"Sleeping Sickness" as written by and Dallas Green....
I awoke, only to find my lungs empty
And through the night, so it seems I'm not breathing
And now my dreams, are nothing like they were meant to be
And I'm breaking down, I think I'm breaking down

And I'm afraid, to sleep because of what haunts me
Such as, living with the uncertainty
That'll never find the words to say
Which would completely explain, just how I'm breaking down

Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Maybe I'll sleep when I am dead but now it's like the night is taking sides
And all the worries that occupy the back of my mind
Could it be, this misery will suffice

I've become, a simple souvenir of someone's kill
Like the sea, I'm constantly changing from calm to ill
Madness fills my heart and soul as if the
Great divide could swallow me whole, oh how I'm breaking down

Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Maybe I'll sleep when I am dead but now it's like the night is taking sides
And all the worries that occupy the back of my mind
Could it be, this misery will suffice

Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Could it be, this misery will suffice


Lyrics submitted by tjwells

"Sleeping Sickness" as written by Dallas Green

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Sleeping Sickness song meanings
Add your thoughts

44 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentI don't think it is meant to be taken literally as insomnia but rather the literal insomnia is a metaphor for something much deeper darker and almost sinister. This song hit me like a ton of bricks the first time i heard it because I am having a hard time figuring out what to do with my life, etc. Depression and anxiety are everything he describes in this song; constant worry, ups and downs(like the sea), overwhelming thoughts of despair, wanting someone, anyone to help but knowing they will never trully understand and finally coming to the conclusion that this misery will have to suffice, it is part of you and will never leave
    indiefanon September 30, 2008   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation"I awoke, only to find my lungs empty
    (Obviously, he awoke grasping for air after sleeping, since he found his 'lungs empty.')
    And through the night, so it seems I'm not breathing
    (While sleeping, he feels as if he's dead, which is stated by 'I'm not breathing.')
    And now my dreams, are nothing like they were meant to be
    (Dreams usually imply a positive outlook of the future, yet his dreams "are nothing like they were meant to be"-which are usually positive. Therefore, it seems safe to assume that his dreams aren't as positive and optimistic as they are traditionally defined and how he may personally expect them to be; they are most likely dark and haunting, which the first line of the next stanza plainly states.)
    And I'm breaking down, I think I'm breaking down"
    (His sleeping sickness certainly breaks him down as the first part of the line says, while he adds a bit of uncertainty about this conclusion, of him breaking down, in the last part of the line by saying 'I think I'm breaking down.')

    "And I'm afraid, to sleep because of what haunts me
    (If your dreams are haunting, then it is completely understandable why you would be 'afraid to sleep.')
    Such as, living with the uncertainty
    That'll never find the words to say
    Which would completely explain, just how I'm breaking down"
    (These three lines are an example of what haunts him and makes him afraid of sleeping. This sleeping sickness is tragic! especially when one notices the sincerity and plea for understanding in Dallas' voice when he sings these lines. I relate to these lines myself, and they are my favorite lines in the whole songs. What really makes this tragic is knowing with almost full certainty that you're breaking down, yet you are not fully able to explain what is causing this breakdown in order for you to gain understanding and eventually counterattack your personal destruction.)

    "Someone come and, someone come and save my life
    (This is a plea for help, or salvation, from the sleeping sickness, for he's in a desperate situation, one that is life-threatening.)
    Maybe I'll sleep when I am dead but now it's like the night is taking sides
    (He loses hope that he'll sleep again while alive, and the night seems to not be on his side since it torments him with the sleeping sickness.)
    And all the worries that occupy the back of my mind
    (While alone in his bed trying to sleep, his mind overflows with the worries he distracts himself with during the day that he cannot now escape from.)
    Could it be, this misery will suffice"
    (This seems like a personal affirmation of acceptance, where he realizes that this sleeping sickness may be with him for the rest of his life, so all he can do is accept it for what it's worth. He's coming to "peace" with his sleeping sickness.)

