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Episode 3

Episode 3 of 5

The Darkest Hour: Series on sleeplessness. Author AL Kennedy explores why, ever since childhood, she has always found the nights too thrilling and full of possibility for sleep.

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 for us all. In this series, five night owls explore their own battles with sleeplessness, the rituals and frustrations as well as the occasional joys of being awake when the rest of the world sleeps.

Today: though she knows her caffeine-fuelled, all-night writing sessions must end, author A L Kennedy explains why she has always found the nights too thrilling and full of possibility for mere sleep.

Producer: Justine Willett

First broadcast in October 2011.

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15 minutes

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