Sleep Is My Superpower
Looking back on the last 10 years of my life, there were definitely some red flags that should have led me to seek help for my sleepiness.
My friends and I always joked that sleeping was my superpower. I could do it anywhere, anytime, with any amount of noise and distraction around me.
This is a list of the ridiculous and scary situations that sleep has put me in.
Was that a fire alarm?
Picture this: it's the middle of the night, and my partner and I are fast asleep in bed. I wake up at one point, and I am alone, but this isn't unusual because he has insomnia, so I just roll over and go back to sleep. Sometime later, I wake up to him opening the door and crawling back into bed. "What's wrong?" I ask him.
After being shocked that I had no idea what was happening, he explained that the fire alarm had gone off and he had spent the last 30 minutes trying to figure out how to stop it. Not only had I slept through the fire alarm. When I woke up and wondered where he was, I was still so drowsy that I STILL didn't notice the alarm going and went back to sleep. This is probably one of the scarier situations my superpower has put me in, and now sleeping alone anywhere still worries me in case I don't wake up to an alarm like this.
Alcohol is my weakness
Now for a more light-hearted story. I was on holiday in Bali and enjoying the frozen strawberry daiquiris at the pool bar a little too much. My friend and I were talking and having a great time, then the next minute she finds me asleep face down with my head on the pool bar.
The mixture of alcohol and the afternoon sun shining on me had sent me to the land of nod. Turns out I can't hold alcohol quite as well as I used to.
Social interaction is my arch-nemesis
I have always been an introvert, so I never really thought about this too much, but socializing is exhausting! Even though there are lots of people out there that also find social interaction to be a tiring task, I am sure that most of them probably won't fall asleep in the middle of a conversation.
I have been to parties where I have had to find a quiet corner or an available toilet cubicle to have a power nap. I have been to a cafe with a friend where I have fallen asleep holding my cup of coffee. In recent times, I have even fallen asleep during a Zoom call (luckily, my camera was off).
Tired? Have a nap!
Although sleep has put me in some hilarious and scary situations, it really is a superpower in so many ways. I rely on my ability to take naps during the day in order to function.
I can nap in the car on my lunch break at work or even on the floor if I have to. If I didn't have these opportunities to sleep, I don't know how I would make it through the day.
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Where are you in your narcolepsy diagnosis journey?