The Graveyard Shift is a series chronicling how professionals with some of the strangest hours get their rest.
When you think of the typical night shift employee, standard round-the-clock jobs like nursing or bartending might come to mind. But Laura Powers, a psychic, says her ability to communicate with ghosts keeps her up at all hours. Powers talked to Motherboard about how she has learned to sleep when spirits are active, and how they may be keeping us awake, too.
MOTHERBOARD: Can you start by telling me what you do?
Powers: I am a psychic medium and one of my specialties is working as a ghost whisperer and clearer. That means I see and communicate with ghosts on a regular basis. I see demons, ghosts and angels, and other non-physical beings.
Where do you live?
I live in LA and NYC and travel a lot for clients and events.
How does your job affect your sleep?
In terms of sleep, demons and ghosts are very active at night, that is my busy time.
Why is that?
It is literally the dark time of the day: dark beings, darkness, that is their time. We are orientated to the light so we are awake during the day and it's a light time; beings including ghosts tend to gravitate towards the energy that is comfortable for them, so beings of the dark don't like the light.
I would have eight ghosts in my room at once—it was very stressful.
What is a typical workday like for you?
It varies––I don't have plans every day, but I interact with ghosts every day, whether it's in my personal life or work. For work, I might do a house cleaning, I might talk to someone about ghost in their life. I'm also a writer and I do speaking to different groups on this, and media interviews as well.
So what time would you go for a house clearing, for example?
I prefer to do it during the day when [the spirits] are not as strong. When I do clearing, it's to shift the energy and clear what's there. I also work with paranormal investigation groups—with those groups the goal is to interact and get evidence, so when I do paranormal investigative work it's at night—anywhere from 10 PM to 4 AM.
Do you use tools for that?
There are a lot of tools to be used for paranormal investigation: an EMF [electromagnetic frequency detector], audio recorders. Another common tool is a switch on twisting flashlight and you ask them to turn it off and on in response to your questions.
Since your work schedule varies so much, how does it affect your sleep?
I have a sporadic sleep schedule, I sleep very well when I sleep, so it's not uncommon for me to get five to six hours and feel refreshed. Sometimes I will take a nap during the day. I traveled yesterday so I only slept three hours. I need less sleep than most people.
Have you always been like that?
Before I got training, I had more trouble sleeping because when I slept ghosts would try to go into my body. With my abilities, I could work as a trance medium—when a spirit goes into someone's body and can literally communicate through them. I usually do mental medium work where I hear what they're saying and relay that to people, but because I could be trance medium [the spirits] would try to get into my body.
How did you stop that?
I had to take classes and learn how to say no and work a lot with angels in terms of getting protection. Angels are our spiritual bouncers and protectors––you can simply ask them to protect you and they'll act as intermediary between what you want and don't want.
So once you learned to do that you were able to sleep better?
Oh my gosh yes, I was also able to help ghosts cross over into the light—so before I knew how to do that, they knew I knew how, so I would have eight ghosts in my room at once—it was very stressful.
Growing up, before I knew how to handle this, sleeping and life in general was so intense. I thought maybe I was crazy, and I was trying to manage all this on my own. It wasn't until college when I told a family friend I learned i wasn't crazy that I could manage it. It was a lot on an emotional and physical level.
So nowadays you sleep fine?
I sleep much better than i used to. If i am in an active place it might be hard to sleep. For example, I was hired to do a seance at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where Stephen King wrote and was inspired by The Shining––it's a very haunted hotel. I didn't sleep all night there, there was so much activity it was impossible.
For people who struggle with sleep, it's likely they are more psychically sensitive than they realize
Do you have any habits to help you sleep?
I ask the angels to protect me in my dreams. I would actually recommend everyone to do that. The light principles and dark principles act very differently — light principles care who we feel, we have to ask and want them in order to do that. Because angels act on free will, they won't do it unless you ask but once you ask then they will totally do it.
For people who struggle with sleep, it's likely they are more psychically sensitive than they realize and are picking up on stuff around them that is subconsciously keeping them awake. A lot of people are probably just sensitive and haven't had the training. They should ask the archangel Michael for protection and learn about angels and the energetic realm, get proper training and then they will sleep better.
You'll Sleep When You're Dead is Motherboard's exploration of the future of sleep. Read more stories.
from The Graveyard Shift: the Psychic Who Can't Sleep Because of Ghosts