    "I've become, a simple souvenir of someone's kill
    (He's in a vulnerable state like a 'simple souvenir of someone's [the sleeping sickness'] kill because of his personal struggle against his night demons. Also, it's easier to kill someone who's lacking sleep, for sleep restores the body with energy; thus, lack of sleep makes one weaker.)
    Like the sea, I'm constantly changing from calm to ill
    (He's emotionally unstable, I suppose, like the unpredictability of the sea. He may have a few moments of calmness at night, yet he can be suddenly overtaken by his illness, his sleep sickness, at any changing moment.)
    Madness fills my heart and soul as if the
    Great divide could swallow me whole, oh how I'm breaking down"
    (Not being able to sleep induces hallucinations, a kind of madness, especially if paranoia is added within the picture, if one goes for too long a period of time without sleep. The great divide could be an analogy of the abyss, the bottomless pit of his breakdown, caused by his sleep sickness. The sleeping sickness appears to be slowly sucking him into its devouring mouth; hence, the phrase 'swallow me whole.)

    This is a brilliant song that seems born from a vulnerable, courageous place of creativity. Dallas Green gets numerous views from me because of his believable lyrics. He's not ashamed to express his personal demons, which is therapeutic and encouraging to those, like me, who may also have similar demons.
    mrignoranton July 24, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song, the new album is amazing. I was amazed to see the whole album on his Myspace.

    The song seems to be about insomnia and maybe depression and hoping for someone to enter his life to save him from it.
    Stareboton February 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is so mesmerizing.
    Definitely the best on their new CD.
    Love the Gord Downie appearance. Totally unexpected, but amazing. This song is so powerful. Give it a listen.
    jdaniels_11on February 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song summed my life up over the last 2 months. I found out that my fiance of 4 years had cheated on me over a 3 month period. I didn't see it coming and it knocked me for 6. We had bought a house only 6 months prior and i thought everything was perfect. First verse: I take this song at face value for the last 2 months i go to bed and can't sleep with thoughts of what we, had my dreams for us, and what i am now left with. The pain is so bad it feels like i can't breath, i was just stressing out. With all of these thoughts running through my head i thought i was going crazy like my life was over. It's about despair and not being able to cope with the situation.2nd verse: He's afraid to sleep because during the day you can keep yourself busy but at night you are left alone with your thoughts and dreams which torment you.3rd Verse: For me was contemplating suicide. Maybe i'll sleep when i am dead. Maybe it will be easier.4th Verse: Felt like she was just another notch in someone else's belt and i'm the "dead animal" from someones hunting trip. It also describes the days when you think you are on top of the situation (calm)but go to bed and find that nothing could be further from the truth.Somone come and save my life is a cry for help anybody just help me through this situation.I don't wish this upon anyone. If you have had this happen to you go and talk to somone don't try and deal with it yourself it will eat you alive. It's been the worst 2 months of my life but i have realised you have to make the most of the time you do have. Go out, hang out with mates, go to the beach go to concerts. START LIVING INSTEAD OF JUST EXISTING! Awesome song. Hopefully i'll find a song to sum up my new life.
    CC Sleeping Sicknesson November 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAmazing and the fact that Gord Downie is featured makes it even better.
    shimmer117on December 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti absolutely love this song i just relate to it so much
    IDVNOIon June 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow, what a deep and evocative song! I have to be honest, the first time I heard this song was a couple of days ago, you see it was on a Montage for the closing of the NHL playoffs 2009 on CBC (they make *beautiful* videos over there). It's on youtube it anyone's interested:

    youtube.com/…

    "and through the night so it seems i'm done breathing," >> What a haunting, yet heartbreaking line....
    bethanyjoyon June 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've become the simple souvenir of someone's kill*
    callingallcreepson October 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is fucking amazing
    i dont know maybe a case of insomnia
    not beeing able to fall asleep becuz he loves her
    but he realizes he will never have her again
    becuz he messed up
    toitdudeon November 05, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain