You Know What the Most Unfair Thing in the World Is?

by Jimmy Akin

in Curios & Humor

It's when you're totally exhausted and you're lying in bed trying to fall asleep but you're suffering from a bout of insomnia and you want to fall asleep more than anything and you don't realize it but you actually are asleep, having a nightmare about experiencing insomnia.


I've had insomnia ever since I was a boy, but it's really awful when it follows you into your dreams.


And how do I know I was dreaming and not just lying awake, trying to fall asleep?

Well, it's either that or I suddenly teleported from an alternate universe where I was sleeping in Alternate Arkansas in one of the bunk beds my brother and I had when we were boys, even though we never had them in the configuration that was in the "dream" about trying to fall asleep. 

This has to be the worst kind of nightmare. Being chased by an axe murderer? No sweat. Being naked in public? No problem. Realizing you haven't been to a class in college all semester and now it's finals time? I can deal.

But dreaming about not being able to fall asleep?


So what's your worst nightmare?

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James December 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Not really a nightmare, but yesterday I was dreaming that something was about to explode. Probably because right before bed I was watching a video about the Big Bang. Just as a huge explosion went off, so did my alarm. Scared the liver out of me. I bolted right out of bed.

John Thayer Jensen December 16, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Jimmy, you have just described precisely my own nightmare of about a week or ten days ago. I had been having a lot of trouble, not falling asleep, but, waking around 2AM, getting back to sleep again. I had, that night, woken about 2, spent what, in retrospect, must have been half an hour awake.
I was wakened on time by my alarm in the morning from the experience of worrying about whether I would ever fall asleep, how I would manage at work when and if I finally fell asleep.
I was tired next day, but not as tired as though I had been awake the whole time :-)

the crescat December 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I get seasonal bouts of insomnia and the rosary’s repetitious prayers help me fall asleep. The worst as far as nightmares go, it the one where you think you’re awake but you’re not and you feel paralyzed in your bed.

Ghosty December 16, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I don’t dream that I can’t fall asleep, but I frequently dream about being at work. Nothing exciting or fantastical happens, just my normal, humdrum work. It feels like a whole day of it, and then the alarm goes off and I have to wake up…and go to work.
I feel I should get paid overtime for that kind of thing. :-P
Peace and God bless!

Paul H December 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Ouch. Dreaming about insomnia does not sound like fun. Thankfully, I’ve never experienced that.
My worst nightmare is not quite a normal nightmare. It’s when I’m just barely awake enough to have a hazy awareness that I’m asleep, but not awake enough to actually be able to move any part of my body. Every once in a while I get into a state like that, and it’s like being completely paralyzed and trapped in my own body. I want so badly to wake up and move around, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t. This usually happens to me only when I’m overtired — like when I finally fall asleep after being awake for 24 hours.
However, you actually hit on my most frequent nightmare, and probably my second-worst one, when you wrote this:
“Realizing you haven’t been to a class in college all semester and now it’s finals time?”
I have that exact nightmare all the time. I usually have this dawning awareness that I was supposed to be going to this class all semester, but I completely forgot about it. Now it’s too late to drop the class, and I am horrified knowing that I’ll probably fail. But then eventually I wake up and laugh it off. :-)

James December 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Crescat, you might want to check out a sleep clinic. I used to have dreams like that all the time. Not only was I not able to move, I wasn’t able to breathe either, and I couldn’t move to wake myself up to catch my breath. It was absolutely terrifying at least two or three times a week.
I told my doctor who sent me to a sleep clinic. It turns out the not being able to breathe was not a dream. They only had me sleep for about an hour. I had stopped breathing 200 times in that hour. My CPAP is a God-send.

Robyn December 16, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I have to say that dreaming about insomnia once (or even regularly) is not as unfair as having narcolepsy, when you feel as if you’ve stayed awake all night even following 8+ hours of sleep. Every day for the rest of your life. Ironically… we narcoleptics sometimes have nighttime insomnia, too. Talk about unfair!
And I know, Jimmy, that you will never experience the even greater unfairness of having narcolepsy and being pregnant, which makes you even more tired and means you can’t take narcolepsy medication.
Feeling paralyzed in bed can also be sleep paralysis, which is not uncommon even in people without a sleep disorder. It happens when your brain wakes up before the natural paralysis of REM sleep (which keeps you from acting out your dreams) wears off. Normal sleep paralysis does not affect breathing, though.

