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Patricia Morrisroe lives and sleeps in New York. She was a contributing editor at New York Magazine for ten years in addition to writing for many publications including Vanity Fair, Vogue, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Travel & Leisure. She is also the author of the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's biography.
This autobiographical tale by a part Irish American writer uses the thread of family insomnia, perhaps inherited, to glue the story together and link episodes in it. Analysing and dissecting the meaning both cerebral and practical of sleep deprivation, Patricia Morrison shows us how through history it has been a problem for all races and for all ages, even though her grandfather had a theory that people of Irish extraction were particularly light sleepers! Using her own experiences, we are able through her, to visit a sleep laboratory; take sleeping tablets and observe their effect; investigate the lack of sleep caused by bedbugs (considerable); and visit psychological experts specializing in sleep problems. She tries New Age therapies; investigates SAD (the phenomena of depression caused by light deprivation in the winter); and finally uses meditation. By the end of the book those with similar problems will at least know they are not alone. An interesting subject covered in depth against her day to day life and her search for a solution.
A fourth-generation insomniac, Patricia Morrisroe decided that the only way she'd ever conquer her lifelong sleep disorder was by becoming an expert on the subject. So, armed with half a century of personal experience and a journalist's curiosity, she set off to explore one of life's greatest mysteries: sleep. Wide Awake is the eye-opening account of Morrisroe's quest - a compelling memoir that blends science, culture, and business to tell the story of why she - and millions of others - can't sleep at night. Over the course of three years of research and reporting, Morrisroe talks to sleep doctors, drug makers, psychiatrists, anthropologists, hypnotherapists, 'wake experts', mattress salesmen, a magician, an astronaut, and even a reindeer herder. A mesmerising mix of personal insight, science and social observation, Wide Awake is for the millions who suffer from sleepless nights and hazy caffeine-filled days. A humorous, thought-provoking and ultimately hopeful book is an essential bedtime companion. It does, however, come with a warning: reading it may promote wakefulness.