People usually think of insomnia as a problem of the night, but it’s more than that. Poor sleep puts a damper on the day, as Kim, a nurse I interviewed, explains: “Generally, I experience insomnia just about every night. The older I get, the more I pay for it the next day. I am groggy and grumpy and I can’t think straight. But I’m usually OK until the afternoon and then it’s pure hell. I get really sleepy about 2 p.m. and have to just keep on working until I get things done.”

Not only do our bad nights leave us feeling lousy the next day. They also affect our performance on the job. A review of the occupational effects of insomnia found that insomnia symptoms

  • increase the risk of accidents in the workplace
  • reduce productivity on the job, and
  • inhibit career advancement.

This week is Sleep Awareness Week. To call attention to the fact that the effects of chronic insomnia are 24/7, I’m posting my final book trailer, where I discuss the daytime symptoms of insomnia and offer a few tips for coping after bad nights. Take a listen and see if you relate!

Insomnia at Night, Running on Empty All Day

Posted by Lois Maharg, The Savvy Insomniac

Lois Maharg has worked with language for many years. She taught ESL, coauthored two textbooks, and then became a reporter, writing about health, education, government, Latino affairs, and food. Her lifelong struggle with insomnia and interest in investigative reporting motivated her to write a book, The Savvy Insomniac: A Personal Journey through Science to Better Sleep. She now freelances as an editor and copy writer at On the Mark Editing.


  1. I was just nodding off while reading my email after another wakeful night. Your blog on “running on empty” couldn’t have been more appropro!. Off to get me some strong tea… thanks.



  2. You’re welcome! A cup of tea midday can be a life saver after a short night’s sleep.



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