4 Disturbing Sleep Conditions No One Talks About
Everyone's heard of sleep walking, sleep talking and sleep paralysis. There are dozens of weird, sometimes creepy sleep disorders that affect a number of people and make their bedtime seem like a night at the circus, if the circus were less full of elephants and more full of people in pajamas dry humping the fridge. Which is kind of like a French-Canadian circus. Make sure you buy the poutine if you go, but watch how the carny hands it to you -- the last thing you need is his thumb bacteria in your gravy.
Hilarious sites like Cracked tend to only inform you of actually interesting and bizarre sleep disorders. What the hell is the deal with the stuff that everyone does but no one ever wants to talk about because it's ridiculous? Why does stuff keep oozing out of us at night, is what I'm asking. Why?
I'll preface this by saying that I once heard a stand-up comedian make a joke about your head leaking maple syrup at night, and it opened my mind to a whole new reality. I wasn't the only one. And really it would have been a shame if I was, because that would mean that either I had some kind of super rare skull leprosy or my brain was trying to summon one of the Outer Gods and the portal was only opening wide enough for Shub-Niggurath to ooze one or two tentacles through.
The longer you own a pillow, the more like a turn of the century East Asian crime scene it will become. Every time you change your pillow case, you're pulling out a fluffy, comfy cloud that looks like it's been yanked straight from the asshole of Zeus himself after a rough night of low quality mead and Olestra burritos. It's yellowed and faded and terrifying, with wet filth patterns on it that seem to indicate that your hair spends all night releasing low volumes of oily piss to pass the time.
You can feel your back door puckering in anticipation.
Logic dictates that you're probably just releasing head pee as a sort of relaxational process your body likes to go through as you wind down at night, because your body is a wonderland of gross when you're not paying attention to it. That's the scientific explanation for farts, incidentally -- your body attempting to be funny. Usually it works. Farts are hilarious. Or maybe it's just because your hair is naturally a bit greasy and if you hold something against it for eight hours a day, every day, it's going to get greasy, too. Feel free to test this theory by taping a swatch of cotton to Ron Jeremy's back for part of the day and see what it looks like when you're done. Just revolting.
If you Google "yellow stains on my pillow" right now, you'll get thousands of results from poor, confused, greasy Yahoo users desperate to understand why their hair follicles insist on jacking it all over their pillows at night with only the educated guesses of other Yahoo users to satiate their curiosity. Unfortunately, the people who provide info on Yahoo Answers generally only have Ph.D.s in meth production and dumbassery, so their answers are about as satisfying as mine, but with more typos and a general air of discontent over their inability to understand the metric system and how you can tell if a door is a push or a pull without a sign. As near as I can tell, no actual scientific body has bothered to write about this phenomenon, because no one important actually cares. It's really disturbing to the good people of eHow, however.
As part of my ongoing plan to make total strangers never want to meet me in person, I have to let you know about my terrible crusty problem. Nine mornings out of 10, I wake up with a mysterious, flaky snail trail snaking out of the left corner of my mouth that for all the world looks like tiny goblins had been mining and then dragging leaking sacks of condensed milk out of my face all night long.
Now I'm not so ignorant as to not understand the mechanics of drooling -- you fall asleep, your jaw goes slack, you drool. Babies perfected it, seniors and drunks revel in it, you and I dabble from time to time, and it's wonderful. What I can't quite wrap my head around is how, every night, I brush my teeth to a glossy sheen with minty, delightful toothpaste, and I even give ol' Mr. Tongue a swipe to ensure maximum freshness, then I wake up in the morning and it tastes like I've been sucking on a wild animal's taint after coating it in crab apple juice. And there's a flaked trail of shame leading from my face to my yellowed pillow, an accusing finger pointing to my nocturnal lack of sanitation and good graces.
Basically, it's the mechanics of what happens to your mouth at night that confuses me. Science tells me that the basic cause is dryness. Your saliva production slows down at night, which allows bacteria the chance to proliferate and your saliva to thicken up a bit. During the day, bacteria is happy to live on carbs in your mouth, but at night, when you hopefully stop eating, they have to switch to protein, like the cells of your mucous membranes, and they apparently digest those about as well as you'd think, which means they're dropping a lot of sulfur bombs along the way. In layman's terms (more layman than that ridiculous shit I just said), your dried out, hungry mouth bacteria just shits up a storm in your mouth all night.
Put that wretched stink flipper back in your noxious food depository.
