As certain as it is that the sun sets each night and rises each morning, as true as the fact that grass is green and the sky is blue - such is it to my family that I am a sound sleeper. Not only am I a sound sleeper, once in a while I set new records for what I can sleep through that my subconscious must believe advances the humankind in some way. When I was a child we were in a one-bedroom apartment, so I always slept between my parents. Most mornings I would wake up to the sounds of my mother yelling at me to stop strangling my father - in my sleep I would somehow manage to do a half clock-rotation, landing my small but certainly not pleasant heels on the throat of my father. (Sorry dad!) One might think that growing up would improve things, right? Well one would be wrong to think so in my case. While I grew out of the clock-hand phase, I reached new heights in my career as an unwakeable sack of muscle and bone each morning.
Last year we traveled to India, where my family lives, for vacation. Our neighbors had a jackfruit tree close to the fence between our two yards. I woke up one morning to find a huge hole in our roof and a jackfruit that lay split open in our house. A giant jackfruit managed to puncture a hole through our tiled roof and land in our living room, causing my parents to freak out, and yet somehow it didn't wake me! Same goes for the time my parents dropped me off to live in my dorm my very first year of college. After exploring our campus all day, I went in for a deep sleep, and the next morning, I see 37 missed calls from my parents!!! The worrisome folks they are, they drove as fast as they could to see if I was okay, sped through a school zone, and ended up with a ticket. Only then did I wake up and call back, saying "Hey mom did you call me?"...I'll leave it up to you to imagine how the rest of that exchange went.
Now that you have a good resume of my past experiences, there is one anecdote that simply must be mentioned because it highlights the peak of my mental achievements whilst asleep. I was 12 years old. It was a school morning. My mom was at her wit's end trying to wake me up. She had been calling me in intervals of 5-6 minutes for about an hour. She then resorted to clapping her hands and yelling that the school bus was here. In the meantime I was fast asleep, having wonderful dreams that featured many of my favorite cartoon characters. At one point I saw a dream about Tom and Jerry, the cat and mouse duo. I dreamt that I was with them at a construction site, with hammering and drills and other machinery so loud and bothersome filling the air with chaotic noise. Running through this construction site I fell and finally woke up, and the sight I saw made me roll in bed laughing! My mom, an exhausted, sweating woman with dark circles under her eyes and a disgruntled expression, stood there at the foot of my bed - a hammer in one hand, a huge pan in the other hand - hammering away!!! Instead of processing this horrid cacophony as a sign that I should wake up, my brain had instead incorporated it into a dream. How very helpful.