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August 31, 2020
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Those 3 a.m. thoughts

We first aired the show "Up All Night" on March 7, 2020, which now seems to be just the moment when things were starting to change, when we were just learning about a new coronavirus. For the show, Steve interviewed sleep expert and neurologist Guy Leschziner and Anne talked with Marina Benjamin about how creativity can emerge from the depths of sleeplessness.

I had a conversation with Ada Calhoun about all the things that keep us, particularly Gen X women, up — kids and work, deadlines and politics. As we prepared to re-air the show this weekend, I got in touch with Ada to ask how she's sleeping these days. Here's what she said:

"I'm sleeping pretty well, except I wake up around two or three or four for a bit and then go back to sleep. What's keeping me up now is how school will be for my son this year. He's starting a hybrid model of high school on September 10th... or is he? We got a "preliminary schedule" yesterday. He just turned 14 on Tuesday. I hosted a sleepover party for him and his best friends and tried to make it socially distant with meals outdoors and sleeping tents by pod — I don't know if it worked at all, but everyone was so giddy to be around other live human children that it was SO FUN!"

I so relate. I've been checking my phone in the middle of the night for COVID-19 and protest updates. But I don't have to get kids off to school at 6:45 a.m., so I can sleep in a bit more. I'm worried about virtual school — perhaps more so for winter — but I am profoundly grateful my teenagers are getting more sleep.

How are you sleeping now? Let us know at


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The Things That Keep Gen X Women Up At Night

In interviewing hundreds of women, writer and journalist Ada Calhoun learned something startling: that her insomnia, which felt so personal and private, might actually be generational and gendered.
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Tales From The Wee Hours

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Guy Leschziner is a sleep physician, running one of the largest sleep clinics in Europe, with a specialty in bizarre conditions. He told Steve about the moment he first realized how much sleep matters.
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Cooking Greens: A Delicious Family History Lesson

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John Givens invites us into his kitchen where he cooks his family's traditional greens.
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