Episode 630: Sweet Dreams

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Settling In

I’ve talked a lot about night time and the danger of trying to sleep in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, especially without anyone to watch your back. This time, I want to take a different approach, and discuss the importance of good sleep and the dire consequences that can happen if you don’t or can’t get any. Any survival situation is incredibly stressful, both physically and psychologically; a zombie survival situation is likely to be all the more stressful because of a number of factors. In order for a survivor to have any hope of coping, they must be well rested.

This is, of course, easier said than done. A successful survivor is one who is constantly alert and ready to react, and that makes falling and staying asleep very difficult. This is only compounded when the survivor is on his or her own. Nonetheless, when they start missing sleep, they quickly begin to lose the fine motor control, reaction time, and quick thought processes they depend on for survival.

About this Episode:

I’ve had a lot of challenges when it comes to making Bricks of the Dead. The most obvious is my lack of sufficient minifig parts to ensure that characters all have unique costumes and are able to emote reasonably well (and don’t, for instance, suddenly get different colored eyebrows between episodes).

Another big problem I’ve had I simply can’t blame on outside issues, but my own writing: that is the problem of time. If you go back through the comic from the beginning, taking careful notice of time, you will find that precious little of it has passed since the beginning. Now, this is fine in a lot of ways, but one of the things I want to do in this story is look at the way the world and society changes as it adapts to the zombies. That’s pretty difficult to do in a matter of a few days. Long story short, I need to make time pass faster in the comic.

Discussion Question: Missing Sleep

Have any of you had experiences with not sleeping? If so, what were the consequences. When I was younger and dumber, I once went several days without sleeping. Needless to say, it was quite an experience. I don’t remember a lot of it, but my friends say I was hallucinating and acting very drunk. It’s a wonder I didn’t hurt myself.

16 thoughts on “Episode 630: Sweet Dreams”

  1. Typo alerts: “watch you back” you–>your 😀

    Concatenate the following two sentences into one:

    “Another big problem I’ve had I simply can’t blame on outside issues, but my own writing. That is the problem of time.” Remove the full stop, associated spaces, and insert a comma where the full stop was, so the concatenated sentence reads as follows:

    “Another big problem I’ve had I simply can’t blame on outside issues is the problem of writing the passage of time into the storyline itself.”

    With this part, you’re trying to say that you want to illustrate how little time has passed from the point of view of the survivors. Additionally, the last part of this paragraph seems to have gone missing, as there is a comma at the end of the paragraph that goes nowhere:

    “That’s pretty difficult to do in a matter of a few days,”

    I actually think the entire paragraph needs to be rewritten properly so it makes sense, because it seems like it is a half-finished jumbled mess that fell out of the word processor you were using before you had actually polished it up sufficiently. 😀

    I will say that if Dave has less time to do the write-ups, that he should either skip doing them, or make them simpler. Simpler usually is better, but if you’re trying to convey a point of discussion properly, not always is it so.

    • Found another typo: “hallucinating and act very drunk” act–>acting 😀

    • I think I’ve got everything fixed.

  2. Went to sleep and was woken by a car alarm at 03:33, and it kept going off all night. The car owner wasn’t home.

    • Oh god, that’s brutal.

  3. When I was at police college, We had to get up every morning at 5:30 to do morning exercises. My body got so used to waking up earlier than normal, I started waking up at 4:00 consistently. Then 3:00 and so on and so forth until I just couldn’t fall asleep at all. I ended up fixing this problem when we had 2 weeks at christmas to see our families. I went back to my house and slept for 49 hours, after popping a ton of sleeping aids.

    • Holy shit!

  4. Long ago in the Army they thought they could simulate the stress of combat by not letting soldiers sleep. At the National Training Center at Fort Irwin Ca (literally next to Death Valley) you trained for two weeks straight. After a few years and several dozen tanks and other heavy vehicles kept driving off cliffs and into deep ditches injuring and killing soldiers they decided it was maybe a bad idea.

    • I guess it’s good that they at least recognized the problem… eventually.

  5. A long time ago I read Dick Marcinko’s original book “Rouge Warrior.” He talks at length about something he calls the “combat nap” As I understand it, SF operators are trained to go days without a typical sleep period and instead rely on very short but frequent naps anywhere from 10min to 60min in duration. Ive never tried it, but I knew several people in college who broke their sleep cycles into 2 or 3 longer naps of 2-3hours in the course of a 24hour day.
    A very useful skill if you think about it.
    Personally I was never able to pull true “all nighters” but I could get by on about 4 hours of sleep for up to a week then hibernate for 12-15hours on the weekend.

  6. There’s reasons why sleep deprivation can be used as a form of torture.


  7. Shit! How is Sam gonna fare without his teddy bear?!

  8. In college around finals I would sleep very little, just trying to cram everything in I could (instead of having a responsible study schedule throughout the quarter). I would get between 0 and maaaybe 4 hours of sleep a day. It was fine when I was 17. But it got much harder around 19, when I hallucinated ants crawling on me – but only when I closed my eyes, I decided to just wake back up. Around 21/22 I got so little sleep one finals week that I literally just kept breaking into laughter. Look at that tree, it’s hilarious! Also all the little damages done to the body during the day (stub a toe, bang an arm, take a long walk) just kept hurting.

  9. BTW: I will be gone for a month on June 27 for Survival training in Tobermory (if you don’t know where that it, I suggest google images), so don’t be alarmed and think I’ve been KIA when I don’t comment starting that sunday. Not that anyone would think that, I just like to think that I’m important in the comment section to feel better about myself.

    I digress.

    Peace, Love : Shifted Beef

  10. I have insomnia, so I get little sleep often. After a while of not getting much sleep, you kinda learn to work with it. Not to say it’s easy or pleasant, but somehow your body manages to continue with tasks, even the more rigorous. The longest I’ve been without sleep is about 4 and a half days straight, and that was probably my least pleasant experience. In terms of surviving a apocalypse of any sorts, probably longer than 2 days without sleep would get you killed, especially if you’re city hopping, maybe less if it’s something more severe like mass droughts or something of that sorts.

  11. Back when I was younger, sleazier and lived Downtown I once (with a chemical accomplice) I stayed up 114 hours, something I would never try again. I was first was gittery and became very slap happy during the first 48 hours. After that things began to come unhinged I started to think people were watching me and felt like I wasn’t safe in my own home. At one point even searched my house with my pistol in hand. My nerves began to reject pain more so (I ended up with blood blisters across both my feet, that I ended up draining) Near the end I couldn’t keep rational thoughts. I had to question everything I was doing and thinking. Needless to say I slept for almost 2 days straight.

    As far as your time issue that’s easy just elapse time when/or where ever you get the characters. For example weeks later we catch up to a barricaded Sam in Tara’s house where he has learned the art of scavenging and Tara past from a failed outing. Which could be a short side story that would be told much later…. and perhaps Murphy is now on the run from a group of outsiders.