Ancient Japanese poetry is full of sleeplessness. So is modern life. The ancients needed no sleep doctors, sleep scientists or sleep consultants — as we do — to explain and cure their wakefulness. They knew the cause only too well — love-longing. The cure was obvious, though not always within reach.

President magazine last month titled an extended feature on sleep “The Sleep Revolution.” Japan needs one. It sleeps very badly.

Love, strangely enough, draws only a passing glance — rather a cold one, the emphasis on hormones rather than emotions. Physiology comes more naturally to us than poetry. Instead of love eroding sleep, we say sleeplessness erodes love. President recalls a 2005 study by the condom-maker Durex that calculated for sleep-deprived Japan an average 45 per capita couplings per year — a third fewer than Greece, the world leader.