As I struggled this morning with the snooze button, I started to wonder about the relationship between wanting to sleep through and around my alarm with the abnormal REM of narcolepsy. I’ve only done some very preliminary research at this point and haven’t found anything at all, but I have a theory:

My two polysomnograms have demonstrated that my nighttime REM sleep is disturbed, both fragmented and lacking. So if my sleepiness during the day and ability to get to REM quickly while napping are part of the same REM abnormality, could snoozing in the morning also be more of the same? I always dream in the nine minutes between hitting the button and the sound of the alarm, and I often continue to dream the same dream from one snooze period to the next. So I’m clearly getting REM during those periods. I think about extreme daytime sleepiness (EDS) as being a desire on the part of my brain for REM sleep; what if my seeming compulsion to keep snoozing long past my scheduled wake-up time is my brain milking this period of near-guaranteed REM for all it’s worth? My autonomic need for REM overriding my conscious awareness that it’s time to get up?

It’s certainly worth exploring.