NPR logo I Can't Sleep!

I Can't Sleep!

I've wanted insomnia since I first saw Fight Club nine years ago. Ed Norton made it look so cool and sexy and mysterious. The closest I've ever come, though, are the all-nighters I pulled in high school and college in order to finish whatever paper or project I procrastinated. A part of me liked the feeling of being awake and active while the world was sleeping. It felt like having a really cool secret, or being part of an exclusive club. But after doing research for this segment, I've realized that my assumptions and romanticized notions of sleep deprivation were naive — insomnia is tough, and it can paralyze lives.

Writer and professor Gayle Greene has suffered through a lifetime of sleeplessness. She wrote about her experiences in the book Insomniac. She joins us to share her stories, and to draw attention to a sleeping disorder that is often neglected or trivialized. We'll also talk to two professionals from the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Michigan about the medical and psychological issues surrounding insomnia, and the various treatment methods.

So, all you insomniacs out there, tell us, what have you done to deal with your insomnia?

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