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Gayle Greene (Author)


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I can't work, I can't think, I can't connect with anyone anymore. . . . I mope through a day's work and haven't had a promotion in years. . . . It's like I'm being sucked dry, eaten away, swallowed up, coming unglued. . . . These are voices of a few of the tens of millions who suffer from chronic insomnia. In this revelatory book, Gayle Greene offers a uniquely comprehensive account of this devastating and little-understood condition. She has traveled the world in a quest for answers, interviewing neurologists, sleep researchers, doctors, psychotherapists, and insomniacs of all sorts. What comes of her extraordinary journey is an up-to-date account of what is known about insomnia, providing the information every insomniac needs to know to make intelligent choices among medications and therapies. Insomniac is at once a field guide through the hidden terrain inhabited by insomniacs and a book of consolations for anyone who has struggled with this affliction that has long been trivialized and neglected.

1. Insomnia
2. Sleepstarved
3. Blame the Victim
4. Sleepless in Seattle: The Conferences
5. The Brain of an Insomniac
6. Sleep, Stress, and Stages of Life
7. Rock, Hard Place: The Drugs
8. Change Your Attitude, Change Your Ways: Behavioral Modification
9. Asleep at the Switch: The Clinics
10. Alternatives
11. Bedding Down with the Beast
12. Making Change

Selected Bibliography
Gayle Greene is Professor of Literature and Women's Studies at Scripps College, Claremont California. She has published books on Shakespeare, women writers, and scientific issues. Her most recent books are Doris Lessing: The Poetics of Change and The Woman Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation. She is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), a professional medical society for researchers and clinicians, and is the patient representative on the board of the American Insomnia Association, an organization within AASM.
“If you want an in-depth overview of the patients, the physicians, and the science that are part of the contemporary culture surrounding insomnia and sleep medicine, Greene’s book is the best available on the subject.”—New England Journal Of Medicine
“Insomniac is far too interesting to lull you into dreamland, but it will certainly engage and comfort you-and keep you company-during those long dark hours that the clock ticks off until dawn.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“A harrowing memoir.”—Wall Street Journal
“She provides home truths and insights that many sleep researchers and doctors have lost track of; they would benefit from reading this book. . . . Insomniac is among the best books of its kind.”—Nature
“Greene imparts a feeling of solidarity to fellow sufferers.”—Barbara Bibel Library Journal
“An honest, passionate and relentless quest.”—Kirkus Reports
“Although the topic of insomnia might seem to lend itself to a put-you-to-sleep treatment, this engrossing, easy-to-read study addresses the multifaceted subject with wit and wide-ranging scholarship.”—Library Journal
“About a third of Americans suffer from insomnia enough to complain about it, but scientists know very little about its causes or the efficacy of treatments. Greene, a lifelong insomniac, explores the experience of her fellow sufferers and the world of sleep research.”—New York Times Book Review
“In search of a good night’s rest, a lit professor travels the world and bones up on sleep science. No easy answers - but fascinating.”—People
“No one can describe a journey better than someone who's made the trip, and insomniac Greene's exploration of the disorder is both fascinating and disturbing.”—Starred Review Publishers Weekly
“It's hard to imagine a more frightening affliction than being eaten alive by insomnia, as depicted by author Gayle Greene in her disturbing, important book.”—Seattle Times
“Insomniac is a wild ride, and its wildness is part of its pleasure. You get to know Greene in these pages: bright, jagged, exhausted, funny, wistful. . . . When all is said and done, you emerge with a great sense of frustration on behalf of the author and a lively appreciation for what she has been through.”—Wilson Quarterly
"A fascinating and unusual look at the world of insomnia and sleep science. Written from the perspective of an insomnia sufferer, this exhaustively researched book critically and thoughtfully examines what we know (or claim to know) about sleep and the treatment of insomnia. Required reading for insomnia sufferers, clinicians treating the disorder, and anyone interested in the science of sleep."—Nicholas Rosenlicht, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

"This work provides a rich account of insomnia, weaving together the personal journey of the author, experiences of other insomniacs, and solid scientific research. No other work on insomnia provides such a fresh perspective, which is also informative, compelling, and entertaining."—Richard Lewis, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Pomona College

"This is a very well researched, in-depth book on insomnia, written with much empathy and from the patient's point of view. I would recommend it to all who are plagued by this malady or who professionally try to treat it."—Peter Hauri, author of No More Sleepless Nights

"Insomniac is an impassioned work—an inspired amalgam of academic and first-hand research, memoir, analysis, and the kind of obsessive brooding we associate with the insomniac state. Much here is fascinating, and much is upsetting; here is a cri de coeur from a lifetime insomniac that is sure to appeal to the vast army of fellow insomniacs the world over."—Joyce Carol Oates

"As a clinical psychologist afflicted by insomnia for many years, I was delighted to read Insomniac. Doing so has already helped me and my insomniac clients immensely. Gayle Greene 'gets it' as only another insomniac can. She educates, advises, and comforts with a steady, sympathetic hand."—Timothy Miler, PhD

"The good news is that Gayle Greene's book is all you ever need to read on the subject of sleeplessness; the bad news for fellow insomniacs is that reading it —even in bed—will fail to lull you to sleep."—Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the U.S.

Honorable Mention for the Gregory Bateson Book Prize, Society for Cultural Anthropology

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