Blog

Archive for September 2015

Can't sleep? Try getting less

SleepagainRecently, I decided to try to deal with a bout of insomnia by deliberately getting even less sleep. If this strikes you as absurd, I can only reply that it’s no more absurd than what most insomniacs do instead: lie awake in bed for hours every night, getting more wakeful the harder they try to drop off, while ruminating on horrifying existential truths. (Such as: did you know there isn’t an infinite supply of This American Life podcasts? Only insomniacs discover this.) Besides, “sleep restriction therapy” (SRT), as it’s known, is growing in popularity; some evidence suggests it’s as effective as pills. When you’re sleeping poorly, your instinct is to spend more time in bed, to catch up. To which SRT arches an eyebrow and enquires: “Oh yes? And how’s that working out for you?”


Oliver Burkeman I'm a writer for The Guardian based in Brooklyn, New York. My new book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking explores the upsides of negativity, uncertainty, failure and imperfection. Each week in This Column Will Change Your Life I write about social psychology, self-help culture, productivity and the science of happiness, and make unprovoked attacks on The Secret.

I also blog about things for Guardian US and write a monthly column for Psychologies magazine. Hello.

Get my occasional email updates.

Events

Tweets

Categories

Archives