->''"I detest sleep. I've got better things to do. Besides, I find it frightening -- to awaken and be unsure of everything you remember about life not being just part of a dream. Waking means I've slept, and sleep dissolves what certainty I have left."''
-->-- '''Johnny C.''', ''ComicBook/JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac''

A common way to convey that a character is either really strange or has either paranoid or schizophrenic tendencies (or both) is to make them an insomniac. Whether only during times of great stress or as a chronic disorder (obviously a case of TruthInTelevision) expect these characters to be cranky, moody, mistrusting and sometimes even violent.

Expect lots of EyeTropes.

See also BadDreams. Waking up from one may cause a sleepless night; waking up from one many, many, many nights may lead to this in its milder forms, since the character gets ''some'' sleep. Characters for whom not sleeping is normal are TheSleepless, though it can overlap with this trope, particularly when they're obsessive. See InsomniaEpisode when the character becomes insomniac just temporarily.

Compare/contrast TheSleepless for characters who cannot sleep or physically don't need any sleep for some reason, often with signs of the supernatural.

[[IThoughtItMeant No relation]] [[Creator/InsomniacGames to the video game company of same name]].

%%The webcomic ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'' can be found by following that link.%%



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* L from ''Manga/DeathNote'' gets far less sleep than should be healthy for him - though like his eating habits, it doesn't seem to have any negative effect. His insomnia is arguably one of the reasons why he's the best three detectives in the world at the same time.
* Possibly as a callback to the above, in ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'' (by the same scenarist/artist duo) Mashiro often forgoes sleep for days on end in order to work. It's mostly because he's a {{Determinator}}, though it is also often PlayedForLaughs (his face gets zombie-like) ''and'' shown to have realistic consequences on his health.
* Gaara from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', who remains awake to prevent a forcible takeover by the monster inside him. He seems to spend most of the time a normal person would spend sleeping just standing still, likely to get physical rest (and possibly trying some form of meditation to make up for the loss of mental rest). This is clearly one of the many things that has a detrimental effect on Gaara's sanity.
* Kaoru of ''Manga/VirginLove'', thanks to being perpetually haunted by BadDreams of his childhood. He discovers being in a stable relationship combats this.
* Beet in ''Manga/BeetTheVandelBuster'' stays awake for 72 hours, then sleeps for 24. Since the series is on indefinite SeriesHiatus due to the illustrator being ill for ''five years and counting'', and the writer's inability to find a replacement, we may never know why his sleep pattern is so unique.
* Syrus/Sho for a while in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' when he's obsessed with finding the lost Jaden. It makes him a bit more impulsive he does suffer a HeroicRROD by the end.
** Seto Kaiba in the original ''Anime/YuGiOh'' anime is implied to forgo sleep in favor of translating the Winged Dragon Of Ra card's hieroglyphic text.
* Casca from ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' [[ImpliedTrope shows signs]] of sleep deprivation after the Eclipse, another realistic after effect of those who were a victim of [[spoiler: rape]] like she.
* Wakamatsu from ''Manga/MonthlyGirlsNozakiKun'' suffers from chronic insomnia, and [[{{Jerkass}} Seo]]-related stress makes it worse. Ironically, 'Lorelei', her singing voice, can send him off to sleep in seconds... [[LovesMyAlterEgo not that he knows it's her]].
* According to WordOfGod, Levi of ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' only gets 2-3 hours of sleep a night.

