Marina Benjamin speaks to The New York Times about the particularly bad bout of insomnia that inspired her to write the book, the recurrent image of sleeping women in classical art, and more.

At the start of 2017, I was experiencing a particularly rough bout of it. It started intruding on and disrupting my sense of reality. I had various family problems detonating around me, blasting up from nowhere, it seemed. It felt that life had become very, very unwieldy, as though day and night had been turned upside down. Nonsense mingled with sense. I was exhausted, limping through the days.