The Savvy Insomniac

You’ve heard the advice before: No drinking or smoking too close to bedtime. No caffeine after noon. Have a “wind-down” period before lights out. Just say “no” to naps. If the path to better sleep lay in simply observing good sleep hygiene, you wouldn’t be visiting this site. Nor would I have felt compelled to devote years to investigating insomnia in search of better answers.

There is more useful information about sleep and insomnia than is offered in advice columns, and you’ll find plenty of it in The Savvy Insomniac, my forthcoming book. But the material I’ve had to leave out could fill another book and then some. And that’s not including the results of ongoing studies that may never appear in the popular press unless some journal junkie goes public with her addiction and reports on what she finds in plain English.

One aim of The Savvy Insomniac blog is to keep readers abreast of current research on sleep and insomnia. After all, why should the experts be the only ones privy to the good stuff coming out of laboratories all over the world? We who live with the problem are eager to hear about the good stuff, too.

The blog will also contain historical notes about sleep and insomnia from years prior to the discovery of REM sleep in 1952. Before that great leap forward, the brain at night was regarded as a passive lump of clay. Yet even without basic knowledge of the workings of the brain, our forebears had interesting things to say about insomnia that are relevant today. Access the blog through the menu above.

Another aim of this website is to provide a supportive forum for readers struggling with poor sleep. Let’s face it: insomnia is a lonely affair that hardly makes for stimulating conversation at the water cooler. Yet insomniacs have a lot to say in the presence of empathic listeners. This is a place to say it, and to trade information on what helps and what does not. Ask a question or start a discussion by going to the forum listed at the top of the page.