* Rorschach from the graphic novel ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' goes long hours without sleep. Of course, Rorschach is a thoroughbred {{Determinator}}.
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': Dredd prefers 10 minutes on a [[AppliedPhlebotinum sleep machine]] to actually sleeping in a bed -- less time for criminals to get away with the lawlessness! It has been mentioned that the sleep machines do not completely duplicate the effects of natural sleep, and Judges are required to spend a few hours doing it the old-fashioned way now and then. Of course, as obsessed as Dredd is with his work, he would skip that too were it not for his boss repeatedly ordering him to get some proper sleep.
* SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker in ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' comics is sometimes portrayed as an insomniac. This is directly addressed in ''The Dark Knight Returns.''
** Batman himself is the Obsessive Type, although part of it is the necessity of [[SecretIdentityIdentity leading a double life.]] How much this affects him [[DependingOnTheWriter tends to vary.]]
*** Some Batman variations have him using a meditative technique to get the equivalent of around six hours of sleep in just over a half hour.
* ''ComicBook/JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'' has a distaste for sleep, as eloquently demonstrated by the above quote. It doesn't seem to make him anything other than crazier. This is also AuthorAppeal in his case, as Creator/JhonenVasquez is a longtime insomniac and named his blog Question Sleep as a reference to this.
* ''Comicbook/{{Superman}}'' villain Riot couldn't sleep ever since he was mutated; the effects of sleep deprivation drove him insane.
* In the Postboot ''Comicbook/LegionOfSuperHeroes'', Nura Nal starts out as a FaintingSeer, since she [[DreamingOfThingstoCome dreams of things to come]] and visions can take her at any time, resulting in narcolepsy. The Legion kind of laughs her off as an applicant, except for Star Boy, who winds up dating her. During a time skip, however, she meets up with an armada of a ProudWarriorRace whose home planet is permanently dark, who give her TrainingFromHell that turns her unreliable visions and narcolepsy into pinpoint tactical precognition and ''not sleeping ever again''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}}'': Max Damage is one of these out of necessity: the effectiveness of his powers are directly proportional to how long he's been awake. Unfortunately, he isn't immune to the effects of sleep deprivation, and is depicted as suffering because of it.
* The titular MisterX is a MadArchitect who takes a variety of homemade drugs to stay awake for months on end so he can attempt to fix the 'psychetecture' of a city he may or may not have designed. The city itself may also cause sleep disorders in its inhabitants.
-->'''Mister X''': [[MadnessMantra So much work to do, so little time.]]
* The monster Gulgol never sleeps nor needs it. Gulgol is the one being in all creation that the Dream Demon Nightmare, a recurring Comicbook/DoctorStrange foe, fears more than any other because he is utterly immune to Nightmare's DreamWeaver powers. Gulgol [[CannotDream never dreams]].
* Considering ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' focuses on the lord of the Dream world, it's unsurprising that various forms of this crop up from time to time. In the very first issue, Dream's imprisonment caused one shellshocked soldier in the First World War to eventually commit suicide because he couldn't sleep.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* Rarity in ''FanFic/ThePowersOfHarmony'': something has made it hard, near-impossible at times, to sleep. Because of this, her magic font is never fully recharged, always putting her health at risk. And it's only gotten worse since she gained the Element of Generosity's [[DreamingOfThingsToCome Foresight]] ability. [[spoiler: It eventually turns out that this was just one more part of [[SealedGoodInACan Harmony]]'s LongGame.]]
* Whenever [[Series/DoctorWho the Tenth Doctor's]] sleeping habits are brought up in ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfTime'', it's because he's ''not'' sleeping. He consistently blames it on several centuries of collecting personal demons and the BadDreams they produce.
* Harry in ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheNightmaresOfFuturesPast'' uses this to his advantage. Once he wakes up from a nightmare he uses the rest of the night for reading, to explain why he knows more than the average Hogwarts student. This doesn't ''entirely'' succeed in deflecting unwanted attention, however, because people start wondering why an eleven year-old boy is having violent nightmares and showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
* In the Literature/{{Worm}} x Videogame/{{Dishonored}} crossover fanfic, ''FanFic/AChangeOfPace'', Taylor in Victoria's Interlude, after having gone three days in search of more [[ArtifactOfAttraction bone charms.]]
* Eli of the ''FanFic/{{Lightwaves}}'' is The Insomniac because of existential worries - when he feels better about his life, he gets to sleep better, but when he's down in the dumps, there's no sleep for him.

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* Gustav Graves from ''Film/DieAnotherDay'' [[spoiler:as a result of gene therapy used to change his look]].
** He seems pretty unaffected on the whole, though he claims to need to spend a few hours using a "dream machine" each day to stay sane.
* The narrator from ''Film/FightClub''. [[spoiler:When he thinks he's sleeping, he becomes Tyler Durden.]]
* Detective Will Dormer in the film ''Film/{{Insomnia}}'', whose judgment and overall mental state decline severely over the course of the movie due to an extreme case of insomnia after he travels to Alaska during the time of year when the sun is up for months at a time.
** Jonas Engström in the original Norwegian movie.
* Trevor Reznik from ''Film/TheMachinist'', who goes for a year without sleep. The only time he goes to sleep in the movie is when [[spoiler:he goes to the police station and reports the hit-and-run he was involved in a year ago, which kickstarted his guilt-ridden insomnia.]]
* Jordan from ''Film/RealGenius'', as part of her hyperactivity disorder, never needs to sleep. There doesn't seem to be any negative side effects... aside from her being a GenkiGirl.
* Samara Morgan from ''Film/TheRing'': "She never sleeps. The horses keep her up at night." At first, she and her [[spoiler:adoptive]] parents believed that the whinnying and thrashing of the horses in the stable kept her awake, when in reality ''she'' was the one driving them mad with her [[SuperpowerMeltdown uncontrollable]] PsychicPowers. Surveillance tapes from a mental facility proved she didn't sleep ''at all'', and at the end the phrase "[[IronicEcho She never sleeps]]" is revealed to refer to how her spirit will never rest, forever (and deliberately) spreading the deadly curse through the [[ArtifactOfDeath Video Tape]].
* Travis Bickle from ''Film/TaxiDriver'' works at night to cope with his chronic insomnia.
* In ''Film/IronMan3'', Tony Stark becomes an insomniac due to [[Film/TheAvengers2012 massive battle-induced]] [[ShellShockedVeteran PTSD]]. [[spoiler:The result is that while he's awake, he builds a whole army of IronMan suits that come in handy in the final battle.]]
* Jeff Megall from ''Film/ThankYouForSmoking'' is asked when he plans to sleep during a late night phone call. His answer after thinking about it is "Sunday".

