17 January 2024, The Tablet

Embrace the darkness


Sleepless: Discovering the Power of the Night Self
(JOHN MURRAY, 256 PP, £16.99)
Tablet bookshop price £15.29 • tel 020 7799 4064

When did sleep become a precious commodity? Time was when ­people quietly nodded off after ­supper. Now we worry about how much we sleep and how deeply, our neuroses fed by terrifying warnings about the consequences of not getting minimum seven hours a night.

A lucrative industry feeds this obsession. Forget sleeping pills. Now, the well-heeled sleepless attend sleep clinics, consult sleep psychologists – who can diagnose whether they suffer from “onset” or “maintenance” insomnia – wear electronic sleep monitors and curate their sleep “hygiene”, which demands strict ground rules. That’s not to mention the numerous sleep “aids” on offer, ranging from creams, scents, weighted blankets and breathing exercises to – a big thing these days – CBD oil, derived from cannabis but without the “high”.


Get Instant Access

Continue Reading

Register for free to read this article in full

Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £30 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login