Anders Burton can’t sleep. The author and musician has been suffering from insomnia for 16 years. In his book, he allows us to participate in his daily life as an insomniac and in the search for healing. Explains at the outset: This is not a guide. Instead, he would like to give other affected people an idea of how other people who are not sleeping are doing. But ‘all others’ should also be accessible. The result is a kind of diary, the description of which is sometimes painfully intense – countless nights of sleep, the resulting lack of strength, over-stimulation and the intense demands of having to do justice to your work, other people, and above all your family.
Chronic insomnia is practically out of the world. Much of what is normal, easy, or even beautiful for others becomes a heavy burden on him: “It is always worse in the morning, especially on the weekends. The day is before me as an unbearable thing, through which I must pass and I do not want to end. “For Anders Burton, it is a constant ups and downs between surrender and hope. Only a good night can evoke an intense joy: “As if a lit lamp, whose light helps me see all that is my life.”
The author takes the reader on his personal journey in search of causes and cures – from sleeping pills to alcohol, herbal teas, yoga, acupuncture, and impotent doctors.
Time and time again he throws out all kinds of interesting facts about sleep and what happens to the body and cognition when we lack it. At the same time, the book is an urgent appeal to us to appreciate sleep. Because lack of sleep is still considered virtuous. Bortne explores where this situation comes from and provides a historical outline of sleep culture in past centuries. All this is written in a very haunting, fascinating and entertaining way.
There is no final solution
But unfortunately, the work has one major drawback. It does not fulfill the great promise of the cover of the book, that is, in the end a definitive solution will be presented. Burton approached her, but she did not heal. He does not hide the matter himself and initially writes: “This book was written by someone who has suffered from insomnia for many years – and still sleeps poorly.” The publisher appears to have sacrificed this message in favor of better marketing. This is disappointing and annoying, especially for those affected.
Instead of finding a workable solution, the author ends up with some advice on how to better deal with serious sleep disorders. In the end, it’s all about living your life despite your insomnia – even if it’s very difficult.