When I was a kid, I couldn't sleep; I didn't know how. I guess I thought too much about it. I didn't know where to put my arms. Do my arms lay at my sides? What if I'm sleeping on my side? Which side should I sleep on? What do I do with my hands? Should my arms be in or out of covers?
It wasn't insomnia exactly; it wasn't a sleep disorder. It was more like a sleep disorganization. I didn't know where everything was supposed to go.
Warm milk couldn't help sleep disorganization, and counting sheep was not part of my work experience yet. I just couldn't figure out proper positioning.
I think I needed a guide book. Nothing elaborate or technical, pictures or diagrams would be perfect. Ideally, it would be a laminated foldout, like the ones on planes telling you how to sit in your seat.
Without good advice or printed material, I had to experiment with sleeping.
I tried a wide variety of positions and possibilities. Nothing got me to sleep. In retrospect, the experiments probably keep me awake. The last position I remember had me laying on my side with one hand under the pillow and the other hand on top of the pillow. That worked for a while, but the next problem was my dreams. They bothered me.
Some of my dreams were disturbing. I would wake up bothered by what I had dreamed, but by the time I had finished separating my Major Munch cereal between the majors and the munches and then eating both categories, I had forgotten what I'd dreamt about. So I started a Dream Book, a journal of my nightly adventures.
I forgot to write in the book.
That was the first problem, but after a few nights I got in the habit of writing down my dreams before I left the bed in the morning or even if I got up in the middle of the night. I became good at it.
Something happens when you get good at something -- you change.
I changed. Month after month of writing down dreams and then reading them, helped me to understand my dreams. The dreams changed. They got more complicated or maybe I was remembering more and writing more and understanding more. Maybe the cereal company changed its formula and that changed me. I caught up to the dreams, and then they got even more complicated. And I remembered the dreams, wrote them down, and figured them out. And one day I didn't write the dream down. But I remembered it all morning. I decided not to write the dream down until mid-afternoon and then I wrote it down. I remembered the dream. All of this remembering had changed me. I cast off the Dream Book like an unnecessary crutch.
Remembering my dreams strengthened my memory as a kid. It also strengthened my dreams in a weird way. For more information about the pointed perception dreams, read Hopes and Dreams: Stuck on AutoDrive.