Sleep is a cruel and fickle mistress, and most of us experience nights when no matter how high your pillow’s thread count, how thick your blackout blinds, or how unusually quiet next door’s perma-howling dog is, you remain resolutely and infuriatingly awake. Most of us, too, have been confidently encouraged to count sheep when such an evening strikes, only to wind up with 8749 sheep and not a single second of sleep to show for it. Tempting as it may be to reach for your phone, why not try one of these books to read when you can’t sleep?
It's important to note that chronic insomnia won't be cured by even the greatest of novels, and I've got no intention of minimising the misery of sleep deprivation by suggesting otherwise. But if your sleeplessness is more of a fleeting affair, please, pull up a chair: I've curated a collection of books for exactly those infuriating midnight hours. From poetry to essays, science-fiction to science writing, there's something here that's bound to suit even the fussiest of wide awake readers. Go forth and read, my sleepless friends (but please don't hold me accountable if you abandon sleep altogether to finish the lot).