Wide Awake in Dreamland is Pat Benatar's seventh studio album, and her eighth album overall, released in 1988. After a string of successful albums, this was her last rock-oriented album of the 1980s, before she would go on to try a blues-based sound with True Love in 1991.
The album was primarily recorded at Neil Giraldo's studio, with most of the songwriting by Giraldo and longtime drummer Myron Grombacher. Four of the tracks are also co-written with Benatar (who is credited as Pat Giraldo). One of the two songs from other songwriters was "Cerebral Man" written by Tully Winfield and well-known stick player Don Schiff. In an interview from 2002, Schiff recalled how this track was added to the album: "Tully Winfield and I demoed songs at what was becoming a very popular studio in LA (Woodcliff Studio)... we had just recorded "Cerebral Man". If I recall correctly the demo just had Tully's voice, stick and drums. Peter Coleman was producing Pat's next album for Chrysalis and happened to be the next session in and heard the tune. He asked if he could take the song to Pat Benatar and hopefully put it on her next album. Her camp liked it and they did a wonderful job with the song. I thought Tully and I would get a few more songs on that album as they liked the style of our song, but at the last minute she decided to go back to her more familiar rock style, leaving our song the only one stylistically like it on the album."