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What Dreams May Come

I don’t know if it’s because I’m back to working on the Dream Weaver series, but I’ve been paying more attention to my dreams.  I’ve always dreamed a lot.  I can dream some really bizarre dreams, but the most common is finding new rooms in my house and wondering why I never use them.  What’s struck me recently, though, is the feelings the dreams leave me with.

Dream researchers say that the dreams you remember are the ones that you wake up from.  Recently, I haven’t been able to remember what I was dreaming, but boy… the emotions.  I’ve woken up recently feeling “all the feels.”  I’m not an emotional person, typically, but these feelings that the dreams are leaving are intense.  I’ve woken up feeling sad or wistful or poignant.  I know that’s not a good adjective to use there, but that was the essence of the feeling.  It’s weird, because I don’t remember the dream that left me feeling this way — and I’m waking up in a mood. It’s the first thing in the morning.  I don’t want to wake up sad.

Fortunately, the feelings tend to go away quickly. My most common problem with sleep has always been insomnia. So I’m dreaming things that touch on my feelings.  I can’t complain. At least I’m sleeping.

Have you ever experienced this?  Do you remember your dreams?  Or am I just becoming a big old softy?

The Never-Ending Story

I have a couple of manuscripts that have been sitting on the shelf that I can never seem to complete.  One is finished, but not quite right.  The other is partially done.  Maybe.  The problem is that I’ve never been able to get either story out the door.  I have the best intentions, but something always comes up to throw me off track.  Another manuscript would sell and the editor would have requested edits.  Or a new line would open and I’d want to submit something, but the stories I had on-hand weren’t quite right.  The list of reasons is endless, but I keep going back to these stories on occasion to try to make something of them.  I love them both, but it’s been literally years.

So what am I doing now?  You guessed it.  I’ve picked up the partial manuscript and have begun working on it again.  I hate to even say what it is, because I’ve told readers before that I’m working on this story, only to not follow through.  But here we go again.  I’ll say it.  I’m working on a third Dream Weavers book.

I have the story in my head.  I even have eight draft chapters.  Heck, I have a finished cover!  You wouldn’t think it would be that hard to finish it out.  But something different happened this time when I picked it up.  I see a problem in the first two chapters, and I have a better idea.  That means that instead of just editing words for flow, I need to edit the content.  And that’s a lot more work.  It could affect (and probably will) the following six chapters.  Am I going to do it?  Of course.  Maybe that’s another reason I’ve never been able to finish this book… that I knew subconsciously that there was a problem with the story itself.

I’m taking this as a good sign, even though it’s going to slow me down yet again.  And as I work, I’ll be on the lookout for something else to swoop in and try to take priority.

Dream Weavers III

I finally found time to get back to a project that’s been calling my name for a long time. It’s a busy time of the year, so I haven’t been able to concentrate on it fully, but I’m getting back into the Dream Weavers series! It’s nice getting to know the Oneiros brothers again and to dive deeper into one of their stories. There will be more to come on this, but I’m excited!

Sleepwalking

I learned a lot about sleepwalking when I was doing the research for Dream Walker.  Sleepwalking is a fascinating sleep disorder in which people carry out complex behaviors while still in the deepest part of the sleep cycle.  Sleepwalkers’ eyes are often open, and they can even speak with you.  The next morning, though, they’ll carry no memory of their actions.  Sleepwalking can be harmless if sleepers are in a familiar environment, but their behavior can be dangerous to others or themselves if not addressed.

Here are ten things I learned:

  1. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleepwalking occurs in 1-15% of the population.
  2. Sleepwalking is more common in children and can run in families.
  3. Waking a sleepwalker can lead to confusion and anger, but you should gently guide a sleepwalker back to bed.
  4. Sleepwalking is not someone acting out their dreams.  If the behavior happens early in the night, during deep sleep, it’s typically sleepwalking.  If it happens later, during the dream state, it can be REM behavior disorder (RBD).  That’s when people act out their dreams.
  5. Sleepwalking can be triggered by stress, sleep deprivation, alcohol, or anything that can cause you to wake up more easily.
  6. Sleepwalkers often find bruises that they can’t remember getting, because they run into things while walking in their sleep.  They often take care to close drawers, push in chairs, or tuck away things over which they might trip.
  7. People don’t just sleepwalk.  There have been cases of sleep driving, sleep texting, sleep sex, and other really complex behaviors.
  8. People who live alone might not even know they sleepwalk, unless they wake up during the middle of it or find evidence of their nightly actions.
  9. There is no treatment for sleepwalking, other than getting better sleep.  Sleep medications like Ambien have even been known to exacerbate sleepwalking.
  10. One trick sleepwalkers use is to tie a bell to their door to wake them or others if they try to leave the room.

This piece by the Today Show has a lot of good information on the sleep disorder.  Have you ever sleepwalked?

Aromatherapy for Sleep

dreamstimefree_208820It seems everyone has sleep problems these days.  Whether caused by medical problems, stress, a poor sleep environment or other factors, the effects on daytime mental and physical performance are significant.  Commercials seem to pop up every evening for pills to help one sleep.  These tend to address the effects of sleeplessness, but some homeopathic practitioners suggest targeting the source.  They recommend using scent to sooth and reduce stress.  Try the following essential oils and see if it helps your night’s rest:

  • Lavender – add a drop or two to your pillow
  • Vetiver – add a drop or two to a warm bath
  • Sandalwood – place a drop on your wrist and massage it in
  • Marjoram – a massage oil that’s known for its calming effects

If you are having persistent sleep problems, it’s best to see your doctor.