* In ''Mariel of Literature/{{Redwall}}'', Gabool the Wild starts having prophetic dreams that turn him into a completely insane insomniac.
** As does the aquaphobic Queen Tsarmina Greeneyes, as the good guys set up a dam to flood her and her minions out of Castle Kotir and she constantly hears dripping water.
* Literature/SherlockHolmes frequently goes for days without sleep when captivated by a problem. And it's hinted he has an irregular sleep cycle even when not on a case: Watson mentions that he often stays up all night doing chemical experiments, and annoys the landlady with his "addiction to music at strange hours" (presumably meaning he likes to play the violin at 2 a.m.).
* Ralph Roberts from ''Literature/{{Insomnia}}'', at least in the beginning. Later, it turns out that his insomnia [[spoiler:allows him to see the aura of people as well as higher powers that influence the world.]]
* Literature/ColtRegan is a realistic Insomniac, partially because... you know... [[MustHaveCaffeine Coffee]]
* Anton Vowl from ''Literature/AVoid'' is an insomniac with no clear reason as to why. He just has it and it slowly drives him slightly insane, which is justified.
* In the later books of Literature/TheBlackCompany, Tobo deliberately refuses to sleep because his mother's ghost guilt trips him in his dreams. This gradually turns him AxCrazy. WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity also helped the process.
* The ''Literature/InDeath'' series mixes {{Determinator}}s with realistic effects depending on the seriousness of the situation. Eve Dallas is {{Determinator}} but frequently experiences realistic consequences, and other characters will note that she's getting slower, edgier, and even getting sick. Roarke, though he pulls a sleepless routine less often, is even better at it than Eve, and is closer to a pure {{Determinator}}.
* In Creator/TanithLee's ''Companions on the Road'', the main character is in danger from ghosts that kill in dreams, and so does everything possible to stay awake, including using drugs. After a few days, he's in terrible shape, exhausted and thinking confusedly, though not delusional.
* [[Literature/DonQuixote Alonso Quijano]], as described in Part I Chapter I: led by his obsession to read chivalry books, he sleeps less and less while reading more and more and that sends him over the edge. After that, in various parts of the novel, Don Quixote is seen continuously staying awake, thinking of his lady Dulcinea del Toboso (that does not exist), only because he has read that is what true knights do!
-->''" In short, he became so absorbed in his books that he spent his nights from sunset to sunrise, and his days from dawn to dark, poring over them; and what with little sleep and much reading his brains got so dry that he lost his wits"''
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "The Shadow Kingdom", Literature/{{Kull}} spends a night like this.
-->''There was no sleep for Kull that night, for it was nearly dawn and he spent the rest of the night hours pacing the throne-room, and pondering over what had passed. ''
* The fourth book of the ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' opens with Harry evidently suffering from the occasional bout of insomnia. [[spoiler: It's self-induced, however, in his attempts to find a cure for his girlfriend's recent partial vampirification.]]
* ''Literature/TheBoyWhoCouldntSleepAndNeverHadTo''.
* Nancy Kress's ''Literature/BeggarsInSpain'' and its sequels revolve around the Sleepless, DesignerBabies engineered with this as an explicit superpower.
* Evan Tanner in Lawrence Block's series beginning with ''The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep'', due to a brain injury he suffered in the Korean War. In a later novel [[spoiler: a mad scientist cryogenically freezes him, forcing him to sleep for years.]]
* The ''Literature/WildCards'' series is home to Croyd "The Sleeper" Cranson, whose powers let him stay awake for weeks or months at a time, but then he hibernates, and [[DiscardAndDraw wakes up in a new form with new powers]]. This process mimics the SuperpowerRussianRoulette that [[MassSuperEmpoweringEvent gave people their powers in the first place]], leading to his quite justified fear of dying in his sleep. So, when he starts getting tired, he resorts to [[DrugsAreBad drugs]] to keep himself awake past "bedtime", turning him into a paranoid wreck.
* While teacher's behaviour in ''Literature/{{The Fire-us Trilogy}}''' is obsessive (she spends most of the night writing in her GreatBigBookOfEverything, recording the dreams she and the other children have and pasting in whatever writing and pictures she can find, or ''forgetting that she wrote X message'' then "discovering" it and interpeting its signs) it leaves her exhausted and is part of [[DysfunctionJunction her own personal]] brand of insanity.
* Franchise/StarWarsLegends:
** Creator/MattStover's novelization of ''Literature/RevengeOfTheSith'' reveals that after he has his nightmare of Padmé dying in childbirth, Anakin Skywalker swears off sleep and uses the Force to sustain himself. No wonder the guy's about to go Sith...
---> The force could keep him upright, keep him moving, keep him thinking, but it couldn't give him rest. Not that he wanted rest. Rest might bring sleep.\\
What sleep might bring, he could not bear to know.
** In ''Literature/DarkLordTheRiseOfDarthVader'', set several weeks after ''Revenge of the Sith'', Darth Vader is ''still'' incapable of falling asleep; his new {{cyborg}} suit won't allow him any rest, especially since his VaderBreath is harsh on both his damaged throat and his enhanced hearing. Darth Sidious, meanwhile, swore off sleep long ago, after killing his own master while he slept. He relies on TheDarkSide to sustain himself.
* Lord Meren, from Lynda Robinson's AncientEgypt mystery novels, due to the chronic stress of being the Pharaoh's spymaster. Once his son got him to take up juggling, a hobby that forced him to fully focus his attention on a task unrelated to crime or security, he was able to step back from his worries and get some proper rest.
* In the Literature/LeftBehind seres: before being indwelt by Satan, people comment that Nicolae Carpathia. never seems to sleep as he is often too busy. After he is indwelt he never has to sleep at all and remains awake for 3 and 1/2 years.
* ChuckPalahniuk's early unpublished manuscript ''Insomnia'', excerpts of which were salvaged for ''Literature/FightClub'', his first publication.
* A downplayed example in ''Literature/TheRavenCycle''. Gansey and Ronan both suffer from insomnia and both deal with it [[ManlyManAndSensitiveGuy in different ways,]] with Ronan either drinking or street racing and Gansey building his miniature city. This doesn't appear to have much of an effect on either of them, though Ronan's insomnia is plot-related--he has some incredibly dangerous dreams.
* In ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety'', when the children first meet Number Two, it's quipped that she "never sleeps." In actuality,, she does sleep, but only a very small amount, like maybe two-three hours a night. She has to compensate for this by eating a lot of snacks, which sometimes leaves her irritable if her blood sugar gets low. In the second book in the series, ''The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey'', it becomes a key plot point. When she and Mr. Benedict are captured and handcuffed in place in a cave on an island, her near-constant wakefulness allows her to work away at the fastening pin on her handcuffs and free herself. Unfortunately, in order to do this, she has to keep hidden the fact that she requires extra food in order to properly maintain her mental state. By the time she actually escapes, she is a state of delirium and no use to anyone.
* In ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', Witkacy rarely sleeps more than three hours at night, if he sleeps at all. It's implied that it's somehow a side effect of all the mind-altering substances he used to take, and it's bad enough that when he happens to catch five hours of sleep, he immediately suspects supernatural influence.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Mary Richards in one episode of ''Series/TheMaryTylerMooreShow''.
* Patrick Jane on ''Series/TheMentalist'' can't sleep without the aid of pills. It doesn't come up every episode and it's more an element of characterization than a disadvantage.
* Dr. Series/{{House}}, towards the end of Season 5, after a coworker's death. He starts hallucinating and gradually losing his mind.
* Billy Flynn from ''Series/CriminalMinds'' usually smokes meth to keep himself awake for days or even weeks so that he can [[spoiler: perform several rapes and murders during planned blackouts]].
* Dr. Franklin on ''Series/BabylonFive'', leading to his abuse of stimulants. His department is understaffed, and he refuses to delegate as much as he should, which leads to drug abuse.
* The protagonist of ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' doesn't have chronic insomnia, but tends to forgo sleep - and food - for days on end whenever he's working on a particularly difficult case; most notable in "[[Recap/SherlockS01E02TheBlindBanker The Blind Banker]]", where both he and John stay up all night trying to decipher TheBookCipher of the episode.
* Max, protagonist of ''Series/DarkAngel'', claims not to sleep. She uses the night for more important matters. Such as stealing. She has lied to explain coming in to work late as "I overslept" on one occasion.
* In ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'' Ben develops insomnia as a side effect of suffering from DreamingOfThingsToCome, to the point where he starts seeing things while he's still awake.
* A VictimOfTheWeek in ''Series/GhostWhisperer'' appears to be suffering from the RealLife disease [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatal_insomnia fatal familial insomnia]], and is being DrivenToSuicide by [[spoiler: the ghost of his father, who killed his wife while delusional and as a ghost watched his daughter succumb to the disease. However, it appears that the son never had it and the symptoms were the result of the father's extreme paranoia.]] "What's worse, [[FateWorseThanDeath insanity]], then death, or just death?"
* Haywire in ''Series/PrisonBreak'' has a mental imbalance that means he "doesn't sleep. Ever." Not the kind of cell mate you want if you're routinely sneaking out at night.
* Sam from ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' starts staying up all night in the first season when he's having nightmares about Jessica. In a much creepier example, he also stops sleeping entirely in season six, when he's [[spoiler:lost his soul]]. And for several days in season seven, [[spoiler:to the point where he nearly dies, after the hallucination of Lucifer left over from his time in hell becomes unbearable.]]
* Little Pete from ''Series/TheAdventuresOfPeteAndPete'' manages to get his friends to stay up for several days as a protest against early bed times. Pete almost manages to make it to eleven days.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** Fox Mulder is a well-known insomniac. We almost never see him sleeping, and when we do, he's usually in the throes of a nightmare.
** In episode "The Sleepless", victims of a military experiment lose the ability to sleep, and subsequently gain the ability to induce hallucinations in others.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "The Paradise Syndrome", Spock goes without sleep for around ''two months''. He states that Vulcans under enough stress can go without sleep and/or food for much longer than humans.
* An early episode of ''Series/KyleXY'' deals with this, due to Kyle's inexperience with sleep.
* Series/{{Victorious}}: In "A Christmas Tori," Beck becomes a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} due to a chirping cricket getting stuck in his RV. [[HilarityEnsues It gets]] [[UpToEleven worse]] when he starts drinking lots of coffee so he won't fall asleep in class.
* Dr. Rush on ''Series/StargateUniverse'' is chronic insomniac. A mixture of obsession and paranoia frequently drives him to go for days without sleeping, eating, or really doing anything except trying to fix Destiny. Subverted in that the lack of sleep actually makes him less adept and more prone to sloppy mistakes. His own Destiny-induced hallucinations eventually start calling him out on this fact.

* According to [[Music/OwlCity Adam Young]], "Fireflies" is about this.
** Actually, most of his music was written simply when he could not shut his mind off.
* Music/EmilieAutumn's ''4 o'clock'', a realistic and somewhat insane example.
* Music/DeltaGoodrem has "The Analyst" in a way similar to Emilie Autumn's example.
---> "Prepare yourselves to meet, the girl who cannot sleep"
* "Sleepflower" by Music/ManicStreetPreachers is about insomnia
--> Endless hours in bed, no peace, in this mind
--> No one knows the hell where innocence dies
* Faithless has a song about this very trope called [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Insomnia]].
* "Asleep or Awake" by Apoptygma Berzerk.
* "You Can't Walk In Your Sleep (If You Can't Sleep)" by Music/TheGoGos.
* Music/CityAndColour's album ''Bring Me Your Love'' has three songs that have the singer state he cannot sleep due to the troubles he is suffering in life: "The Death Of Me", "Sleeping Sickness", and "Constant Knot".
* The Music/BarenakedLadies song "Who Needs Sleep?" is all about insomnia -- and references "a guy who's been awake since the Second World War."
* The Music/GreenDay album ''Insomniac'' was made when Billie Joe was suffering from major sleep deprivation. "Brain Stew/Jaded" on that album describes Billie Joe's sleepless woes.
* "Can't Get To Sleep At Night" by Music/DonnaSummer from ''Music/IRememberYesterday'' where the protagonist can't sleep because she keeps thinking of her former partner, despite being with somebody else.
* "I'm So Tired" by Music/TheBeatles from ''Music/TheWhiteAlbum'' is literally about someone who is tired but can't sleep. TruthInTelevision for Lennon, since the meditation schedule under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi left him too keyed up to sleep at night.
* "Pennyroyal Tea" from Music/{{Nirvana}}'s ''Music/InUtero'':
--> ''I'm so tired I can't sleep''.
* Music/ImagineDragons has an insomniac guitarist, Wayne Sermon. The band consequently references sleepless nights in some of their songs-such as "Nothing Left to Say", which sounds like someone experiencing sleep deprivation due to introspective thoughts.
* Set It Off's "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" is about someone who is an insomniac.
* The man sung about in "My Manic And I" by Music/LauraMarling suffers from insomnia.
-->By one in the morning the day has not ended.
-->By two he is scared that sleep is no friend.
-->And by four he will drink, but he cannot feel it.
-->Sleep will not come because sleep does not will it.
* In "Staying Up" by Music/TheNeighbourhood, the singer suffers from insomnia out of a combination of BadDreams and the sense that there's ''[[ParanoiaFuel something]]'' [[ParanoiaFuel out there]].

