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A guide to, and consolation for, the restless early hours


Not being able to sleep is deeply frightening. We panic about our ability to cope with the demands of the next day; we panic that we are panicking; the possibility of sleep recedes ever further as the clock counts down to another exhausted, irritable dawn.

Our societies have learnt to treat insomnia with the best-applied discipline we know: medicine - in particular, with pills powerful enough to wrestle consciousness into submission. But there are other things to do besides, or alongside, medicalising insomnia. We can reflect on our sleeplessness, define it to ourselves and others, try to understand where it springs from in human nature and speculate on what it might - in its own confused way - be trying to tell us.

This book is an eloquent guide to, and companion through, the long sleepless hours of the night. We come away from its soothing pages informed, consoled and armed with insights that will make us feel a lot less alone – as we wait for sleep, eventually, to come.

Chapters include:

  • Anxiety
  • Career Regret
  • Watching Someone Sleeping
  • Resentments
  • Memories
  • On Reading
  • Questions for The Insomniac
  • So What If I Don't Sleep

Excerpts from the Book:

"In the candour of the night, it's clear we've been fools in our careers. But our regrets and recriminations deserve to be placed in a larger perspective. Life inescapably confronts us with what can be described grandly yet accurately as an existential tragedy of choice. We are required to take major steps before we know enough about ourselves or the world. We are fated to rush, to steer blindly and to make moves that won't be right"


"There is so much material in our minds that we seldom visit in our waking hours. We have, surprisingly, forgotten almost nothing that we ever lived through. We just need the right amount of calm to bring it to the surface”. 

Hardback book | 53 Pages | 190mm x 160mm x 17mm | Colour Photography