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Midnight Adventures This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My sister used to be afraid of sleeping in the dark. Another friend thought that lobsters might eat her parents while she was helpless in her own bed. Me? I was always afraid of waking up someplace strange in the morning.

Sleepwalking and talking were once light subjects around my house. My parents would often hear me talk in my sleep, often to my sister. My sheets were always kicked off the bed by morning, and more than once I've gotten lost on the way back from the bathroom. My parents just laughed, and I was the topic of much small chatter. However, as I grew older, my midnight journeys multiplied, and my little adventures quickly turned into big problems.

Friends avoided inviting me to sleepovers because I often disappeared and woke up lost and hysterical. I became notorious for shrieks at dawn. I took advantage of my phone and called friends and relatives on a nightly basis. I even left a message on my parents' answering machine at three in the morning. I was forbidden to sleep near a window as a result of my restless nights, and my family preferred that I sleep as far away from them as possible.

There wasn't one night in which I stayed in my bed all night long, and I grew tired and frustrated from lack of sleep. Dark moons took shape under my eyes, and I was grouchy and unhappy through the day. I decided that I would need to start sleeping more, and made the decision to speak with my doctor.

After much consideration and planning, I was put on a suitable sleeping schedule. I grew accustomed to eating and drinking appropriately at the same time each evening. I cut back on the time I spent talking on the phone, watching TV, and playing video games. I ceased any great activity after 6: 00 and made sure that I read for at least half an hour before my head hit the pillow. Within two months my personal library grew, my mind expanded, and the little dark moons underneath my eyes slowly disappeared forever.

Besides a few midnight adventures since then, I've overcome this problem which was slowly destroying my life. Overcoming my sleepwalking was the best thing I've ever done. Within just a couple of months, I learned to control what had controlled my nights for over six years. As long as I stick to the schedule, I'm guaranteed all the deep sleep that I need. After all these years, sleep for me is like a gift from heaven. It's a great feeling to say, "I'm really gonna sleep tonight," and mean it. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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