The New York Times

The Genius of Insomnia

LEAN IN TO YOUR SLEEPLESSNESS AND DISCOVER ITS CREATIVE POTENTIAL.

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

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times4 min read
How to Avoid Being Fleeced When Using a Credit Card Overseas
Merchants frequently try to confuse and bulldoze foreign travelers into paying a stiff markup on credit card charges. But you can fight back.
The New York Times4 min readSelf-Improvement
Stress Can Make You Sick. Take Steps to Reduce It.
In his new book, “The Stress Solution,” Dr. Rangan Chatterjee offers advice on countering the damaging effects of chronic stress.
The New York Times4 min read
He Lifted All Readers in His Path
With his prodigious memory and ardor for literature, the uncompromising highbrow Harold Bloom sought to hoist his readers up to the level of what he saw as the greatest books.