Mystery: total insomnia 4 1/2 months

Stephen Black sblack at UBISHOPS.CA
Wed Apr 8 09:38:02 EST 1998

(Personal reply but I thought it might be of interest to the list.)

On Tue, 7 Apr 1998 diosa75 at wrote:

>   Hi. I'm here to write my novel (sorry, bear with me, it's been bad).  I have
> total insomnia.
>   I haven't slept for four and a half months without ambien
> with halcion, nightly <snip>

> Weird, huh?  The neurologists can't seem to figure it out, the sleep
> clinic (Stanford) basically thought I was crazy, even after an overnight study
> revealing that indeed I didn't sleep, but hovered between awake and
> drowsy <snip>

Dear Diosa:

If you really have had little or no sleep for the last 4 1/2 months,
your case would be of great interest to sleep researchers and
clinicians. This makes the apparent lack of interest of the Stanford
sleep clinic puzzling. I know of only one such case in the literature,
reported by Fischer-Perroudon, Mouret and the great French
neurophysiologist of sleep, Michel Jouvet (1974). 5-HTP helped
somewhat, but the effect wore off. Unfortunately, the patient died 11
months after hospitalization. 

If you like, I can post your message on a sleep-related list I belong
to. Possibly someone there will be able to help. Let me know.



Fischer-Perroudon, C., Mouret, J., Jouvet, M. (1974). Sur un cas
  d'agrypnie (4 mois sans sommeil) au cours d'une maladie de Morvan:
  effet favorable du 5-hydroxytryptophane. Electroencephalography
  and Clinical Neurophysiology, 36, 1-18.

Stephen Black, Ph.D.                      tel: (819) 822-9600 ext 2470
Department of Psychology                  fax: (819) 822-9661
Bishop's University                    e-mail: sblack at
Lennoxville, QC           
J1M 1Z7                      
Canada     Department web page at

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