* Creator/WilliamShakespeare's Sonnets 27 and 28

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander, the C&C Wrestle Factory, according to their theme anyway.
-->"Seven aint getting up early, ready for the grind. No alarm clock! Money on my mind."-"I don't eat, I don't sleep I just grind!"
* Sami Callihan became one due to him obsessing about not getting a shot at Johnny Gargano for the Open The Freedom Gate Championship Belt.
* Roppongi Vice stays up late partying, then they get up early for [=McDonald=]'s breakfast.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Elves from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' don't sleep, but trance instead.
* Oathsworn from ''Arcana Evolved'' eventually no longer need to sleep.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'': Archaon, the ChosenOne of [[EldritchAbomination Chaos]] does not sleep. Or eat. Or do anything but work towards the apocalypse.
* {{Space Marine}}s of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}}'''s Adeptus Astartes are implanted with a [[BioAugmentation node]] affecting the circadian rhythm of their sleep cycle. When deprived of real sleep, it provides a substitute by switching off areas of his brain sequentially. Normally marines require only four hours of full sleep, but are known for going up to two weeks straight without it.
* ''TabletopGame/DontRestYourHead'': The [=PCs=] are all insomniacs, though considering their current situation, this is for the best.
* ''TabletopGame/BlissStage'': The Authority Figure has been awake for the past seven years, because everyone else over eighteen is in a blissful coma.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has several charms which allow a character to go without sleep, but the one that fits this trope is Nightmare Fugue Vigilance, an Infernal charm which makes it so they never need to sleep again, but gives them nightmares when they do.

