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Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleepby David K. Randall
Synopses & Reviews
Like many of us, journalist David K. Randall never gave sleep much thought. That is, until he began sleepwalking. One midnight crash into a hallway wall sent him on an investigation into the strange science of sleep.
In Dreamland, Randall explores the research that is investigating those dark hours that make up nearly a third of our lives. Taking readers from military battlefields to children’s bedrooms, Dreamland shows that sleep isn't as simple as it seems. Why did the results of one sleep study change the bookmakers’ odds for certain Monday Night Football games? Do women sleep differently than men? And if you happen to kill someone while you are sleepwalking, does that count as murder?
This book is a tour of the often odd, sometimes disturbing, and always fascinating things that go on in the peculiar world of sleep. You’ll never look at your pillow the same way again.
"This fabulous book is likely to address any and all questions you might have about sleep, although, given the state of research in the field, the answers may not be definitive. The range of topics is enormous, from the evolutionary reasons for sleep to the best type of mattress — oddly enough, studies suggest that high quality sleep is equally possible on an unpadded concrete floor as on a high-tech air mattress. Equally surprising, sleeping pills yield no higher quality sleep than a placebo. What they apparently do is retard the formation of short-term memory so people taking sleeping pills simply don't remember all the times they wake up. Randall argues that people can commit crimes in their sleep, and that the most important cause of friendly fire deaths in war is soldiers' lack of sleep. There's plenty of practical information, like how to overcome insomnia without drugs, how to combat snoring, how to encourage young children to get to sleep and, perhaps most useful, how to bet successfully on professional football games: our circadian rhythms favor West Coast teams over East Coast teams on Monday nights. This is one book that will not put you to sleep. 10 illus. Agents: Larry Weissman and Sascha Alper." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Randall emphasizes the too-often neglected common-sense realization that sleep is no void; rather, it is perhaps one-third of the puzzle to living well. The author also notes that sleep is not an undifferentiated continuum; the most restful sleep arrives in five stages of about 90 minutes each. A welcome study of an element of life that is often 'forgotten, overlooked, and postponed.'" Kirkus Reviews
"Though he doesn’t go into minute detail, Randall provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to a mystifying but necessary part of life." Booklist
"A lively overview of recent research into sleep." Maureen Corrigan
"An accessible and well-researched guide to a fascinating subject." NPR's Fresh Air
"The most diverting and consistently fascinating book on the topic ever...but you couldn’t find a more charming guide to what we do know than Dreamland." New Scientist
"Randall’s wit and curiosity make him a comforting guide." Laura Miller, Salon.com
An engrossing examination of the science behind the little-known world of sleep.
About the Author
David K. Randall is a senior reporter at Reuters and has also written for the New York Times, Forbes, and New York. He is an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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