Dream Walker Bonus Excerpt #paranormal #romance

Welcome to everyone on the Paranormal Romance Blog Hop.  Here’s an excerpt from my new book, Dream Walker.

KimberlyDean_DreamWalker_webDream Weavers, Book 2
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

She looked at him bemusedly. “I took a course in Greek mythology when I was an undergrad. Do you know the story of the Oneiroi, Derek?”

She felt the energy gather in him. It practically swirled around the bed. “I’m familiar with it,” he said carefully.

The power coming off him was heady. Shea inhaled, absorbing it as her mind went back. “They were dark-winged daemons sent up by gods from a cavern on the shore of the ocean near Hades. When they appeared to humans, it was in their sleep. The Oneiroi could take whatever shape they wished, but true dreams emerged from a gate made of horn while false dreams came from a gate made of ivory.”

He cleared his throat. “Something like that.”

“They were said to rule over sexual dreams most of all.”

The room seemed to shrink, and Shea felt him everywhere they touched. If anyone ruled her sexual dreams, it was him. She cleared her throat. “Anyway, the mother of the Oneiroi was said to be Night, or Nyx.”

He edged closer. “What do you think of all that?”

“The coincidence is fascinating. Derek Dream,” she said, caught up in the whole idea of it. The mysticality. The sensuality. Slowly, she shook her head. He probably thought she was silly.

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Back go blog hop!

Dream Walker Release Day!

It’s finally here!  Dream Walker releases today.  I’ve been waiting for this day for years, wanting to get my true vision of this story into readers’ hands.  I’m really looking forward to reviews.  Let me know what you think.

 

KimberlyDean_DreamWalker_webResearch scientist Shea Caldwell has always had a thing for security consultant, Derek Oneiros. He’s smart, handsome, and built like a Greek god. As attracted as she is to him, though, she’s afraid to let him into her bed – because she’s dangerous when she sleeps.

Derek is known among his brothers as “The Machine,” yet his carefully cultivated control is put to the test whenever he’s around Shea. The woman is as beautiful as she is intelligent, but they’ve always kept things professional – until Derek learns why. Shea is sleepwalking again, but what she doesn’t know is that he may be the only one who can help her. For he is a Greek daemon, and he’s charged with protecting her dreams.

With Shea threatened, Derek makes things personal, and their nights together turn steamy and intimate. He’s ready to battle against the Somnambulist that’s been controlling his lover in her sleep, yet is the night creature really causing all the harm? When Shea’s groundbreaking research notes are stolen, it’s clear that other evil forces may be at work.

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Sleep 101

dreamstimefree_219000I’ve learned a lot about sleep through my research for the Dream Weaver series.  If you’re having trouble sleeping, try some of the following tips:

  • Make your bedroom a place for sleep only (and that other thing adults like to do and erotic romance authors tend to write about).  Televisions, radios, and work keep the mind going.  The goal is to turn the brain off and let it relax.
  • Reading in bed is a special case.  Some people read to relax.  Others like me tend to get caught up in the story and will read into the wee hours to see how a story plays out.  You know which you are, so be aware of your habits.
  • Make sure everything is comfortable for you:  the mattress, your pillow, and the temperature .  A room that’s too warm will keep you awake.  Cooler temperatures tend to encourage sleep, but you don’t want your teeth to clatter!
  • Watch your intake of caffeine.  Try not to drink caffeinated beverages after dinner.  It’s a more powerful drug than you think.
  • Likewise, exercise earlier in the day.  Once the blood gets pumping and the body gets revved, it’s hard to slow it down to a complete stop.
  • Try to relax an hour or so before going to bed.  We all have a million things to do, but if you keep going full bore sleep will elude you.  Most people can’t turn a switch and go to sleep.  You must prepare the mind and the body.
  • Sometimes, the body is ready for sleep, but the mind isn’t.  If your mind is racing try different techniques to slow it down.  Concentrate on relaxing one part of the body at a time.  Focus on a peaceful scene and bring your thoughts back to this place when they start to wander.  This can be the hardest step in letting sleep take over.
  • Finally, if your sleep problems persist, see your doctor.  Sleep deprivation is rampant in our fast-paced, non-stop world.  It can make your reflexes slower and your thoughts hazy.  It can cause persistent headaches, make you gain weight, and many other bad things.  Get help when you need it!

Sleep Chart

zeo_night_detail(1)When I first came up with the idea for the Dream Weavers, I did a lot of research into sleep.  It’s something we all do every night, but it’s amazing how little researchers know about sleep and dreams.  One thing that has been proven is that we go through sleep cycles when we’re sleeping.  The subject was so interesting, I bought a Zeo sleep monitor.  I’ve never been a great sleeper, so I wanted to check out what was going on.   I monitored my sleep recently, and you can the different stages that I went through over the course of the night.

The image I was able to download on the left didn’t show everything.  Here are the full details:
Total sleep = 7:11(7 hours, 11 minutes)
REM sleep (dreaming stage) = 1:37
Light sleep = 4:39
Deep sleep = 0:55
Awake = 0:10
Woken = 1 time
Time to fall asleep = 0:15
Overall score = 79 (out of 100)

Unfortunately, Zeo has since gone out of business.  To my knowledge, there’s nothing else like it on the market.  The current fitness monitors that claim to measure sleep really only sense how much you move during your sleep.  Totally different.