* "Glamis hath murdered sleep, and there Cawdor/Shall sleep no more, Theatre/{{Macbeth}} shall sleep no more!"
* Mrs. Lansdale in ''Theatre/{{Allegro}}'' spends millions on treatments to get her to sleep, all to no avail.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* A variation of this trope occurs in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'': Kratos has been plagued by nightmares for ten years, which started when he crossed the MoralEventHorizon by [[spoiler: murdering his wife and child in a berserker rage]]. He serves the gods because he believes that when he has redeemed himself, they will rid him of the nightmares. They don't.
-->'''Athena:''' Your sins are forgiven. [[JediTruth But we never promised]] [[ExactWords to remove your nightmares]]. No man, no god, could ''ever'' forget the terrible things you have done.
* Marius, the narrator of ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' ''II'', is haunted by dreams of the demons in Tristram. He understandably tries to avoid them by fighting sleep for ''days'' at a time. He only sleeps ''once'' in the cinematics, noting that it was the first time he slept in ''weeks'', [[spoiler:and that was only so Diablo/the Wanderer could send him a vision of Tal Rasha sealing Baal in his own body.]]
* In the UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast ActionRPG ''VideoGame/NappleTale'', one of the Napple Town townsfolk, {{Alice|Allusion}}, looks exhausted all the time because she is afraid of going to sleep. Fortunately she's sweet-tempered despite this.
* The "Strange New Powers" update to ''VideoGame/DontStarve'' made Ms. Wickerbottom an insomniac, and unable to use sleeping items such as a tent or a bed roll to restore her SanityMeter.
* Paya from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' spends so much time tending to both her own chores and the duties of her elderly grandmother, and then filling her diary after it all, that she is one of the few village-based human characters to sleep just a few hours in the early morning.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'':
** Keiichi states a few times that this is becoming the case in Onikakushi-hen arc. He thought his [[TrueCompanions best friends]] were trying to [[AxCrazy stalk and kill you]]. [[spoiler:True to the trope's description, though, he's actually just a paranoid wreck and his fears are all in his head]].
** It's implied that [[spoiler:Rena]] and [[spoiler:Shion]] also stopped sleeping when their paranoia reached its peak. [[spoiler:Insomnia might be a symptom of [[HatePlague Hinamizawa Syndrome]].]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GrimTrigger'': The first arc is the Insomniac Arc, which is named after Tage. If you click on the cabinets in book 1, he will say that they're mostly full of Melatonin bottles. And in that same part, if you click on his bed, he reveals that he hardly ever sleeps (but when he does, he sleepwalks, so it's still not exactly sleeping).
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': Zimmy never sleeps. She also has a severe case of PowerIncontinence, the only thing that prevents her hallucinations from becoming [[RealityWarper real]] rests with her friend Gamma, who acts a PowerNullifier. Unfortunately, Gamma ''does'' need sleep. Zimmy fits the personality profile of an insomniac, even though not sleeping is natural for her.
** While [[spoiler: his brain was hijacked by one of Zimmy's hallucinations]], Jack Hyland picked up her habit of never sleeping. Unfortunately he needs it and suffered the effects of deprivation.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Vaarsuvius went several months without trancing (the elven equivalent of sleep) while at sea, which severely changed V's appearance, patience, social skills and (arguably) alignment. Due to a mixture of {{determinat|or}}ion and [[MyGreatestFailure terrifying]] [[BadDreams nightmares of guilt]], V defended this saying trancing isn't biologically necessary for elves. The veracity of this claim is dubious.
** [[BigBad Xykon]], being undead, cannot sleep. But [[RPGMechanicsVerse the rules say]] he can only be productive for eight hours each day regardless, so he filled the rest of his time during the occupation of Azure City by torturing prisoners for giggles.
* Sniper Wolf from ''Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFoxhound'' can go on for long periods of time without sleep. She catches up on sleep by hibernating for a week or so every couple of years. Unfortunately, right before she hibernates, she would become disoriented and hallucinate various things.
* Princess November from ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'' is unable to sleep with the moon gone from the sky. Red has likely gone without sleep since [[spoiler: getting eaten by the wolf]].
* Fall from ''Webcomic/ParallelDementia'' sometimes goes for several weeks without sleeping to try and avoid nightmares. This has led her to pass out and may be contributing to her hallucinations.
* In ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'', [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1696 Hannelore]] the resident [="OCDelightful"=] cleanfreak occasionally goes days at a time without sleep, due either to her [[Series/{{Monk}} Monk-level]] need to clean things or some new medication she is taking. She seems to be a mash-up between goofy and realistic, as seen [[http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1477 here]].
* The {{n|oNameGiven}}ameless [[OurZombiesAreDifferent zombie]] {{narrator}} of ''Webcomic/HannaIsNotABoysName'' doesn't seem to sleep. He has been seen to spend the night reading in the one-room apartment of his [[HeterosexualLifePartners Heterosexual Life Partner]], the eponymous Hanna. So... sitting a couple feet away from Hanna's bed while Hanna sleeps. [[HoYay Awww.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': After the trolls' game of Sgrub began, Karkat Vantas barely slept at all in the three weeks the game took, according to Vriska. After that, he slept a grand total of once, during which time his dreamself was killed and [[EldritchAbomination he experienced things]] that put him off sleeping for a very long time, after which came [[MonsterClown several]] [[AHouseDivided distractions]].
* Jyrras from ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' has shown signs of sleep deprivation, which includes [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Vol_1142.php waving a knife in a dangerously random manner.]]
** Cubi start to lose the need to sleep as they age, which can appear as insomnia to the uninformed.
* CRFH's Roger can attend class, and ''successfully complete tests'', in his sleep.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'''s BackStory, the ArtifactOfDoom preyed on Jon [[http://endstone.net/2011/06/20/6-03/ until he could not sleep.]]
* In ''Webcomic/DocRat'', a one-time occurrence. [[http://www.docrat.com.au/default.asp?thisItem=722 when Doc fights a video game Zombie Apocalypse, it leads to some -- interesting consequences the next day.]]
* Dune from ''Webcomic/IDontWantThisKindOfHero'', possibly due to being a ShellShockedVeteran. It's why he constantly has ExhaustedEyeBags from his second appearance onward.
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', there is a special mental discipline that is used in Skifander to [[TheSleepless help people stay awake for multiple days]]. Gil misuses this ''massively'' during the timeskip, where he has stayed awake for months at a time for ''two and a half years''. The only times the reader has seen him sleep, it was because he'd been knocked out. It clearly isn't very good for him, since his skin is now a dozen shades paler than it was before, he's got some [[ExhaustedEyeBags rather dramatic bags]] under his (extremely bloodshot) eyes, and he's been in TheMadnessPlace constantly for the whole time.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Shadows in ''WebVideo/{{lonelygirl15}}'' are so devoted to their duty that they take drugs that remove the need to sleep. Unsurprisingly, they tend to die before the age of 30.
