The New York Times

The Genius of Insomnia


Insomnia usually begins with a lament, for the love (and loss) of sleep; over the red-eyed mornings and sludgelike days that tail the wakeful nights; for the rest you crave and cannot get and the cognitive snap that eludes you. Yet if we insist on viewing insomnia merely as a matter of negatives, a condition defined by lack, a nothing, a zero, a blank, then we risk missing what it can potentially reveal.

I’ve been insomniac all my life. As a child, my wakefulness was a matter of personal pride, a badge of honor signifying a shrewd vigilance (should any ghoul dare intrude upon my bedroom

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