Thursday, July 21, 2016

This Isn't What They Mean by That

Been wondering why I sometimes wake up with dry eyes that can't focus properly without eyedrops, but this morning I think I found out.

Apparently I've sometimes been sleeping with my eyes, or at least one eye, open (insert cowboy-in-Indian-country joke here), and this morning it happened while I was dreaming. So I dreamed I was awake, in my bedroom, but unable to see anything except what I, still asleep in bed, happened to be looking at.

When you blink and move your eyes, and your head, and even sit up and try to get out of bed, but all you can see is the slightly tilted image of your bedside lamp, you begin to think something might be wrong.

Oh, and what "woke" me in my dream was a loud, repetitive whump that I couldn't locate, and which didn't change in intensity no matter what I did -- but it was my disobedient eyes that eventually drew my full attention. I'd actually forgotten the noise until it stopped. When I woke up for real, still looking at my bedside lamp. And when I looked away from my lamp then, I saw... things other than my lamp! It was a miracle!

This was another of those "sleep paralysis" dreams I've been having on rare occasions throughout my adult life. I'd long since realized they were merely dreams, and now I suspect they happen because my eyes open in that particular sleep state. Most previous occasions it's been in the deep darkness of late night or much earlier morning, but if, say, my eyes in that sleep state are hugely dilated, that could explain why the things I remember seeing during such a dream didn't look as unlit as they did once I came full awake.

Also, since subjective time in a dream is different from waking time, my eyes may have been stiller and thus getting a longer exposure, creating an illusion of more light in the room.

So anyway, as soon as I realized that my eyes felt all scratchy again, I reached for the eyedrops and there was, once again, not a dry eye in the house.

Oh, and the noise? Just my heartbeat.

No comments: