Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep

Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep

by David K. Randall
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Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by David K. Randall

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393080209
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/13/2012
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.92(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.03(d)

About the Author

David K. Randall is a reporter at the Associated Press and has also written for Forbes, the New York Times, and New York magazine. He is an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
popscipopulizer More than 1 year ago
*A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com by Aug 20. We spend up to 1/3 of our lives sleeping, and yet, unless we are not getting enough of it, and/or are experiencing a sleeping disorder of some kind, most of us hardly ever give our sleep a second thought (other than to rue over how much precious time it takes up). Science too largely neglected sleep for the longest time, treating it mainly as a static condition during which the brain was not doing much of anything interesting. However, ever since rapid eye movement (REM) was discovered in the 1950's the science of sleep has really taken off, and the discoveries that have come out of it go to show that this unconscious period is more interesting than we ever could have imagined. It is these discoveries that writer David K. Randall explores in his new book 'Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep'. Randall himself became interested in the world of sleep as the result of nearly injuring himself while sleepwalking one night. The doctor he went to was unable to give him any straight advice with regards to preventing future bouts of potentially harmful somnambulism, and this got the author to thinking about other facets of sleep about which he had questions. This curiosity ultimately led Randall to do some investigating into the strange science of sleep, and the end result is this very interesting and informative book. The book is split into 13 chapters, with each chapter (outside of the introduction and conclusion) exploring a separate topic in the world of sleep. The 11 topics, in the order in which they are presented, include: 1) The phenomenon of natural sleep patterns, and an exploration of how modern living arrangements and conditions have disturbed these patterns (and what we can do to counteract these disturbances--advice that some individuals and organizations have begun to apply). 2) The topic of sleeping in the same bed with a partner, and the historical trends and pros and cons of this arrangement. 3) The topic of getting your kids to bed, and the question of whether co-sleeping with your infant or young child is beneficial. 4) The meaning of dreams--including an historical survey of views regarding the significance of dreams, all the way up to and including the latest theories about dreaming. 5) The effect of sleeping and dreaming on cognitive functioning, including its role in long-term memory formation, skills acquisition, problem solving, emotional control and creativity. 6) The very damaging (indeed deadly) effects of sleep deprivation in the military and during combat, and the latest measures being taken to insure that soldiers are getting enough rest. 7) Sleepwalking, and the bizarre phenomenon of crimes committed while sleepwalking--as well as how the justice system is dealing with these cases. 8) The science of sleep in sport, both amateur and professional. 9) The very widespread problem of sleep apnea (continual waking up due to blockage of the windpipe), and the billion dollar business of treating and controlling this very distressing (and potentially deadly) disorder. 10) Insomnia, and the troubled history of its remedies--as well as the latest techniques in fighting sleeplessness. 11) The science of maximizing and optimizing sleep, and what can be done to ensure that you are getting the best sleep possible. For the executive summary visit newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It read like a text book. If that's what you're looking for, this is perfect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this to be rather an intersting and thoughtful read. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that likes science-related fact-like things like this. It's like all the modern studies on sleep wrapped up neatly in a nice, well-written package, and makes its points well. I enjoyed reading it.
JZellner More than 1 year ago
This book was well written and integrated so many areas of our daily lives. I learned a tremendous amount from this book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A truly informative work that provides much new information and is fun to read. The author's ofter self deprecating humor is refreshing, and I must say I will be attempting to adjust certain "sleep" techniques given the material provided.