>Sleep, still elusive; my foggy brain


La Petite asked me, “Mom, is your spaciness from the depression or from the medicines, the anti-depressants?” I didn’t know. I thought perhaps it was a little of both.
I don’t like the spaciness – the feeling of being in a fog. Some days the fog lifts a little, some days more. Some days it’s like slogging through a swamp, when I can hardly move around the house, much less get up and out and accomplish anything.
I posed the question to an expert, a professional counselor. He said it’s the depression in general, and the sleeplessness leads to the flakiness, the spacey feeling of not quite having it all together. We talked about sleep and its importance, clinical studies that he’d read about how and why sleep is so important to the brain. He used the analogy of a computer doing a defrag. During a deep sleep, the brain goes through its contents and organizes. The most important “files” are categorized and attached to something relevant in a brain location with easy and quick access. The less important data may go on a less frequently used pathway. Those files that really, truly, don’t matter, can be set aside or tossed in the recycle bin for good. With insufficient sleep, the brain can’t reorganize, pull itself together. Due to my sleep troubles, my brain doesn’t get to reconfigure its data files, leaving me unfocused and forgetful by day.
To sleep, perchance to dream. Or maybe not. I still have the occasional odd dream, the kind that wakes me up either tense to the point of pain or sweating from head to toe. On the bright side, these nightmares turn up less often than they used to; they’re not a nightly occurrence any more. Maybe, just maybe, the bad dreams will fade away, I’ll begin sleeping more, and my brain will bring itself back to its wise and savvy normal.

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