© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Awake In The Middle Of The Night

Alyssa L. Miller
Creative Commons

Our ancestors viewed sleep as a highly sensual and transcendent experience. Today, about a third of adults have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or feeling rested. We're becoming a nation of insomniacs.

We live in what Rubin Naiman calls, a "wake-centric era,” where sleeping and dreaming are viewed as less important than being awake and on the go. It's hard to come down from the hyperaroused state we whip ourselves into by the end of a day.  It's not surprising that we can't sleep. 

Insomnia can be miserable when all we want to do is sleep. But it's more a human condition than a medical condition to be solved by sleeping pills andtech gadgets

Plus, insomnia can have its upside. Our minds can be more open to insights and new possibilities in the dark quiet of night when our thoughts can wander to unknown places that the conscious mind can’t see. 


  • Marina Benjamin is a writer and Senior Editor at Aeon magazine. She’s written five books. Her latest memoir is Insomnia. She’s also the author of The Middlepause and Garden Among Fires: A Lockdown Anthology. (@marinab52)
  • Rubin Naiman is a psychologist, clinical assistant professor of medicine and the sleep and dream specialist at the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine (@drnaiman)
  • Charlotte Jeeis a writer and reporter for MIT Technology Review, where she also writes The Download newsletter (@charlottejee)

Join the conversation on Facebook andTwitter

Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show. 

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content