Writing a book about sleep when you have insomnia is like being a bartender when you have a drink problem . . . Witty, illuminating and provocative, this is a fascinating memoir of one woman's inability to sleep.
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.
Your essential bedtime story - Mail on Sunday
By writing about sleep Morrisroe tells an important story, providing a sepcific example of a profound social and political question: the relationship between medicine and money. - New York Times Book Review
... witty and informative, an absolute must-read for anyone looking to get to the bottom of why Americans spend $20 billion a year trying to get a better night's sleep. Morrisroe's hard-won conclusion might just change your life. - Alexandra Fuller, author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
A weird, wonderful journey in search of a good night's sleep. - Kirkus
provocative and witty - Scotland on Sunday
Cheerfully anecdotal...a journalistic stunt-a-thon full of deadpan funny adventures..a fine firsthand look at insomniac eccentricities. - New York Times
Reading Wide Awake it's clear Morrisroe is well-versed in the scientific background of sleep. She intelligently breaks down jargon-filled research articles found in academic journals to educate readers about various sleep disorders and treatments. - Sleep Education Review/American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Morrisroe's sparkling writing carries her through. That her journey ends happily, with her discovery of Qigong, means readers will be encouraged as well as informed, with as much on overcoming insomnia as avoiding snake-oil salesmen. - Publishers Weekly
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 and Leisure. She is the author of the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's biography, and a book about sleep, Wide Awake.