One day, while I was wasting my time reading comic (manga), I freeze when I read a line where the character was talking about his friends sleeping habit. He said that people with good upbringing will be able to sleep alone, sleep in total darkness, or sleep in pure silence. The reason is he/she feels secure or have this absolute faith that he/she is never or will never be alone. I freeze at the moment because a thought crossed my mind: “So I was feeling insecure? I was feeling VERY lonely?”
So just now, I tried to google about people who prefers to sleep with light on and noises (or voices). Maybe I just can’t find the right query, or maybe there just not much discussion about this topic, I just can’t find what I really want. At most, I just find a forum talking about their sleeping habit without further explanation. That is to say, whatever hypothesis I am about to write is without any basic. It would be plainly my opinion, so please don’t oppose my opinion too much. However a discussion is very much welcome!
I was a very active child until a certain age. That’s why, before 9 years old, I tend to be fast asleep as long as I am tired. To keep me from sleeping late at night, my parent refrain me from taking a nap. Given that condition, I sleep early and have no problems in waking up in the morning since I get to sleep as much as I need. The problem was, I tend to sleep-walking (especially when I am sick) and have a nightmare almost every night. But I was okay with all that since I sleep with my parent. I am totally okay with sleeping in the dark or pure silence. I was also a deep sleeper, noises wont affect me much when I am already asleep.
Now let’s move to the period between 9-12 y/o. At this time frame, I was sleeping with my grand mother. I was separated from both of my parent because of working issue. It’s a time where I can’t freely send them letters nor talking on phone. At this point, it’s not much different from before beside the fact that I can’t sleep alone. It doesn’t matter if the light is on or not, there has to be someone next to me for me to fall asleep. If there are no one alone, I ABSOLUTELY have to have my cat sleeping next to me. Its purring sound and its body heat keep me asleep. I was still a deep sleeper, so I only need to be accompanied until I fall asleep. After that, If I wake up in between my sleep, I couldn’t care less and would just go back to sleep.
Then we move to another time frame between 12-15 y/o. It’s a time when I finally reunite with my parent. I wasn’t very close to them because of the separation before but i do have a sense of security with them around. It was the first time I have a room on my own which means It’s also the first time for me to sleep alone. At that time, I tend to keep my bedroom’s door open as wide as it could. I sleep with light off or at most with a dim light. I don’t really need light or voices or noises. I could care less about all that. I just need my door to be open wide.
Move to suppressed rebellion age – 15-18 y/o – I started to sleep on my own as I i should be. I close my bedroom doors and lock it, I turn the light into the dim one. It takes me a lot of laying down on the bed before I can fall asleep. Up to this point, I am a person who takes time in her bed before finally fall asleep.
And then I went to college. At this time I started to develop irregular eating and sleeping habit. In times I am become used to not sleeping for a day or two. But when I am in a lack of sleep, I always make sure to make up for those by sleeping longer when I have the chance (or more like my body force me to make up for her overworking time). Thanks to that, I got stomach ulcer and a persistent dark circle below my eyes. Since I was staying at a hostel in a place that’s very far from my home town, I tend to feel unsafe since the people who gave me the feeling of security is not around. This is when I ABSOLUTELY need light to fall asleep. It doesn’t have to be a bright one, even a very dim light from a candle would do. I just absolutely can’t fall asleep when I can’t see a thing. At my hostel I am one of a very few morning person, so when I am already sleepy, my friends are still busy watching TV, chatting, playing loud music or doing whatever that makes noise. I am a light sleeper already but I won’t have a problem with those noise unless its a screaming voice. Most likely I fall asleep with noises around. So at this stage, I need light to fall asleep and would feel safer when there are noises. Noises is not absolute but with it, I can sleep better.
When I reach 23, I started to work. It was very hectic so I only manage to sleep 4 hours each night. To manage for the lost sleeping hour, I sleep on the train going to and going back from work plus on break time. I would be very tired at night so I don’t care about having noises around or not, as long as the light is on, I’ll sleep like a log.
Turning 24 (now), I enter the worst stage in my life –so far. This is when my self-rejection, self-denial, and self-loathing parts grow way too much. I become what you call a ‘shut-in-unemployed’. If possible I don’t want to step outside of my room. At first, I sleep way too easily and way too much. It doesn’t matter if it’s dark or bright, morning or night, I did my best to sleep. For various reason, I tend to starve myself so I get less energy to stay awake. If you think I get slimmer because of that, you are wrong. Its a medical fact that when you starve yourself, your body will directly turn whatever you eat into fat since it thought that the body is in crisis. But no, I don’t turn into a fatty because not only that I starve myself, I also throw up the food that I ate. Don’t ask me why. Basically I am torturing myself body and soul.
From sleeping monster it quickly turns into nightmare torture. So I rarely get a quality sleep. I started to need a bright light for sleeping. There were times when I fall asleep because of feeling tired, it was past 4 p.m. I didn’t switch the light on and it was rainy outside so it’s pretty dim inside of my room. I end up waking up because of a horrible nightmare. From that moment on, I can’t sleep unless there is a bright light. If the electricity is off, I’ll stare at the candle and waiting like a dog for the electricity to switch on again.
My nightmare is getting worse each night. I was tired both physical and in mind. One day, I accidentally fall asleep with my laptop on and the music is playing. Quite surprising, I manage to have a relaxing sleep for the first time after months of suffering from nightmare. I though it was a coincidence so I tried to try it a few more time with and without music on. Turns out that I sleep well with music on – and it have to be one with people’s singing voice. Hey, WTF? No to mention I can hear the silence noise too well now. You know, the buzzing sound on your head when there are no sounds around? Its giving me headache. I also feel creepy when I hear the sounds of my own heartbeat. I NEED VOICES!!
So right now, I absolutely need a bright light and people voices to fall asleep. If I wake up in the middle of sleeping and find out I’m in the dark room for whatever reason I’ll get nervous and become wide awake. From my sleeping history, it’s obvious that my sleeping habit become worse as I feel even more insecure each year of my life. So maybe, the theory of only ‘strong’ people could sleep in the dark and in pure silence is true after all.