BY Marcia Desanctis
February 10, 2020
Deranged. Dysfunctional. Unwell. The words tumble out of my mouth like some haiku for the miserable as I sit in the Connecticut office of Andrew Tucker, Ph.D., for the first time. A clinical psychologist specializing in sleep disorders, Tucker knows an insomniac when he sees one: I am ashen and shadowed, like a real-life manifestation of an Egon Schiele painting.
I had problems long before online shopping and Succession marathons conspired to compromise my precious evening unwind time. But lately, due to ceaseless travel and an uptick in anxiety, shut-eye all but eluded me. I had rotated through a rogue’s pharmacy of antihistamines, cannabinoids, sleeping pills, and teas; I even tried meditation apps, desperate to be knocked out for the night. Nothing worked. “This is science,” Tucker reassures me. “No sleep issue is insurmountable, including yours.”
“Sleep is the most valued commodity there is, and you can’t buy it,” confirms Sara Ivanhoe, M.A., the director of yoga programs at the University of Southern California, where she teaches a course on sleep.
“If it evades you, it is impossible to enjoy almost anything.”