“Studying Insomnia”

“Studying Insomnia,” Nature Medicine, 15, 481, 2009


“This book is written with clarity, empathy and knowledge. Carefully collected and updated scientific data are intermingled with experts’ opinions and patients’ reports. The result is an intriguing journey into the objective and subjective worlds of insomnia and insomniacs, a ‘combined view’ that makes the book unique….

INSOMNIAC will be of considerable interest for those looking for a comprehensive and well referenced book on insomnia. Both patients and sleep specialists will find information, inspiration and consolation from the unique perspective of an author, an insomnia sufferer herself, who seems to know more about insomnia than do many physicians who care for the people with this disorder.”

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • email
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis


  1. Not sure how this works – just wondering what Gayle and/or other insomniacs average hours per night – I’m one too – had insomnia since 25 and am 65 now – last 3 years it has gotten worse – taken all kinds of meds – anyway wondering what others are taking and how much sleep per night they are getting – this is important to me because I worry about it – don’t talk about it to my friends – afraid they might think I’m weird – anyway – am looking answers to my questions – thank you

  2. Several months ago I posted here about how much I liked “Insomniac”. However, I never got to finish it because it was a library book and due back. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to purchase the book because it is just a godsend to those like myself, who suffer from insomnia.

  3. I’m not sure what to say about my average amount of sleep, since I take Ambien for the second part of the night. I usually average 2-4 hours on my own, and another 2-4 hours with Ambien, which brings me up to around 7, which is what I usually need. I have a really hard time when I get 5 hours or less, though I know lots of people who are fine on 5. But everyone is different, not only biologically but in terms of life situation. I found when I was traveling in June, 5 hours was enough; when I’m home trying to write, I need 7.

    I do think that researchers will come up with a better med—they’re working at it—I just don’t know when it will be. Meanwhile, people find things that work. A friend of mine —older, guy, longtime sleep problems—just found help with Safeway over the counter Nightime Sleep Aid, a simple antihistamine. What a surprise, but it works! Another friend found help with Remeron, an antidepressant.

  4. I myself am a insomniac, I started around the age of 18 and now I am 22. I was getting around 1 to 3 hours a day. 3 hours was a good day. Many posts I have read use drugs to help with sleep. I have tried a few of these with no effects. I tried about everything, no help. I started to study my habits and realized that I was not sleeping because I was in constant thought all the time. My brain doesnt stop, so I started to write all my thoughts in a notebook then into my website….and what did you know….I started to sleep better. I am sleeping around 5 hours a day now. Writing causes me to have an outlet. I think natural sleep is the way to go than drugs if at all possible, just my opinion. Matt K.

  5. Hi Barb:

    I average 4 hours a night. Sometimes less, never more.

    I take Melatonin, 10mg ambien, then always wake up around 2-3 hours later, and take 1mg Xanax. That usually gives me 1-2 hours more.

    This is just my latest drug cocktail unfortunately. Sometimes I get no sleep at all even taking these things, and there is no rhyme nor reason as to why sometimes the drugs do not work (although as Gayle said, and many have noted, hormones have a lot to do with it. I am 41 and the week before my period there is no hope of any sleep at all).

    I have tried every antidepressant out there because the doctors cannot wait to label you “depressed” and write an anti-depressant prescription. The only 2 that helped, and in the short term only, were Remeron and Seroquel. Both caused significant weight gain (I am almost back to my normal weight now I have been off Remeron for a month). It was very depressing to not only be obsessed about looking haggard, but also to be fat,taking drugs that were not even helping the problem.
    Anyway it seems having read the other posts here that i am sleeping less than most. I too am obsessed about how much sleep I get in comparison to other insomniacs. Gayle is lucky that she gets some sleep w/out the meds…I don’t get any if I don’t take them

  6. I loved your book Insomniac and have told my mom about it. She has severe macular degeneration and period severe insomnia. We’re wondering why we can’t find Insomniac on tape — especially since this is a form that you yourself seem to enjoy! Please let us know if there are plans in the works for an audio book. Thanks!

  7. Check out the cover story in New Scientist, 10 Oct 2009,”Altered States”. Ever hear of: status dissociatus? Being asleep and awake at the same time. Sounds like Gayle’s sleep study. I’m sure it’s quite common among insomniacs but new to doctors.

  8. I have been using Hemp Oil and it has helped ease my Insomnia a lot. I suggest one should definitely give it a shot.

Comments are closed.