Bill Hayes grew up in a family in which the question "How'd you sleep?" was as much a staple at the breakfast table as orange juice or coffee, a question that encouraged genuine reflection and a legacy of life-shaping implications. If there's such a thing as an insomnia gene, he tells us at the outset of this beautifully written memoir, my father passed it on to me, along with his green eyes and Irish melancholy. Hayes' narrative affords an intimate look at one man's singular journey through contemporary life -- from his over-caffeinated, sleep-disturbed childhood as the son of a Coca-Cola bottler to the height of his insomnia, when his partner struggles with AIDS and Hayes must face an increasingly troubling and debilitating sleep disorder. Armed with an infectious curiosity and an obsession with the mysteries of his personal demons, he leads readers on a fascinating exploration of sleep disorders and contends with all manner of theories and experimentation, from the conceptions of sleep in ancient mythology to today's state-of-the-art sleeping aids and clinics.