Writing the

Sleep Crisis

Exploring representations of
sleep in contemporary culture.

Picture credit: Insomnia. Stephen Magrath. CC0 1.0 Universal


This research project explores how sleep, and lack thereof, is represented in contemporary writings across fiction, non-fiction, and digital culture. It’s the first study to analyse cultural engagements with the sleep crisis, namely, the sense that contemporary society is profoundly sleep-deprived.

“Writing the Sleep Crisis” is led by Dr Diletta De Cristofaro. It is currently funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science and based at Northumbria University, UK. The project also involves collaborations with Politecnico di Milano, Italy, where it was based between September 2021 and August 2022 funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement 892459.

Sleep Stories

An Exclusive Commission

Durham Book Festival 2021

27-28 June 2022 Conference

Sleep and Digital Health

This online conference explored the nexus of sleep and digital health from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Take a look at the programme here!

Featured Past Event

“Are We in a Sleep Crisis? Perspectives from Contemporary Culture” – A talk at The Lit&Phil by Dr Diletta De Cristofaro, June 2021

Picture credit: Insomnia. Stephen Magrath. CC0 1.0 Universal


Dr Diletta De Cristofaro

Principal Investigator on “Writing the Sleep Crisis”

Prof Simona Chiodo

Full Professor of Philosophy at Politecnico di Milano

Prof Katy Shaw

Professor of Contemporary Writings at Northumbria University

Prof Jason Ellis

Professor in Psychology at Northumbria University

Featured Publication

The counterproductive promise of a “sleep goal”

The Week, March 2022

In this opinion piece, Diletta De Cristofaro explores how the fixation of sleep-tracking devices and relaxation apps on sleep goals ironically ends up devaluing sleep.


New Wellcome Award

Dr Diletta De Cristofaro has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Enrichment Public Engagement gra…

The Posthumanist cover
New publication in The Posthumanist: A Reading Guide to the Sleep Crisis

In this reading guide, Diletta De Cristofaro introduces debates around the sleep crisis and some boo…

Writing Sleep Salon – video now available

As part of the Sleep Salons series hosted by the Sociability of Sleep (Université de Montréal & …

Follow the Project

Get in Touch

Email Dr Diletta De Cristofaro:


"Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will." Are we losing the battle for a good night's sleep?

@jemgilbert @NotJustYouHere and @KeirMilburn hit the alarm for a new episode of ACFM, with songs from Faithless and The Fall 😴

New review! 🙌 @ThePosthuman1st issue one dives into the theme of sleep.

Read here:

#overleafblog #ontheoverleaf #review #magreview #magazine #theposthumanist #reviewer #magazines #print #multilingual

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