Agnes December 16, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I believe one of my weirdest nightmares was when I dreamed I got up and ready for the day, prayers, breakfast, everything. Following this, I begin my normal day, working hard. Then, Mom comes storming into the room because I slept so late. And here I am, so proud of myself for getting all this work done, when all I’ve done is to relax in bed! Talk about frustrated!

Ben December 16, 2010 at 10:54 pm

I dreamt once that my mom and my mother-in-law were actively hiring bounty hunters to get me over some minor sin in the family business. Weird, especially since we don’t have a family business, and they met only once ten years ago. I had to keep eluding their pursuit and they (the moms) were running around my childhood neighborhood with bazookas over their shoulder. Thankfully, the “manhunt” dreams are about the worst I get.

Gregory Williams December 17, 2010 at 6:43 am

Not really a nightmare, just a ‘cool’ dream. I went to Jurassic Park in a convoy of open-top Jeeps (CJ’s or Wranglers). A T-Rex attacked the lead Jeep. I had a co-worker in my Jeep who was manning a .50 caliber and he dealt with the T-Rex successfully.
I never once felt any anxiety. I just calmly thought, “I knew that .50 would come in handy.”

Daniel Latinus December 17, 2010 at 9:32 am

If for some reason my breathing is impaired, or I feel pressure on my chest, I sometimes get images in my dreams that can best be described as demonic. I don’t have these dreams often, but when I awake, I’m usually struggling to breathe.
A few months back, I had a dream in which I was beating up some people. (And they deserved it, too.) But the depth of my anger was so extreme that I woke up very afraid, and felt the need to pray.
I normally leave may radio on at night, tuned to a classical music station. It’s funny how the music sometimes intrudes into my dreams, especially opera music.
But then there was that time that there was a radio talk show, in which someone was describing the life of extremely poor people living in a Tiajuana waste dump. In my dream I was visualizing the scene described by the guest on the radio show.

Mary December 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

As late as Victorian times, the situation you describe, Daniel, was known as “incubus” after the belief that it was caused by demons sitting you.

Gregory Williams December 17, 2010 at 12:57 pm

So that’s where “incubus” comes from. I had a dream like Daniel Latinus’ once. I soon thereafter learned of the normal sleep paralysis that Robyn mentioned. I haven’t had an incubus dream since.

Kevin December 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Not the worst…but related.
I was dreaming that the alarm had gone off or something…and I had to get up and go to work…then I woke up…and it was 5am or something….
then I think I could not fall asleep for a while…then the next thing I knew the alarm went off!

JohnE December 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I often dream I can hover a few inches off the ground, usually after getting a running or walking start. I know I’m dreaming but desperately try to remember how to do it so I can do it for real when I wake up. I’ll let you know once I have some success.

David B. December 17, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I often have dreams about invasions, either by aliens or some other malevolent force. (original, huh?)
Sometimes it’s zombies, sometimes it’s totalitarian regimes. But I always end up alone, trapped in a small confine, knowing I will lose. Then I wake up.

Maureen December 19, 2010 at 9:01 am

The only dreams I can usually ever remember are nightmares.
I’m a big believer in listening to audiobooks to deal with insomnia. Either you go to sleep, or you’re entertained and haven’t wasted any time. Win-win! But it usually only takes about ten minutes for rapt attention to turn into snoozing.

Tom December 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm

I guess the worst was one I had in the early days of my recovery from drug addiction, it’s very common for recovering addicts to have using dreams for a while. One of mine involved me going out and getting completely wasted, having my butt kicked in a bar fight, and wrecking the car. I woke up in the morning thinking “thank GOD it was just a dream”, then looked at my nightstand to see a crack pipe, a bad of dope, and puke all over the floor. Outside the window the front end of my car was smashed in and the passenger side wiped out like I’d sideswiped something. I was totally freaked out: when will the cops be coming by, I’m gonna be in jail, and now I’ve gotta tell my sponsor I relapsed and go get another white chip, I had six months clean and blew it…..
And THEN I woke up for real. No dope, no puke, no busted up face, the car was fine. It was all a sick dream played on me by my disease. It never happened.
Thank GOD it was just a dream, and that I’ve now been clean for 23 years, seven months, and three days.

Gregory Williams December 20, 2010 at 4:33 am

Congratulations, Tom! You’ve been clean longer than my parents’ entire marriage. 8-)

No Longer Sleep-Paralyzed December 20, 2010 at 5:12 am

Here’s how to break sleep paralysis! Try moving your tongue. Often when the rest of you is paralyzed, you’ll find you can move your tongue, and the motion breaks you out of the paralysis. If you can’t move your tongue, move your eyes rapidly back and forth.

steve December 20, 2010 at 11:22 am

I believe that the thing to do is such times is pray. Unfortunately I’m usually far too tired in such instances to do so, but I do consider it a real possibility is that the reason for not being able to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night like that is that someone needs emergency prayer, stat!

freddy December 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Discovering that Catholicism is a Medieval hoax designed to have people worship a counterfeit Christ and a wafer god.

