Last night, I had a dream. Either this was one of those incredibly simple dreams or I only remember the simple part. In it, I was rinsing my mouth out. That’s it. That was the entire dream. Or almost the entire dream. You see, then in my dream, I spit. And that woke me up. Because I had just spit all over my arm.
Now, unlike during a rape, this is a legitimate time when the body is supposed to shut that whole thing down. Me spitting on myself, sleepwalking, jumping out a window; none of these things are supposed to happen when you’re asleep. The body, it turns out, doesn’t always get things right. During rapid eye movement (or REM) sleep, the body releases neurotransmitters that prevent the muscles from acting out all those fun dreams. REM sleep, though, is a stage of sleep that happens just before and just after waking. The boundaries can get a little blurry sometimes. So if you go from REM sleep to waking at a particularly jarring moment in your dream, you can actually act out that part. In the case of this dream, I spit on myself.
I had a long, complicated dream once where I was getting chased by a werewolf and it ended with him grabbing me by the shoulder from behind and spinning me around. I woke up at that moment with a pain in my shoulder. I didn’t think much of it and went back to sleep. The next morning, I woke up and went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror and I had these three scratch marks along the front of my shoulder. The werewolf was real! Or I had just scratched myself. Definitely one of the two.