When a book ruins your life… or at least your sleep

I have found that my brain waits to process things that I read or saw during the day until I am trying to fall asleep.  This means that, even if I watch a TV show early in the evening, it will reappear in my brain as I am drifting off (and sometimes in my dreams).  When I finished The Hunger Games, things from the book twined themselves through my dreams throughout the night.

Saturday night I read Catching Fire, the second book of the trilogy, while in bed.  I was planning to read for an hour or so and then go to sleep, because I had most of the day on Sunday to finish it.  Notice that I said “planning,” because clearly that’s not what happened.  I ended up staying up until 1am finishing the book.  (This makes me glad that it is a quick read!)

I have to admit that at one point, when there was a lull in the very involving action, I got up to use the restroom and was overcome with a wave of fear.  I knew intellectually that there was nothing in my apartment that would suddenly kill me, but my adrenaline was running from the book and I had to turn on lights in every room before I felt safe.  When I finally finished the book, I wasn’t much calmer.  It took the first page or two of the concluding book to finally get me settled to where I could sleep.

My imagination gets very intertwined with fictional worlds, which is why for most of my teen years I made it a point to try to either barely start or completely finish a Michael Crichton book before bed.  I’m sure my parents remember when I read Jurassic Park, my first experience with his fiction.  My imagination was so worked up by the story that I couldn’t sleep, finally getting up at 5am when my dad did, to sit and finish the book.  I learned my lesson from that one, reading several of his novels in one day.  I also confirmed what I knew instinctively; I am not capable of handling horror books or movies.  I think I’d stop sleeping for days.

An active imagination is an excellent tool for an author, but I do sometimes wish it wouldn’t affect my sleep quite so much!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. deshipley
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 13:18:16

    “Catching Fire” worked its way into my dreamworld, too. (So as not to spoil too much, let’s just say the arena made an impression on me.)
    And I wasn’t good for anything the nights after reading Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”, watching Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”, or certain episodes of “Supernatural” (which I eventually just had to give up, winsome Winchester brothers or not).
    In summary, your ending statment pretty much hits the nail on the head. X)


  2. Tammy
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 14:29:06

    I do the same thing. I have to be careful what I read when as I read a lot of mysteries. When I got my dog, I was watching a lot of the dog whisperer and therefore, dreamed about dogs every night. 🙂


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