As I was laying on a mattress, unidentifiable alarms blared through my ears. I frantically tried to mount myself up and escape to a secure setting. But no matter how hard I tried and tried, my body wouldn’t budge. After multiple failed attempts to cry for help, I succumbed to the noise. I knew that I wasn’t experiencing a normal dream—I felt too conscious.
My first episode of sleep paralysis relentlessly occupied my mind. Still, I decided to ignore my concern because I was drowning in responsibilities I needed to take care of.
Over time, the insufficient sleep I was getting became increasingly apparent. I was once able to still walk with a bounce in my step with three hours of sleep. Now, I’m constantly dragging myself everywhere I go. The only time I’m able to recharge myself through sleep, ironically, is during the day since sleeping at night has become riddled with paralysis and dreams that cause me to stay up all night.
Whenever I try to push through the urge to rest my eyes during class, or anytime, really, I feel as if I’m Sisyphus. My obligations are to his boulder. Although pushing a boulder may be difficult, there are hopes that the task could be done on a leveled surface. Unfortunately, in order to push his boulder, he must deal with an obstacle: an inclined surface. In my case, the incline making my life a never-ending uphill battle is my lack of energy.
My efforts to escape my poor sleep cycle have always been futile. Whenever I try to go to bed at 9 p.m., I’m constantly shifting and shuffling with no actual sleep acquired. I felt trapped, and I always wonder if there would be a day that I was free.
Being bogged down by sleep opened my eyes to how I was living everyday with a flaw: not prioritizing my health. People are pressured to disregard their well-being since it’s supposedly trivial. However, the revelation that nothing is properly handled when half dead is encouraging me to think of myself more.
I sincerely hope that others are able to realize how crucial rest is for focusing and energy. Even if my words are ignored, I firmly believe that one day, they would start to notice how it’s tiring to roll a boulder on a surface that works against them.