Sleep Working


I don’t know if this is going to reach someone who can help me or if I should simply contact a specialist. I “sleep work” and I would like to know if that is dangerous. (This is starting to sound like a letter addressed to a magazine column…)


I was aware of the situation when I was working as co-editor of a newspaper. Sometimes I was reading and writing from 2pm until 4am, with small stops along the way. There was a particularly difficult journalist I has to re-write. His writing started to put me on a strange “trance”: my body was asleep; my heart was beating at a very slow rate, almost stopped; all this while I was fully concentrated on my job. The first time I noticed I had been sleep working, I was completely astonished with the perfection of the write. The end result was perfect!


I also can add to the above description: 1) It usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours. 2) I avoid this experience because I am afraid of it. 3) Coming out it’s not easy as it provokes a painful heartbeat. 4) I am not sure if it starts and ends voluntary, involuntary or both. 5) It’s more frequent if I am doing a routine work, like reading an existing text, although I’ve experienced creating while sleeping. 6) It all starts with a different way of breathing. It ends with that pain in the heart. 7) I avoid falling into what I call “sleep working” by watching a little of a movie, listening to music, or even sleeping a few minutes, between regular periods of work. 8) I was never awaken by someone, but I do wonder what my reaction would be. 9) It usually happens after hours of work, when I am clearly tired, but it can also happen early if I previously know (or quickly feel) that the job is not interesting or creative. 10) After these periods, I resume what I was doing or go to bed, feeling usually a bit strange: not tired and not rested. I would say in between.


I am not looking for transcendental explanations, but a reasonable one. Somehow I believe that my “sleep working” has a lot to do with my old sleep walking crises. Well, what I really would like to know, and that is going to put me some day talking with a specialist, is: how common and how dangerous is?


I feel like a lot of people can relate with this matter, if not due to “sleep working” at least because of sleeping during work!!!