Have you ever blurted, “Oh Bill!” while fucking your boyfriend Bob? Yeah, sucks when you get the name wrong, especially when you and Bob have been dating for a year and you don't know anyone, nor have banged anyone in the past, named Bill.

Our brains work in mysterious ways, especially when deprived of their essential “me” time: sleep. Maybe you were tired, or maybe you need to stop denying your infatuation with the Bill who made MTV Jamz the jam.

Anywho, this happened to a crony of mine just last night, and when she asked, “Why the hell did this happen?” I put on my sleuthing bra.

Here's the story:

Harriet* and Andrew* live together. They are each other's one and only. Last night Harriet went to bed while Andrew went to the gym. When Andrew got back, feeling He-man strong, he wanted sex and wanted it now.

Andrew woke up Harriet and got right down to business as she groggily got into the groove. However, not once but TWICE Harriet yelled out, “Oh Aaron!” when things got good.

“I don't know an Aaron. Never dated an Aaron. Never slept with an Aaron. No idea where it came from, but Andrew got really upset,” Harriet told me. “I mean, the 'A's are close; it's not like I screamed out 'Kevin!' or something.”

True, that would have been much worse. But still, how do you explain this flub? After some inquiring and perusing of the National Institute of Health home page, I came across the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke site and learned some stuff about sleep.

Sleep is essential and none of us get enough of it. I used to thrive on the adrenaline that accompanied missing the essential REM cycle as a result of steady railing by a steady hookup.

But I soon experienced the negative effects of not letting my brain go into “off” mode. Holding my puffy face over a hot Americano the morning after while sharing my latest sexcapade soon got as old as my haggard appearance, and the fact that I couldn't remember anything deeper than a Britney Spears lyric was concerning.

Your brain does all kinds of amazing things while you allow it to undergo a natural sleep cycle, consisting of four stages of brain movement until you reach REM sleep, the ultimate brain vacation.

Stage 1 is when you start getting that falling-over feeling. Stage 2 is when our brain waves slow down with sporadic bursts of activity. Stages 3 and 4 are considered deep sleep, the kind that takes a while to wake up from.

If you slept more at night you'd stop waking up in strange places during the day.

If you slept more at night you'd stop waking up in strange places during the day.

REM sleep, when the eyes start to flitter around and our dream time begins, happens at the end of the cycle, about 90 minutes after first falling asleep. Harriet had been asleep for at least an hour, and it's quite possible she was in the midst of a wacky dream sequence when Mr. Man showed up with a boner.

It's difficult for a person to adjust to reality after being shaken from a deep sleep, and there's a good chance he or she will be disoriented. When awoken from REM sleep, memory of the crazy dreams may even remain – and often not for long.

Harriet also admitted that not only did she eat dinner just before bed – a delicious sushi platter – but she had more coffee and Diet Coke than usual. Caffeine (as well as certain medications) is known to affect neurotransmitter signals and there's a chance her eating habits that evening triggered a crazier-than-normal dream that stuck around once she had been jarred awake by her beau.

Though this doesn't offer a definite reason of why Harriet had a make-believe side project in mind during a particularly passionate, if not sleepy, sex session, it does explain the possibilities.

So what have we learned today, friends?

  • Coke in all its forms is probably a bad idea to ingest before bed, especially when you're sharing it with someone worth your time.
  • You won't get to the good parts of your dream sequences for at least an hour and a half after you fall asleep, so be patient and give yourself more than two hours to do it.
  • If you want to keep sound mind, stay healthy and not look like a haggard old man (especially when you're currently a young woman), get eight hours of sleep each night.

It takes effort, but just fucking do it. You'll feel more rested, you'll drink less coffee, and the odds of you flubbing up your “Oh yes!” screams will grow slimmer by each REM cycle.

*Names have definitely been changed to protect the fornicating.

LA Weekly