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Episode 5

The Essay, The Darkest Hour Episode 5 of 5

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 07 October 2011

Insomnia is one of the great obsessions of our time. From Van Gogh to Dickens, Winston Churchill to Margaret Thatcher, our writers, artists, thinkers and leaders seem to have been in constant battle with sleep. But in our current 24-hour culture, insomnia, this ability to switch off, has become something of a modern obsession.

In the last of this series, in which five night owls explore their own battles with sleeplessness, Juliet Stevenson looks back on her own struggle with insomnia, both as an actor and mother, and asks why a creative life often means a life in search of sleep.

Producer: Justine Willett

First broadcast in October 2011.

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