Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Brain Without Sleep

Okay last night I stayed up until 6 in the morning watching YouTube videos. Damn you Movie Bob. Not for the first time in my life have I experienced the weirdness that is my brain without sleep.  For shits and giggles I will describe the sensations.

Stage 1:  Fatigue
Put simply I start getting lazy, I don't feel like doing anything that takes mental or physical effort. Which is why I tend to go to sleep at this point. I don't even feel like doing the fun stuff I like.

Stage 2: Irritability
The great secret of my head is that I normally value civility.  When I'm tired I stop giving a fuck. I don't get violent or anything, but the zingers that typically stay in my brain start escaping, and things that I generally let pass I start fighting about. In short I become an asshole.

Generally at this point I have to be trying to stay awake, whether it's because there is some show, or assignment, or meeting. Naturally my body won't let me get this point. I will be knocked out before the rest of this stuff happens, unless I'm being willfully stupid. Damn you Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Sealab 2021.

Stage 3: Demented Mental Imagery/Lack of Focus
I don't start hallucinating or anything at least not until later and no I wasn't at that point last night, but I do start to have very surreal day dreams. My head will just go somewhere else for a minute. And as the night goes on that somewhere else gets weirder and more messed up.   Which leads to

Stage 4: Paranoia
Yeah. All the weird stuff running though my head starts to freak me out a little. Everything is a potential threat. I'm typically self-aware enough to know it's not real. And that my brain is acting funny.  But Jesus Christ, my head flashing to the blood test in The Thing every 5 minutes puts me on edge.

Stage 5: Spatial Distortion/Claustrophobia

In that state bathrooms freak me the hell out man.

I aint going in there man. Hell I aint goin'.
That's about the point I decided to actually get some sleep.  Let's continue to my days of getting 4-5 hours weeks on end.

Okay so far we are at about the 20-22 hours without sleep mark. Let's up it.

Stage 6: Floaters
I start seeing red and blue dots at about 30 hours. In high school between exams, homework and good TV (Adult Swim and Comedy Central) it wasn't unusual for me to get to that point. The Chapelle Show was too damn good.

Stage 7: Full on Hallucinations 
Mostly the floaters just start turning into butterflies. Only happened once years ago, but it freaked me the hell out! I've never been that far down the rabbit hole again.

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