I can't work, I can't think, I can't connect with anyone anymore. . . . I mope through a day's work and haven't had a promotion in years. . . . It's like I'm being sucked dry, eaten away, swallowed up, coming unglued. . . . These are voices of a few of the tens of millions who suffer from chronic insomnia. In this revelatory book, Gayle Greene offers a uniquely comprehensive account of this devastating and little-understood condition. She has traveled the world in a quest for answers, interviewing neurologists, sleep researchers, doctors, psychotherapists, and insomniacs of all sorts. What comes of her extraordinary journey is an up-to-date account of what is known about insomnia, providing the information every insomniac needs to know to make intelligent choices among medications and therapies. Insomniac is at once a field guide through the hidden terrain inhabited by insomniacs and a book of consolations for anyone who has struggled with this affliction that has long been trivialized and neglected.
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"A fascinating and unusual look at the world of insomnia and sleep science. Written from the perspective of an insomnia sufferer, this exhaustively researched book critically and thoughtfully examines what we know (or claim to know) about sleep and the treatment of insomnia. Required reading for insomnia sufferers, clinicians treating the disorder, and anyone interested in the science of sleep."—Nicholas Rosenlicht, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
"This work provides a rich account of insomnia, weaving together the personal journey of the author, experiences of other insomniacs, and solid scientific research. No other work on insomnia provides such a fresh perspective, which is also informative, compelling, and entertaining."—Richard Lewis, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Pomona College
"This is a very well researched, in-depth book on insomnia, written with much empathy and from the patient's point of view. I would recommend it to all who are plagued by this malady or who professionally try to treat it."—Peter Hauri, author of No More Sleepless Nights
"Insomniac is an impassioned work—an inspired amalgam of academic and first-hand research, memoir, analysis, and the kind of obsessive brooding we associate with the insomniac state. Much here is fascinating, and much is upsetting; here is a cri de coeur from a lifetime insomniac that is sure to appeal to the vast army of fellow insomniacs the world over."—Joyce Carol Oates
"As a clinical psychologist afflicted by insomnia for many years, I was delighted to read Insomniac. Doing so has already helped me and my insomniac clients immensely. Gayle Greene 'gets it' as only another insomniac can. She educates, advises, and comforts with a steady, sympathetic hand."—Timothy Miler, PhD
"The good news is that Gayle Greene's book is all you ever need to read on the subject of sleeplessness; the bad news for fellow insomniacs is that reading it —even in bed—will fail to lull you to sleep."—Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the U.S.
Gayle Greene is Professor of Literature and Women's Studies at Scripps College, Claremont California. She has published books on Shakespeare, women writers, and scientific issues. Her most recent books are Doris Lessing: The Poetics of Change and The Woman Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation. She is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), a professional medical society for researchers and clinicians, and is the patient representative on the board of the American Insomnia Association, an organization within AASM.
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