Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Counting Sheep: The Science and Pleasures of Sleep and Dreams” as Want to Read:
Counting Sheep: The Science and Pleasures of Sleep and Dreams
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Counting Sheep: The Science and Pleasures of Sleep and Dreams

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  232 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Does the early bird really catch the worm, or end up healthy, wealthy, and wise? Can some people really exist on just a few hours' sleep a night? Does everybody dream? Do fish dream? How did people cope before alarm clocks and caffeine? And is anybody getting enough sleep?

Even though we will devote a third of our lives to sleep, we still know remarkably little about its o
Paperback, 432 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Counting Sheep, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Counting Sheep

You Are Not So Smart by David McRaneyHow the Mind Works by Steven PinkerMaking Up the Mind by Christopher FrithMind Wide Open by Steven JohnsonCatching the Light by Arthur Zajonc
Explaining the Mind
15th out of 17 books — 3 voters
Blink by Malcolm GladwellOutliers by Malcolm GladwellFreakonomics by Steven D. LevittPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Greatest Psychology Books
313th out of 440 books — 498 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 602)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nazim Suzaly
I always had my doubts about sleep on whether is it a good thing or a bad thing and how important it is to our body and just what sleep itself has to offer (okay and the fact that the book was selling at RM8 haha). Well this book by Paul covers every single topic related to sleep on how important it is, the dangers of lack of sleep, REM, nightmares, illness, sleepwalking, snoring, yawning, wet dreams, and the list goes on and on. Whatever that can be related with sleep it is in this book.

This was one of those fortuitous finds that just jumped out at me from the library shelves. This is no self-help book, which the author claims on the last two pages before his bullet-points of general suggestions, the most important of which is to make sleep a priority.

The text hits any number of sleep-related topics: the history of beds, various disorders, sleep aids and hindrances, an exploration of lucid dreaming, etc. He presents a number of qualitative and quantitative studies (primarily fr
Dimitris Hall
Dec 16, 2010 Dimitris Hall rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who enjoy reading non-fiction and think sleeping is a waste of time.
Counting Sheep is one of my favourite non-fiction books. In "western" society, sleep is commonly downplayed as wasted time. Counting Sheep will probably make you change your opinion on the matter forever. It underlines the pleasures and biological functions of sleep, the stages of sleep (did you know that your night's sleep is divided into "cycles" of 90 minutes of deep and REM sleep?) as well as going in depth on the function of dreams, lucid dreaming, lying surface culture, sleep deprivation, ...more
I thought this book was going to be quiet dull but I was so wrong. I found it really intresting. I now have a much better understanding of sleep and dreams. I nearly always remember my dreams, mainly becuase I get up earlyer than I need to, have a bath and then sleep for another hour before going to work. And according to this book your more likely to have REM sleep if you nap in the early morning :) My dreams are always about work and people I work with which makes me belive that dreams don't ...more
A good introductory book on the fascinating topic of sleep and dreams – I definitely learned a lot, and reading this book has whetted my appetite to learn even more. I liked the literary references throughout (I’m always for more integration between the sciences and arts) but they became a bit too pervasive and took over somewhat – e.g. I would have preferred a simple clear-cut explanation of sleep paralysis rather than a quote from Moby Dick. Lots of interesting little historical anecdotes scat ...more
Apr 14, 2008 Pippin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Pippin by: Richie Paradise possibly?
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a great non-fiction book about how sleep works.
It gives an in-depth look at the latest thinking on how sleep works, with lots of interesting stories and facts along the way.
If anything I found it to be a bit dumbed-down in its' writing, but as my sleep-peprived girlfriend refused to read it, saying she's too tired to concentrate on non-fiction I guess it may be about the right level for insomniacs who aren't coping so well.
It's not just a way of learning to slepp better, though. It is a
Tracey Marion
Interesting content but not written in an engaging manner.
This book is a compilation of various topics about sleep: why, how, what does science say, what people in the literature realm have written about the many aspects of sleep. This book aimed at being comprehensive, and it does indeed serve as a good reference to topics of interest. There are many useful and colorful quotations from Shakespeare to modern notables.