David B. December 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Not only are you off topic, you’re fragmenting sentences. That’s two strikes against you.

Bill912 December 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm

freddy, make sure the tin foil is wrapped real tight before you go out to watch the lunar eclipse.

CJ December 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Whenever you have trouble going to Sleep, try listening to Sleep by Eric Whitacre:

Paul December 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Jimmy – You probably heard this before but try melatonin, it has worked wonders for me. 10mg usually knocks me out. Also, get a full spectrum bulb (available at most hardware stores) to put where you work during the day. They simulate sunlight. However, don’t use it too late at night because that will keep you awake.
Worst nightmare: I heard something at our front door which is made of glass. Peeked through the glass and a large pitbull attacked the glass. It did not get through but scared the heck out of me.

freddy December 24, 2010 at 6:21 am

Insomnia is frequently caused by deeply rooted spiritual issues. The solution is that an individual needs inner healing and deliverance from his own personal demons. Unfortunately, the wafer god religion steeped in the Medieval innovations and superstitions of Scholasticism is unable to provide this deliverance. So the victim is thus left to be tormented by his inner demons, fears, and neuroses as he awaits his final judgment for rejecting the pure milk of the gospel.

freddy December 24, 2010 at 6:30 am

So the first solution to getting a good night sleep is to repent for preaching the false gospel and false christ of Catholicism. Transubstantiation is pure idol worship and only exposes a person to demonic influences. Once you have repented for this sin, you will be ready to receive Christ like a true Christian. God will then reveal to you how to get rid of your inner demons and then finally you will have a good night sleep. Otherwise the generational curses will catch up with you and take years from your natural life. Insomnia is very common with those who were social misfits, played D&D, read lots of science fiction in their teen years.

Bill912 December 24, 2010 at 7:07 am

freddy, what handle did you use the last time you dropped by to spill your ignorant bilge?
BTW, nice touch choosing Christmas Eve to express such kind sentiments. You stay classy!

Jurinne December 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I have a particularly nasty case of a sleep disorder called familial sleep paralysis. There are several problems associated with this condition. One is that I am awake and conscious while dreaming, and am paralyzed except for my eyes (which makes sense because during REM sleep people are paralyzed except for their eyes which can be seen moving about under closed lids).
One night, as I lay there paralyzed and trying to fight my way out from the attack of sleep paralysis I saw a man enter my bedroom. He had a bullet hole in the center of his forehead. He grabbed my arm.
That is the worst nightmare I have ever had. Fortunately for me the terror I felt allowed me to move a bit and the attack was ended.
My advice to everyone is to not have this condition. Just don’t have it.

freddy December 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm

It is well documented among Christian Psychiatrist that Insomnia often has a spiritual root. There are good books on this topic. Also it is well documented that generational curses aflict families.

Agnes December 25, 2010 at 11:36 am

Everybody has nightmares freddy.
Merry Christmas!

freddy December 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm

There are two types of people. Those that try to rationalize their issues and those that try to resolve them. The sad fact is most people are not very teachable and are thus left to stew in their own filth. I have repeatedly outlined solutions for people but refuse to be taught. Thus EVERY Catholic is like Jesus described “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” (Mark 4:12). There are a lot of Catholics who will be in for a rude awaking on the Day of Judgment, especially when God will condemn them for worshipping a false wafer god, believing in a non-existent purgatory, submitting to the heresy of the Nicolatians, ( a type of Papacy). Yep, those people who do such things are reaping what they have sown and deserve to live in insomnia.

Bill912 December 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The hate dripping from the above speaks volumes.

Jimmy Akin December 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm

FREDDY, THIS IS YOUR RULE 1 WARNING. THIS TYPE OF ABUSE IS A VIOLATION OF RULE 1–as is the patently ad hominem and personally abusive material I already deleted from your prior post.
Stop it or get lost.

freddy December 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm

The Bible makes it clear not everyone is a disciple. A disciple obeys the will of Christ and is a member of His TRUE church. We both agree that Arians and Christians are not both disciples. In addition Evangelicals claim that anyone who practices Transubstantiation is not a disciple. Therefore Christ’s love is demonstrated by Evangelicals loving other Evangelicals. Our love for Christ is demonstrated by us hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans( see Revelation 2). Catholicism is a type of Nicolaitan religion and thus I demonstrate the attributes of being a true Christian by hating false teaching. A false teacher is easily demonstrated by reading the Catholic Catechism. Why? It states that Catholics and Muslims worship the same god. Thus your brothers are Muslims and not Evangelicals. Since Muslims deny the true Christ, you are also denying the true Christ and are actually worshipping a false christ. Jesus said in the last days there would be many false christs. So I stand by my assertion that those who listen to false teachers, worship false christs, are worthy of serious health problems, for they are outside of God’s favor.

