Bedtime rituals for children ease the way to the elsewhere of slumber - teeth brushing and pajamas, the voice of a parent reading, the feel and smell of the old blanket or toy, the nightlight glowing in a corner.
In August of 2002, I survived a car accident. Although I can still see the van speeding toward us, I cannot bring to mind the crash itself - only its aftermath.
Having children is one of the most passionate and involving bits of business in human life.
I am convinced that during bouts of insomnia, I have sometimes slept without knowing it.
Sleep resistance, bouts of insomnia, nightmares, night terrors, crawling into bed with parents in the middle of the night - all these are so common among children, it seems fair to call them 'normal.'
It is tempting to think of this form of insomnia, the inability to fall asleep, as a disease of agency and control: the inability to relinquish high self-reflexive consciousness for the vulnerable, ignorant regions of slumber in which we know not what we do.
I have suffered from migraines since childhood and have long been curious about my own aching head, my dizziness, my divine lifting feelings, my sparklers and black holes, and my single visual hallucination of a little pink man and a pink ox on the floor of my bedroom.
All human states are organic brain states - happiness, sadness, fear, lust, dreaming, doing math problems and writing novels - and our brains are not static.
My feeling is, when you are writing an essay, you don't make anything up. This may be a very Protestant notion, and I'm aware of the fact that memory is fallible, that if I had access to films or some absolute documentary evidence of what happened, it might look different; we get confused and fuzzy.
Creativity has always depended on openness and flexibility, so let us hope for more of both in the future.
I have not been diagnosed with epilepsy. I did have an MRI of the brain, and they found no abnormalities in my brain. Now, there are people with epilepsy who have completely normal MRI's, too. I just think also, you know, epileptic seizures can be triggered by emotional stress, by all kinds of things, lights.
Each person does see the world in a different way. There is not a single, unifying, objective truth. We're all limited by our perspective.
None of us is immune to suggestion. We are social beings and live in a social world.
People who grow up with two or more languages understand that each can express certain aspects of reality better than the other.
As one of four daughters, I grew up with an imaginary brother - wondering what it would have been like if one of us had been a boy. There's no question that there was a phantom boy child in my imagination when I was young.
Ego, id, and superego are terms familiar to all, but for many years, Freud's psychoanalytic theory has thrived in English departments around the country as a tool for interpreting literary texts but has rarely, if ever, been discussed in science departments.
Children are not in a position to assess risk and safety; it must be done for them, and it must be done carefully.
I was 13 when I had my first bout of insomnia. My family was in Reykjavik, Iceland, for the summer, and day never really became night.
American mass media culture, with its celebrities, shopping hysteria, sound bites, formulaic plots, received ideas, and nauseating repetitions, depresses me.
When I taught writing classes to psychiatric patients, I met people whose stories of manic highs and immobilizing lows appeared to be textbook descriptions of classic bipolar disorder. I met other patients who had been diagnosed with myriad disorders. No doctor seemed to agree about what they actually suffered from.