Late Night Time Travel

The last few nights have felt a bit like time-travel for me, but it’s a sort of time-travel that I’m not particularly excited about.

Until four years ago I used to tic in my sleep. According to Fat Sister and a number of my friends, sleeping tics were very similar to those I had during the day, but gentler. I’d frequently wake myself up with complex vocal tics. This would happen repeatedly and my sleep was disrupted as a result.

My weighted blanket and Melatonin certainly helped, but they didn’t stop the tics entirely. Then, at some point in 2011 things changed, it was as if a switch had been flipped. And although getting to sleep was still a struggle, staying asleep was much easier and, apart from ‘ticcing fits’, I could expect a good night’s kip.

I’d almost forgotten what a nightmare sleeping used to be – almost but not entirely. I still get occasional reminders. For example, a few weeks ago my support worker Lottie had to physically hold me still so I could fall asleep instead of throwing my head and body against the wall.

Out of the blue a few nights ago, our last in Edinburgh, I started shouting in my sleep again. I know this because I kept waking myself up with loud complex tics. Some of them were surreal and would’ve been funny during the day, but in the middle of the night I didn’t find anything to laugh at.

They were loud enough for Leftwing Idiot to come through and check on me, asking me why I was still awake. I explained that I hadn’t been awake, at least not until I’d started shouting about cats.

Last night it was motor tics that were causing the disruption. I woke up to the clatter of things flying off my bedside table, which I’d just swiped with a rogue arm.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that these disturbed nights are just a fleeting anomaly rather than the switch being flipped back the other way. But I’m also going to make sure I stick to sensible bedtime routines and get some more Melatonin from my GP, just in case.

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