Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by David K. Randall
QP 425 .R29 2012
“For scientists, sleep is a surprisingly difficult question. We spend nearly a third of our lives asleep, but most of us don’t have the faintest idea of how it affects us, and researchers still don’t know why, exactly, we need to sleep in the first place. 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 uncovers the research exploring those dark hours. The quality of sleep is one of the most important influences in our waking lives: sleep disorders have been linked to diabetes, hypertension, strokes, and dementia. The bed is also a site of controversy: Should parents sleep with their infant children? Is a marriage doomed to fail if partners sleep in separate beds?
Taking readers from military battlefields to children’s bedrooms, Dreamland shows that sleep isn’t nearly as simple as it seems. Why did one sleep study force Las Vegas bookmakers to change the odds for certain Monday Night Football games? Do women sleep differently than men? If you happen to kill someone while you are sleepwalking, does that count as murder?
Dreamland is a tour of the often odd, sometimes disturbing, occasionally controversial, and always fascinating things that go on in the peculiar world of sleep. You’ll never look at your pillow the same way again.”
– publisher description