This article in the Washington Post about famous insomniacs -- and the creative edge often associated with insomnia -- makes me feel a little better.
The notion that insomnia might have a use is counterintuitive. Conventional wisdom insists that to perform at your best -- as a student facing a test, an athlete preparing for a game, a lawyer scheduled to argue in court, etc. -- you need a good night's sleep. (As an insomniac, however, I might point out that all this harping on the efficacy of sleep only compounds the problem: How in blazes can you get a good night's sleep when you're worried about getting a good night's sleep and doing your best in that exam or soccer tournament or hearing? For the hard-of-sleeping, it's sometimes a tossup as to which is heavier, the pressure to sleep well or the pressure to do well in the activity being slept for.)