What it fails is to provide engaging narratives on any topics. If its own aim is to serve as a guide for further study, then it has done
Karen Beth
This is a fascinating (and also scary) look at the dangers of sleep-deprivation in our society (and many, many other aspects of sleep). So far up through the first 50 pages, I can't put it down, which is strange for me with non-fiction. Did you know that dolphins can sleep with one half of their brain at a time?? That's how they can sleep without drowning! At least one half of their brain is always awake so that they can come to the surface and breathe when they need to. Amazing.
Daniel Wood
Entertaining and interesting throughout, this book looks at every facet of sleep, in good detail in most places. From dreaming to sleepwalking, problems to pleasures, the casual reader will learn a lot about sleep, how they sleep, and how this impacts their life (whilst also absorbing amusing anecdotes on sleepy luminaries).

If you still aren't convinced, the book ends by arguing in favour of daytime napping, something we can all enjoy.
M. Jones
Very interesting book about the nature and science of sleep. It did get a bit too academic at times, but overall was highly informative and accessible. Warning--One side effect on reading this is an attuned hyper-awareness of how the body functions when drifting off to sleep. May cause insomnia as a result! :P
Paul Martin
A really interesting read from my namesake with liberal sprinklings of humour in amongst some truly awe-inspiring facts.

A great read for anyone who is interested in the psychology and chemistry of sleep and dreams or for those who love their pop-science meaty and fact-filled. Highly recommended.
Jul 22, 2008 Annabel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jane Davis, Colin Taylor
Very interesting, very entertaining....
makes you want to get some shut eye pronto
so you can dream.....recuperate.......integrate knowledge...........
..........get an amazing insight.......keep young and beautiful.....
You get the idea!
There is some really interesting insights in this book. However, there is also a lot of information not essential to a non-academic. My advice is to pick and choose the parts you want to learn about, if reading for recreation.
Most of it is really interesting. A commprehensive account on just about everything we know or contemplate about sleep. A few parts were a bit boring, but for a non fiction intellectual book it is fun and easy.
Sarah Dale
This is the best book about sleep I have read. Entertaining, informative and readable, it highlights the importance of sleep and gives a fascinating romp through the history, culture and science about sleep. Sleep well!
Maciej Mroczek
I will never think of sleep the same way again. Very interesting and informative. There were some moments where I thought there was too much detail, but ultimately I was really happy with the book.
This is a tremendously interesting book. I've rated it three stars as its taken me a very long time to read it on account of its denseness. But recommended.
Aug 02, 2011 Jo added it
brilliant - if you have sleep problems or want to know anything about sleep this book is really useful and entertaining
Marvelous read . Filled with scientific explanations and history. Warrants a second read.
A fascinating and very thoroughly-researched book by a real enthusiast!
I read this to learn more about one of my favorite activities...slumber.
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
One of my most favourite activities after reading.
Very good background to sleep in the western world.
Great book about sleep, and it's importance.
all you'll ever need to know about your sleep.
I liked this alot. People should sleep more.
4.5! I need more and better sleep...
Vish Wam
Vish Wam marked it as to-read
Oct 25, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Mind At Night: The New Science Of How And Why We Dream
  • Networks of the Brain
  • God, the Devil, and Darwin: A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory
  • Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain
  • The Survivor's Guide to Sex: How to Create Your Own Empowered Sexuality After Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life
  • Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body
  • Molecules at an Exhibition: Portraits of Intriguing Materials in Everyday Life
  • The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009
  • Cognitive Psychology: A Student's Handbook
  • The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind
  • Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are
  • The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God
  • Theoretical Neuroscience: Computational and Mathematical Modeling of Neural Systems
  • A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination
  • The Birth of the Mind: How a Tiny Number of Genes Creates The Complexities of Human Thought
  • Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things
  • Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You
Cult Proofing Your Kids Psychological Management of Chronic Headaches Measuring Behaviour: An Introductory Guide The Wall Street journal stylebook IAAP Handbook of Applied Psychology

Share This Book

“But hold fast. Before you become too flushed at the prospect of starring nightly in your own private pornographic films, there are limitations.” 1 likes
More quotes…