* J of ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' has mentioned suffering from insomnia in his Twitter. In this case, it's considered a sign that (much like Alex before him) he's losing his mind.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic is fine with naps, but has taken Nyquil and Vicodin together in order to get proper sleep. It's a miracle he hasn't died yet.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f50P6OJWLbc 40 Winks]] is a song about someone who can't get to sleep.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'s'' Blake Belladonna becomes this because she is the most concerned over what the Torchwick has in store for the White Fang. Ruby, Weiss, and Yang worry over Blake's lack of sleep or food.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** In the "Nightmares and Daydreams" episode, Aang has a turn as a Goofy Insomniac -- although he quickly degenerates to the more realistic variant. He begins to experience hallucinations, culminating in one where the {{Team Pet}}s begin talking, then get into a fight that [[ItMakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext escalates into a samurai duel.]]
** In The Promise comic, Zuko has an insomnia caused by the stress of his new position and assassination attempts.
* On ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', Jérémie has a tendency to be the Obsessive Insomniac. Of course, his [[AIIsACrapshoot enemy]] never sleeps at all, and his behavior is not unlike that of a normal computer programmer with a big project and an approaching deadline. Still, pulling it for about two years in a row cannot be healthy for a developing brain. Or a developing body. Kid's 12 at the opening of the show... he's likely stunted his growth permanently. Thank goodness it doesn't seem to have damaged anything.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' features a throwaway gag of Apu having worked a 96-hour-shift. At the end, "I apparently thought I was a hummingbird of some kind." He also tried to drink nectar out of Sanjay's head.
** This was explained in the comic books: during Homer's Mr. Plow days, his incompetence had left the Kwik-E-Mart doors blocked by snow, and Apu was trapped in the store with Snake, who had just tried to rob him.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** In the episode "Applebuck Season", Applejack becomes a Goofy Insomniac when she takes on the task of harvesting all the apples on her farm by herself ''and'' has to do favors for her friends as well. She snaps out of it at the end when she ''finally'' relents to Twilight Sparkle's advice to ask for some help.
** Twilight becomes an Obsessive Insomniac in "It's About Time" -- she spends one straight week without sleep monitoring ''everything'' trying to catch the big disaster that her future self wanted to warn her about. Even Pinkie Pie is concerned. She also ''starts'' the episode as an Obsessive Insomniac, fretting over her schedule.
--->'''Twilight Sparkle:''' Frankly, I don't know how ''you'' can sleep at a time like this!\\
'''Spike:''' Three A.M.?
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', Mr. Krabs falsely accuses SpongeBob of being an insomniac when he doesn't flip a Krabby Patty fully and uses a bit too much mustard.
* Dipper Pines from ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' can be this, as highlighted in the episode "Sock Opera." [[spoiler:It's a trait he has in common with the Author of the Journals.]]
--> '''Mabel:''' Don't stay up all night, Dipper. Last time you got this sleep-deprived you tried to eat your own shirt.
--> '''Dipper:''' ''(sucking on shirt, spits it out)''
* The ''WesternAnimation/DragonsRidersOfBerk'' [[InsomniaEpisode episode]] "[[Recap/DragonsRidersOfBerkS6E7TheLongestDay The Longest Day]]" features the characters going on without sleep because of [[spoiler:the annual midnight sun, a time where the sun does not set for 2 whole weeks]]. Each of the characters are shown to suffer a variety of symptoms brought on by this.
** Hiccup becomes careless with a slower reaction time.
** Astrid is overcome with euphoria, becoming obnoxiously optimistic and carelessly carefree.
** Snotlout suffers from severe [[MoodSwinger mood swings]], switching from laughing to crying to shouting in an instant.
** Fishlegs becomes increasingly paranoid of the others.
** Heather loses all sense of coordination, [[TheKlutz tripping on her own feet]] and spilling her water bucket trying to clean Windshear. She later starts losing focus, confusing Windshear with a rock.
** Ruffnut and Tuffnut are overcome by visual hallucination.
** Gothi spends her time "babbling" for hours, drawing in the sand with a blank stare.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* WWE CEO Vince [=McMahon=] is well-known for sleeping very little. According to wrestler Triple H (who is also Vince's son-in-law), Vince only gets about 2-3 hours of sleep a night before getting up and going back to work.
* Peter Tripp, a disc jockey who went for 8 days without sleep in 1959 as part of a wake-a-thon stunt. He suffered ''heavily'' from hallucinations during the experience and its been suggested that he was never quite the same after the experience, which might hint at permanent damage. A [[IncrediblyLamePun trippy experience]]. According to the Wikipedia article, for the last 66 hours of that marathon the observing scientists and doctors gave him drugs ''to help him stay awake!'' Yeesh, first do no harm? Were they away that day?
* Possibly Music/MichaelJackson; his need for stronger anesthetics just to sleep may have caused his death. Ironically, the powerful drug that he was attempting to use is a poor choice as it only works for minutes at a time.
* As mentioned above, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatal_familial_insomnia Fatal Familial Insomnia]] is a genetic disease which causes the breakdown of the mechanisms in the brain which allow sleep (meaning that falling asleep becomes ''entirely impossible''), resulting in insanity followed shortly by death. It is a dominant and autosomal (meaning it affects men and women equally) trait, a person who possesses the trait has a 50% chance of passing it to their child, and it inevitably affects anyone who possesses the trait. There is currently no treatment or cure. Thankfully, it is incredibly rare, only affecting 50 known families worldwide. To make matters worse, it doesn't manifest until the patient is anywhere from 30 to 60 (average about 50), which gives the future patient time to have children before finding out that oops, they inherited that gene (and in women, childbirth can trigger it).
* Part of what causes meth addicts to be so paranoid is the days or weeks without sleep, due to being on such strong stimulants.
* And then there is those who suffer from Hypnophobia.
* Happens to many participants of NaNoWriMo.
* Full International Baccalaureate students don't usually sleep more than two hours on average until the weekend or long breaks. Eventually, some of them become [[TheSleepless accustomed to it]].
* In some cases, people with post-traumatic stress disorder suffer from insomnia as part and parcel of the disease, especially in people with this disease who have nightmares about their traumatic experience. Alternatively, a person with PTSD could be lying down trying to sleep and then, BAM! they relive their traumatic experience and it takes a while for them to recover from this so they can sleep.
* There are countless examples of artists, song writers, painters and otherwise, who have had or do have sleeping problems, Music/EmilieAutumn, Music/DeltaGoodrem, Music/MichaelJackson and Music/OwlCity are a few famous examples.
* This is essentially the premise of many jams (particular game development jams). Rather ironically, people usually go into indie development to avoid crunchtime that usually come in big studio environments.
* In 1965, Randy Gardner went 11 days without sleeping for a high school science project, having a doctor on hand to record his symptoms and general state of mind. The case study wound up being greatly quoted among the medical and psychological communities as an example of the effects of extreme sleep deprivation. It stands as the world record for longest time spent without sleep.
* Similarly to the above, The Guinness Book Of World Records no longer accepts or acknowledges attempts to break Gardner's record out of concern for the health of anyone who might try.
* Scientists have isolated a gene that allows for a shortened sleeping period, allowing a person to get by with just 3-5 hours of sleep a night, instead of the usual 7-9 hours, without any detrimental effects. Just like a normal person can't sleep much longer than 9 or 10 hours in most circumstances, though, a person with this gene can't sleep for 8 hours, giving the appearance of insomnia, event though they are perfectly healthy.

[[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife Now stop reading TV Tropes and get some sleep already would you!]]