For most of my adult life, I have had an issue with sleeping. I never seem to get enough of it and I always wake up too early. In recent years it seems my insomnia is getting worse and I’m continually fighting the urge to go to sleep. When I finally do drift off and my subconscious takes over, I find it hard to stay asleep. I seem to have vivid and unpleasant dreams but when I wake up, I can’t remember what has just happened in my dream and I’m left with a strange sense of unease. I feel as if this sleep disorder I am experiencing is both incredibly common and also related to my incessant need to stare at screens for nearly every waking moment of my day. The recent lockdowns due to the pandemic have intensified my phone and laptop screen addiction. I’ve done enough research by now to understand that the constant intake of blue light in my face from these screens is disrupting my circadian rhythms as my brain is unsure of when nighttime is, so is holding back the much-needed release of melatonin to send me off to sleep.
I’ve always had the weird experience of noises around me incepting my dreams. Throughout my teenage years, I would have odd dreams involving plane crashes as my family home is situated right under a flight path. I would consistently have dreams like the opening scenes of the TV show Lost, where all the characters survive a plane crash and escape the death and carnage on an idyllic beach. Not the nicest thing to be dreaming of, right before my alarm clock would go off. In the early 2000’s I had a radio alarm clock that would also play weird tricks on my mind. My 8:30 am alarm would go off by playing the radio; it would start blaring a morning show on Spin 1038 or FM104, and whichever song they were playing would drift into my dream. I’d be celebrating scoring the winning world cup goal for Ireland by frenching my crush from school when Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls would suddenly seep into my dream and ruin everything. I’d wake up furious and trudge off to school in a huff at having my dream experience stolen from me.
My most recent example of this noise intrusion in my dreams is the insane pigeon orgies that go on outside my window every morning. I have recently moved into a new flat with a balcony, and there are numerous pigeons who loiter outside my bedroom window every day. The noises these winged rats make are starting to become an unwelcome disturbance, especially in my sleep cycle. I’d be having some wonderful dream about being a movie star, slapping famous comedians as I pleased, and attending glitzy events when suddenly I’m disturbed by the noise of two pigeons riding the feathers off each other and I can’t pay attention to my sultry conversation with Margot Robbie. These pigeons living in the gaps under our small apartment balcony have become the bane of my existence. They are also fond of making loud sarcastic-sounding coos from the balcony, and it feels as if everyone is saying OOOooooo at me in my dream where I announce the end of all war at the UN headquarters in New York.
My complaints fall on deaf ears at home, however, as these performatively cooing, prancing pricks apparently keep my girlfriend company at times during the day, as she works from home full time and relies on the cooing noises to have a break from the silence, while I get to venture out into the real world and work from an office full of people like a real adult. I do appreciate this, however, the insane dreams are not worth it, and these constant fowl interruptions are ruining my life.