michael mosley
Michael Mosley knows a thing or two about sleep deprivation BBC

Sweet sleep; it's the chief nourisher in life's feast and unappreciated by so many of us that nod off as soon as our heads hit the pillow.

But a lot of people, like medical journalist and chronic insomniac Michael Mosley, are lucky to get a few hours each night if that.

For tonight's TV pick, BBC1's The Truth About Sleep, Mosley will go on a journey into the world of slumber and find out what exactly happens to someone who doesn't get enough kip.

He also seeks to discover whether his own insomnia runs in the family and sends off a blood sample for DNA analysis.

Human guinea pig Mosley knows how a lack of sleep can damage lives – he himself gave up being a doctor because he "becomes really, really grumpy when my sleep is cut" – so it's no wonder he wants to find out more.

The programme goes on to examine Britain's sleep deprivation and how it costs nearly £40bn ($51bn) a year in days off and lack of productivity.

Mosley also meets Dr Eleanor Scott in Leeds who is doing research into a possible link between Type 2 diabetes and lack of sleep, before delving into possible ways in which people can go about better quality shut-eye.

"Put simply," says Mosley, "I found when I was sleep-deprived, my blood sugars went into a pre-diabetic range. That was kind of worrying."

He will even make a visit to a project in Denmark to find out if a night under the stars can reset his body clock. Now that's dedication... or utter desperation in searching for a better night's sleep.

The Truth About Sleep airs at 9pm on BBC1 tonight (11 May).