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290 pages, Hardcover
First published August 6, 2012
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
- Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2
To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.
- Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1
”'I'm going to be honest with you. There's a lot that we know about sleep, but there's a lot we don't know. If the sleepwalking continues, let's try some sedatives. But I don't want you to start taking drugs that you don't need. Try to cut down on your stress and see what happens.'”
”If my doctor couldn't tell me more about sleep, I reasoned, then I would go out and search for the solution myself....
So began my adventures in the strange science of sleep. I set out to discover everything I could about a period of time that we can only conceive of as an abstraction, a bodily state that we know about but never really experience because, well, we are asleep. Once I started really thinking about sleep for the first time, the questions came in waves. Do men sleep differently than women? Why do we dream? Why is getting children to fall asleep one of the hardest parts of becoming a new parent, and is it this hard for everyone around the world? How come some people snore and others don't? And what makes my body start sleepwalking, and why can't I tell it to stop?”