building, where the sprinklers inside go off. We follow him into a room where a council sits, and, denied again, our friend - wet from the sprinklers - jumps into a huge, old-style television and commits suicide by electrocution.

By PJ Gal-Szabo on Unsplash

Jumps back to Aang and Sokka. They are fleeing along rooftops until they jump down to the ground. There, Toph is presumed killed after a large column of stone falls directly on her. Overall, a stressful dream of fleeing.

I also gave in and started smoking CBD again. While I'm interested in recording my natural sleep patterns, I found my boyfriend to be correct - I shouldn't have to suffer weeks of crappy sleep to record the dreams. Nor do I want to keep suffering terrible sleep - these dreams are annoying enough on their own!

December 17, 2021:

Dream that my boyfriend is hanging around another woman while I am struggling to keep up with my family's demands of how/when to take care of my brother. My boyfriend leaves me for her and I snub her out of anger. I start behaving aggressively towards my family, sick of how little they help with my brother and that they constantly leave it up to me. I redress my brother after feeding him only for my dad to have me dress him in the previous outfit, and then after I feed him a good amount of food, dad plates him up another huge serving that I'm sure will make him sick. I run into friends and start telling them about this shit, but am unable to get everything off my chest before they fall into line to get into a venue, leaving me to walk back to my family frustrated and upset.

December 18, 2021:

Dream of a startling shark fossil being found - dream plays out like a documentary on the fossil. The face and jaw was bitten so hard, the teeth were broken and imbedded in the opposite jaw!

December 19, 2021:

By Gautam Krishnan on Unsplash

Shane and Ryan from Buzzfeed Unsolved spend a day with my brother and I. The first "ride" at this place is a water-based one: like an underwater Ferris wheel. There are breathing tubes, and after three false starts, a passenger in another cab is kicked out; turns out he had been messing with my breathing tube. We then go for a walk around a lake, and they drive my brother and I to our parents'. As I am packing up our duffle bag and getting out of the vehicle, my brother begins to drool, and Shane is kind enough to clean him up. He also makes quality puns - too bad I can't recall any, but I was surprised upon waking that they made sense and weren't nonsense.

December 20, 2021:

Dream that I am a young man named Thomas and am looking for evidence of archaeology sites in a historic part of town. An older man joins me, armed with an outdated type of gun. We run after being shot at and hide in a different section of this square. My companion shouts out, "Hudson!" before more shots ring out. He then yells for me to duck - he says he's been shot in the head! Another man - Hudson - approaches me slowly, raising his gun. I somehow have one too and raise it, but it clicks; empty. Realizing I can't do him any harm with it, Hudson lowers his weapon and walks over to me. He kneels by me, and as he touches my lower back, I now feel the sharp pain of a bullet in my back.

By Francesca Hotchin on Unsplash

December 21, 2021:

Dream that my parents, brother and I are all getting carted around town in a sleigh. Several times, we nearly fall off a ledge, and eventually we do - the sensation of falling and hearing ice crack and cold water surround me was intense. Terrifying right before I woke.

December 25, 2021:

Dream my dad and I share a beef roast and chat as he freezes extra items for the next roast.

December 26, 2021:

A mother horse winds up with COVID-19 - by the end, her health is failing. Her offspring - a yearling - begins showing symptoms too.

Conclusions:

This concludes my three-month "experiment" of recording my dreams prior to starting therapy! It wound up getting pretty choppy at the end - I hadn't been sleeping well again and sorta stopped caring after the 27th if I recorded or not. While I am eager to start using more THC-heavy strains so that I can stop dreaming again, I am working through the CBD strain my boyfriend picked up for me still (he wound up getting me quite a bit). I intend to continue jotting down dreams if and when I have them in the future, and perhaps I'll continue sharing them. However, once I start using other strains, I should hardly record any outside of a nap or stays away from home where I can't use cannabis.

By Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

What has been proven to me is that my dreams are every bit as stressful and exhausting as I remember, and trying to take such a hiatus from using marijuana has reminded me of other sleeping issues I had forgotten I used to have. I still feel that my dreams the last few months were largely skewed due to the ongoing family drama and that I would have had more dreams of running, hiding, and dying than what I have written in the last three months. Usually I don't think there would be so many of confrontations with my parents. That said, I still recorded a decent number of dreams that were frightening during this experiment.

I do wonder what that therapist will say about these. Not gonna lie - feels weird to think about sharing these in that manner. But I wanna handle all this crap and I wanna do it right; I've put it off long enough and need to get it all sorted. Until last year, I hadn't considered my sleeping issues in a long time, but they have been a lifelong thing and I realize they probably point to some other underlying issues.

I also couldn't handle the last days of December/first days of January without also turning to melatonin as well as the CBD strain. I wound up having what I think was the worst flashback I've ever had days before Christmas, and the day after Christmas, my grandma's dog didn't like my boyfriend wearing a mask and bit him on the hand and face. While my boyfriend is healing fine and has no hard feelings towards the dog, I was left rattled after the bites - I was too freaked out to be useful and my dislike of driving wound up coming up when my partner pointed out I should have been driving him to the urgent care.

Not only was I left looking at ripped chunks of my boyfriend's face for hours waiting for someone to come in and stitch him up, but I was also racked with guilt over how useless I had been in the situation. I'm sure that'll come up in therapy sometime. I know I'll do it - I kind of have to at this point I think - but I do kind of have cold feet right now. Moreover, the first thing I thought of when thinking about what my parents would say when they find out that my grandma's dog bit my partner was how my mom will likely get a smug smirk on her face and exclaim, "Good!"; she is vindictive enough to celebrate his misfortune because of his slight towards her in August. And that gets me riled up and defensive.

I gotta get in to see someone soon...

Thank you for reading - I appreciate your time! 'Til next time!

coping

About the author

Megan Baker

A Colorado native and secondary caregiver to her younger brother with special needs, Megan enjoys her adventures in World of Warcraft, various types of documentaries, and making homemade items for the critters and people in her life!

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