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The Secret Life of Sleepby Kat Duff
Synopses & Reviews
Unlock the astonishing facts, myths, and benefits of one of the most endangered human resources — sleep.
Birds do it. Bees do it. Salamanders do it. Even round worms do it. To the best of our knowledge, all creatures display some form of sleep behavior, a regular time of quiet when they settle into familiar postures, lose awareness of the outside world, and rest.
Yet for many of us, rejuvenating sleep is as elusive as clean water and dark nights. More than 60 percent of Americans experience a sleep problem at least twice a week, and though experts recommend getting seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night, nearly a third of adults get only six hours or less. In response to this emerging endangered resource, award-winning author Kat Duff blends myth, history, science, culture, and story with a contagious curiosity to unveil the hidden and invaluable healing benefits of sleep.
Drawing on the latest scientific research, literature, personal experience, as well as cultural and spiritual traditions from around the globe, The Secret Life of Sleep will help us better understand what we’re losing before it’s too late.
"We all sleep, but how often do we consider what goes on while we engage in this (usually) nightly practice? This impressive account from Duff (The Alchemy of Illness) presents the science of sleep without putting its readers to sleep. She intersperses personal anecdotes amid her array of data, which ranges from laboratory sleep studies to poetry and folklore. Some of her examples might already be familiar to readers, but here they serve to show the universality of sleep. The scientific work Duff seamlessly draws into the narrative serves to illuminate cultural understandings. For example, the mythic spirits that visit us in our sleep — the kinds that come to Scrooge at the height of his Christmas cynicism — are described in their literary contexts, before being analyzed on their biological bases. Dreams, from the barely memorable to the life changing, play a prominent role in this text, and Duff addresses the anxieties and fears of sleep itself that keep us awake at night. We learn, too, about what differentiates a waking state from its sleepy counterpart. Sleep as a phenomenon exists just outside of our conscious awareness, and can be difficult to study objectively, yet Duff leads an absorbing foray into the vibrant activity that we otherwise sleep right through." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Kat Duff shines the light of her open-minded curiosity into a darkened and mysterious world with wit, charm, perspicuity, humor and wisdom. After reading The Secret Life of Sleep, you may find yourself inhabiting a new, enhanced view of the world and of yourself." Arifa Goodman, Jungian analyst
"In this book, Kat has done an incredibly skillful job pulling together the most recent scientific research on sleep studies and intermixes it with what artists and poets and sages for centuries have to offer on the subject." Loretta Oriz y Pino, MD, Chief Medical Office, Holy Cross Hospital
"Duff leads an absorbing foray into the vibrant activity that we otherwise sleep right through." Publishers Weekly
"The author's multidisciplinary approach and relatable writing is a breath of fresh air, and her enthusiasm for her subject echoes how many of us feel — we love to sleep....Full of unique insights and surprising facts, this book brings to the fore an entire world that exists behind closed eyes." Kirkus Reviews
"What distinguishes Duff's work from the average popular science title is her beautifully nuanced, lyrical prose and astute recognition that sleeping and dreaming have a much deeper meaning in our lives beyond the research laboratory." Booklist
It has become increasingly clear that our sleep shapes who we are as much as, if not more than, we shape it.
While most sleep research hasn’t ventured far beyond research labs and treatment clinics, The Secret Life of Sleep taps into the enormous reservoir of human experiences to illuminate the complexities of a world where sleep has become a dwindling resource.
With a sense of infectious curiosity, award winning author Kat Duff mixes cutting-edge research with insightful narratives, surprising insights, and timely questions to help us better understand what we’re losing before it’s too late.
The Secret Life of Sleep tackles the full breadth of what sleep means to people the world over. Embark on an exploration of what lies behind and beyond our eyelids when we surrender to the secret life of sleep.
About the Author
Kat Duff is the award-winning author of The Alchemy of Illness and has written for Parabola Magazine and Ink and Ashes. Duff lives in northern New Mexico, where she works as a licensed counselor in private practice.
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