But come on. There's thick, bacteria-laden saliva, and then there's diluted ass fudge, which is what we're all waking up with. It happens to everyone, and odds are it's why I wake up alone more often than not (one of the reasons, anyway), but it'd be nice if Johnson & Johnson put together some kind of anti-gruel tablets you could pop into your mouth at night that allow you to wake up with a mouthful of rosy cheer and a taste that is distinctly not the same as what I imagine a hobo's cleavage might taste like. Things are literally shitting in our mouths all night, why is no one working on a solution to this?
You ever have that feeling when you're just barely asleep and you're falling? So you spasm like someone just kicked you across the room and realize no, you're not falling, you're just lying there. That's called a hypnic jerk. It's caused by all kinds of different things, from caffeine to stress to someone pushing you off a bed to vampirism. They don't have a cool name like that for pee dreams. Know what they call those? They call them "Gah, you pissed yourself."
Before you jump ahead of me, waiting for me to tell you a story about pissing myself, I'll have you know that I have never pissed myself. Once, I had some kind of crazy Middle-earth flu and hallucinated that I was dead and apparently shit myself in my sleep during a dream in which I was trying to jet propel myself up a mountain, but in my defense, even sitting up caused me to vomit at that point, and probably I transcended life or death for at least a few minutes there. But I didn't piss myself. But what's with those dreams?
One does not simply assume that this gesture means "butthole."
Some people have recurring dreams of being stalked by an unseen figure, or a traumatic event that they relive over and over again. I frequently dream that my life is interrupted by untimely bathroom breaks. I have to piss all the time in my dreams. It's like dream me has the tiniest bladder of all.
The sad thing is that most people have dreams about urination when they in fact have to urinate and they will occasionally foul up their cot next to the furnace as a result. None of that for me. A website I found about dream interpretation, which I assume was written by a panel of scholarly figures including the Dalai Lama, MIT super geniuses, Stephen Hawking and that gorilla that knew sign language, says that peeing in public in a dream means you are trying to establish your boundaries or a release of negative or repressed emotions. I can't imagine I have enough repressed emotion to spend so many nights pissing it away, but who am I to argue with a gorilla from MIT?
It's worth noting that the site also says that if you dream of someone peeing on you, then you are feeling an emotional burden from that person. This implies that your brain thinks emotional burdens are piss, which is funny. Good for you, brain. No one's ever pissed on me in a dream, but if they ever do, I'll keep that in mind. It's better than the alternative -- that I may be some kind of pee fan -- which I will be most unhappy to learn about. It'd be like finding out I have a secret foot fetish, which would also upset me greatly, because feet are weird.
At the risk of opening myself up to any number of off-color and terribly unwholesome jokes, I seem to put my hand in my ass a lot. Go on, take a second with it.
To clarify as best as I can, it's not like in my ass. Like not colon ass -- I'm not sleep fisting myself. Frankly, if I could fist myself and still stay asleep, I'd be concerned that I was actually Darkman or something, totally incapable of feeling pain. Or maybe Kick-Ass. Fist-Ass, I guess. No, rather than full-on penetration, I've just noticed that I occasionally wake up with my hand nestled between the cheeks, like maybe I needed to keep it warm. Or, conversely, my ass was too warm and I was trying to increase airflow. I can only speculate, because my other hand has refused to write notes on the whole process while I'm out.
To a lesser degree, I will sometimes wake up with just a really firm grip on my junk, as though I were dreaming about a band of junk-stealing miscreants in the neighborhood and I was trying to protect it. And it's not casually resting there, it's a full-on grip, like if you tried to wrestle it away from me you'd have to do some stretches first and get yourself psyched ahead of time because otherwise you're totally not going to win this battle. My junk will remain my own, sucka.
I tried to Google this and was displeased with my results and will not share them here. Suffice it to say that if you Google anything to do with holding a penis, the results are not particularly encouraging unless you're in a certain mood.
The only information I can find about sleeping with your hand in your butt comes from the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles, in which John Candy sleeps with his hand in Steve Martin's ass, thinking it's pillows. Is it possible that since I enjoyed that movie (I did), I internalized that particular scene and have, ever since, been single-handedly (so to speak) recreating that scene periodically? Or is my hand possessed by John Candy? Both of those are stupid possibilities, please entertain neither one.
Science has devoted no time whatsoever to solving the mystery of what your hands are doing in your sleep, though I'm going to guess that the junk thing is just some sleep wanking because, you know, you're asleep, you may as well be doing something. If anyone reading this works in the fields of psychology or neurology and wants to conduct a sleep study to find out why and how hands get in asses in the wee hours of the morning, please forward me your results, and also name the study after me. For the rest of you, I fully expect to read comments about equally disturbing stuff you do in your sleep and/or erotic dreams you have about me.