When I can't sleep, I often get up and read short stories by a famous Canadian author. An hour later I have put aside whatever concern had prevented sleep and go back to bed feeling that all is right with the world.
Sometimes I think I should write to the author and tell her how much her work means to me, but so far I've rejected the impulse.
"Dear Famous Author: I can't tell you how much your books mean to me. When I can't sleep I read one of your stories and soon I can't keep my eyes open and am ready for dreamland."
Now, that's hardly flattering. It's true yet it isn't. It creates the wrong impression, because the author's work is fascinating. I see myself in many of her characters and read to see how the character comes to terms with a situation/ predicament/issue, or rethinks it, endures it, lets time solve it, or triumphs over it. I'm left with the feeling that my own dilemmas are normal, typical, solvable, not always my fault, and best of all, interesting. I go back to bed feeling affirmed.