Bill912 December 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Sounds an awful lot like: “I thank Thee, o Lord, that I am not like the rest of men.”

freddy December 28, 2010 at 1:53 am

The Catholic god is very different than the Evangelical God. To prove this, a friend of mine challenged me to attend an Evangelical church for nine straight Sundays. Well I accepted his challenge and low and behold he was correct. The problem is that Catholics have no way to compare their faith with Evangelical Christianity, because they have not taken the time to understand Evangelicals. If a person has basic understanding of the Old and New Testament he will quickly realize that Catholicism is NOT the faith of Christ, but simply the innovation of Medieval Latin Scholars. Study history and you will find that Aquinas was initially excommunicated by the Bishop of Paris. So I offer you the same challenge. Go to an Evangelical church for nine weeks and you to will be transformed by an encounter with the true Christ.

Bill912 December 28, 2010 at 2:54 am

freddy, if the hate that you have shown here is an example of how you have been “transformed”, I wouldn’t want any part of it.

freddy December 28, 2010 at 5:19 am

To judge all Evangelicals based on myself is utter foolishness. I could say that all Catholics are bad apples because of the pedophilia scandal in the Catholic church. So I still challenge you to attend an Evangelical church for nine weeks. You may actually learn something.

The Sarge December 28, 2010 at 5:30 am

freddy evinces a real talent for not actually responding to anything anyone else posts. Perhaps it is time to stop feeding the troll.

The Masked Chicken December 28, 2010 at 6:34 am

The Catholic god is very different than the Evangelical God. To prove this, a friend of mine challenged me to attend an Evangelical church for nine straight Sundays. Well I accepted his challenge and low and behold he was correct. The problem is that Catholics have no way to compare their faith with Evangelical Christianity, because they have not taken the time to understand Evangelicals.
Freddy, it is difficult to know exactly what you really know about Catholic-Evangelical relations verses what you think you know. There are a few interesting books on the subject that I would be happy to suggest. Did you know, for instance, that Evangelicals were not, originally as ardently pro-life as they are, today. That came about through an accidental meeting of Billy Graham and Bishop Fulton Sheen in the middle 1950′s (if memory serves). Sheen convinced Graham of the Church’s pro-life position and he spread it to the Evangelical population.
Although it might be interesting to discuss the similarities and differences between Catholicism and Evangelicalism, this post was on nightmares. If your claim is that Evangelicals do not have nightmares, then offer proof, as in medical papers, not anecdotal evidence.
The Chicken

freddy December 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Just because Catholics are pro-life does not make them a true religion. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, and even some Atheists are pro-life. So I am not sure what you are trying to claim.
All the Epistles emphasize sound doctrine and for the believer to watch out for false teachers. Doctrine is one of the most important themes of the New Testament Church. The problem is that Westerners are so vapid in intellect that they just gloss over doctrine and think it is not that important. As a result most Catholics and Evangelicals don’t really know what they believe.

The Masked Chicken December 29, 2010 at 7:36 am

While it would be interesting to debate Catholic and Evangelical theology, this is a thread on nightmares. You contend that Evangelicals do not have nightmares because they have sound doctrine, is that it? Offer any objective data that we may discuss, otherwise, you are simply stating anecdotes and there is no sense in continuing the discussion.
The Chicken

freddy December 29, 2010 at 10:13 am

I contend that Evangelicals can be delivered from generational curses and irrational fears by repenting for their sins. Thus I contend NO born-again Evangelical needs to suffer under the condemnation of nightmares. I also contend that a false religion like Catholicism has no possibility for breaking curses. Thus as Catholics grow older their condemnation and guilt increases with time. So a Catholic becomes more and more hardened to the simplicity of the gospel message the older he gets. I claim that the phobias, nightmare among my Catholic relatives is vastly higher than it is among my Protestant relatives. I have Catholic relatives that are afraid to fly in an airplane and as a result they could not attend my wedding. This was not an issue with the Protestant relatives. All I can say is if you are afraid to fly in an airplane you must have serious spiritual problems.

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