Check this out…

Insomniac was shortlisted for the Gregory Bateson Prize, Society for Cultural Anthropology, for being “interdisciplinary, experimental, and innovative.”

Check out this cool article by Rubin Naiman, “How Cool Is Your Sleep?”  It’s about how important it is to cool down, to get good sleep.

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  1. Dear Gayle, thank you so much for writing Insomniac. What an informative and comforting book, and so well written, couldn’t put it down. I had no sleep problems at all until I was 58 (18 months ago) when I was counselling a severely traumatised woman with extreme insomnia – got a bad case of counter-transference and acquired insomnia! I slept about 2 hours a night for a couple of weeks, I immediately stopped counselling and slowly things improved, but I have had insomnia ever since. It’s like something got broken or a sleep thermostat was reset and I’m too old to bounce back.
    My GP – doctor, I’m in the UK – insists I’m depressed which is so infuriating, in fact the older I get the happier I am, even with insomnia (I’m lucky in that I do get plenty of fairly reasonable nights to recover in). What’s more, when I had some problems she couldn’t diagnose some years ago, she insisted I was depressed then. Another doctor picked up that it was HRT withdrawal – you’d think she would have learned a little humility. Anyway she prescribed me 6 months of antidepressants (side effect – insomnia), I took one just in case it would help me to sleep and had a dreadful reaction where it was like my body was having a panic attack though my mind wasn’t. I found Valium to be helpful sometimes, but if I ask to be prescribed that I’m treated like a naughty child. OK to be made addicted to nightly antidepressants, not OK to be trusted with an occasional Valium when things are bad! If my insomnia isn’t too bad I can be tipped into sleep by a headache pill containing codeine.
    I think one trigger for my insomnia might be chocolate – last night I had rather a lot of chocolate biscuits and couldn’t get to sleep until 5.30am in spite of codeine and Valium, awake again at 7.10am. Thinking back, there may have been a correlation over the last few weeks (though often it’s not a factor). In the past it had no such effect, but I think I’ll cut it out altogether. Trouble is, insomnia makes me crave chocolate and refined sugar the next day.
    About insomnia personality – when I was sleeping 2 hours a night I was weeping all over the place, but it was a nightmare. I have profound admiration and respect for all you sufferers who keep going on such a regime. In fact most insomniacs seem to suffer in silence, when I started telling family and friends and colleagues about my insomnia, I found loads of them were also sufferers, often triggered by work pressures, but never talked about it.

  2. Hi Gayle, I am an insomniac in South Africa, I am near the end of my resources and feeling depressed and scared, I just wanted to let you know that you have a great site and it is comforting to read about other experiences like mine… It helps. Thanks.

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