Wide Awake, By Patricia Morrisroe

Personal narrative of sleepless nights will have you yawning...

In this unusual if somewhat rambling memoir, erstwhile insomniac Patricia Morrisroe describes how she visited therapists, hypnotists, and psychics in a tortuous quest for a decent night's sleep, before finding the key in meditation and Chinese breathing exercises.

She weaves this with vignettes on how people have always sought what Shakespeare called the "honey-heavy dew of slumber". These intriguing tidbits suggest that the book might have made for an engaging cultural history had the author eschewed the autobiographical narrative. But she persists in laborious accounts of her own sleepless nights, and the effect on the reader is, ironically, soporific.