Once upon a time there lived a harried mom who was tired all the time. She would wake up in the morning, get the kids dressed and fed, and feel the need to go back to sleep. She would usually fight this feeling as much as possible. She would drive the kids to their schools and then teach two-year-olds for three hours and feel awake (because it's kind of hard to teach little ones without being constantly "on"), but when class was over and her own children joined her in her classroom, her energy level would begin to drop. She would herd her children to their van, make sure they were buckled in, drive them home and feed them (yet again), get them cleaned up, and then make them lay down on the couch for "quiet time." As soon as the harried mom sat down, her eyelids became so heavy it took all her effort to keep them open. So she would often go upstairs to nap for a little, but after sleeping for a little it became nearly impossible for her to force herself completely out of her semi-sleep state. She would sometimes come up with places to take the kids, mainly because moving around was one of the main ways she could stay awake. When night came and the kids were in bed, the harried mom would pour herself into her own bed. Whether napping or sleeping for the night, the harried mom could go into a dream state almost instantly. It's how she always fell asleep: shut her eyes, thought of a dream, and went into it. At the start of the dream she would be still awake a little bit, enough to manipulate the dream however she wanted, though she no longer could move her body. And then she would sink deeper and deeper into the dream.
The harried mom finally saw a specialist to figure out why she was tired all the time and discovered that she had Narcolepsy. Finally - a reason why she felt tired all the time. And the new knowledge that the way she fell asleep was NOT the way it worked for everyone else. So the doctor gave her medicine to help her be awake when she wanted to be. The only problem was she was no longer able to shut her eyes and begin dreaming. Now her mind raced even though she was tired and quiet and lying in bed. Instead of going into dream houses or seeing old crushes who now found her irresistable, her mind thought about the different things she needed to do the next day and the different things she didn't get to do that day.
The harried mom was frustrated. How could she be wide awake the next day, even with medicine, if she couldn't fall asleep at night? So the harried mom contacted her equally harried sister, who suggested the age old remedy of keeping a notebook by the bed and writing out all the stuff in the mom's head BEFORE she tried to fall asleep. What do you know? It worked! And the harried mom lived happily ever after . . . for the next two weeks, which is how long the sample packs of medicine will last her. And her quest for the miracle drugs continues, but that is a tale for another day.