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The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  33 reviews
For Dr. Guy Leschziner's patients, there is no rest for the weary in mind and body. Insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors, sleep apnea, and sleepwalking are just a sampling of conditions afflicting sufferers who cannot sleep--and their experiences in trying are the stuff of nightmares. Demoniac hallucinations frighten people into paralysis. Restless legs rock both the sleepl ...more
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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4.21  · 
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 ·  154 ratings  ·  33 reviews


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Best Eggs
Like Oliver Sacks the author is both a neurologist and talented writer. Also like Oliver Sacks, but unlike most doctors and doctor-books, he does not regard the person who suffers from a disorder as being primarily the disorder. Neither of them would ever think of someone as autistic, but as a person with autism. And both of them, again quite unlike other doctors, treat the person as an equal partner in sorting out the neurological problem.

Perhaps the most interesting of all the weirdness that
...more
K.J. Charles
An interesting read in the vein of the Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat about the outer shores of sleep weirdness (people who sleep-ride motorbikes, or act out incredibly bizarre dreams, or have constantly shifting body clocks for no reason). The author writes with a lot of compassion and humanity about his patients, for whom it's impossible not to feel sorry--there are some utter hells on earth being lived through, and the effects of not enough sleep are utterly horrible. (Do yourself a favou ...more
Becca | Pages & Postcards
Mar 06, 2019 marked it as to-read-long-list
Shelves: future-release
I've been fascinated with the human brain during sleep ever since my freshman year Intro to Psych class with my crazy professor. I've been trying to read more non-fiction lately, so I can't wait to give this one a try!
Paul
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Thankfully I have never had any issues in sleeping. I put my head on the pillow and almost always I am asleep within a few minutes. I sleep deeply too, I missed the entire Great Storm in 1987 and was totally oblivious to a massive lightning storm that struck an oak tree opposite where I lived. My father has always called it a short course in death…

Sleep is essential to our health, but no one can say with any conviction exactly why we need it. If we are sleep deprived then there is a finite time
...more
Canadian
Rating: 3.5

Most of us are aware of sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. Some of us have family members who sleepwalk or sleep talk, and most of us have probably had episodes of insomnia. In this book, Dr. Leschziner covers all of these conditions and more. He also presents a number of very unusual sleep disorders that I had never heard of, providing an overview of the relevant neuroanatomy and neurophysiology in language that is accessible to the lay reader. Some of the concepts are challengi
...more
Elaine
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Nocturnal Brain.

This is a fascinating book about some of the most popular sleep disorders (and not so popular) most people experience at least once in their lives, such as insomnia.

The author, an expert in his field, uses case studies culled from his patients, who were kind enough to share their troubling sleep disorders.

For each patient, Dr. Leschziner offers a brief profile and character study, how he came to his diagnosis, treatment and what part
...more
Leonard
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A look at sleep disorders from the perspective of a neurologist, when most of my previous knowledge about sleep, being a respiratory therapist, came from the perspective of pulmonologists. This was interesting as the author told stories of people he had as patient with unusual sleep disorders and how the problem was addressed. If you are interested in sleep or have any sleep issues you might find this fascinating. Also it is not technical so you probably with find it was reading.
Gianna
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The way in which the human brain functions during sleep still remains largely a mystery. But the things we already know are quite fascinating. In The Nocturnal Brain, Dr. Guy Leschziner, neurologist, describes some real-life instances of sleep gone wrong - and by that, we mean everything from a disrupted circadian rhythm to people whose brain can be simultaneously asleep and awake.

During every fa
...more
June
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
Details on rare diseases (disorders), maybe essential to construct the core concept of the book, go beyond my curiosity, appear tedious to me, whom Chapter 13 Inception is the most relevant with.
Hypothesis, insufficient evidence, temporary “don’t know” answer and shape the understandings.
Nursebookie
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, favorites
The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep

Thank you to the author, to netgalley and to @stmartinspress for the #arc of an ebook

AUTHOR: Guy Leschziner

GENRE: Non-Fiction, Science

SYNOPSIS:

The books describes stories of Dr. Guy Leschziner’s patients with sleep disorders. He tells stories on his experiences with patients who have had insomnia (difficulty sleeping), narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness), night terrors, sleepwalking, demonic hallucinations that frighten peo
...more
Annette Jordan
An excelling and fascinating book , The Nocturnal Brain by Dr Guy Leschziner is perfect for anyone curious to know more about one of the most mysterious of human activities - sleeping. Using examples and anecdotes from his clinical practice Dr. Leshziner first tries to explain the process and function of sleep, what happens to the brain and why sleep is so important for our overall physical and mental health. While many of the cases he describes are almost unbelievable, such as a woman who rode ...more
Kristine
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
The Nocturnal Brain by Guy Leschziner is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late July.

I read this book about two nights after I was told that talked in my sleep, fretting over a cellphone app I downloaded in real life, but otherwise didn’t pay too much attention to. So, as I read stories about sleep-wake delays, sleepwalking/talking/eating, violence during night terrors, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, sleep paralysis, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome, I have a small incident to call back onto, a
...more
Megan
I read this book in preparation for seeing Guy Leschziner at the Edinburgh Book Festival in a week's time. I'm looking forward to that session.

Guy is a London-based Neurologist and Sleep Physician who has seen many many patients present with a huge variety of sleep disorders over his career. In this book he outlines fourteen of them in the style of Oliver Sacks. In doing so he lays out the rainbow of people and disorders he sees without judgement, and with deep curiosity and compassion. A great
...more
Deb Lancaster
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saw this guy on a whim at Hay this year. Fascinated by his talk, which described a few case studies in this book. Having finally read it I'm delighted it was just as fascinating. Very reminiscent of the books Oliver Sacks wrote, detailing case studies. In fact, he references Sacks a few times. Complex information delivered at just the right level of dumbing down for the layman, and a really lovely way of describing his patients and bringing their stories to life. Would that we all had consultant ...more
Baljit
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An insight into the world of Sleep, science made into digestible portions. This neurologist gives a very human approach into sleep disorders and how they affect lives of ordinary people.
I was intrigued, as some of the conditions were mentioned in my textbooks as one liners. It also makes me think that in my country many of the patients would have attached some spiritual significance to their symptoms and sought traditional or spiritual healing. There is often the belief that the patient has bee
...more
EbookWitched Diane
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well written and very interesting subject (in my opinion). The author recounts compelling stories, which were handled very well, and explains what science knows and doesn't about each experience.
The ebook version was difficult to read due to the formatting, so I would recommend the hardcopy version. Plus, you could highlight more easily - and you will want to, trust me!
Ana Antunes
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very nice reading for those who have problems sleeping or for those who just want to know a bit more about how the brain works, particularly at night. I really did enjoy it, and I think although it's not very detailed it gives you a very nice introduction to how the brain works, and the role that some hormones we produce are so important and how they correlate with each other.
Adam
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read after re-reading Matthew Walker's Why We Sleep recently and the different perspective offered here complements MW's detailed analyses well. Many will compare this to Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat which is fair but I found Guy's book to be more engaging and approachable from an amateur's perspective.
Joey Saunders
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Case studies are intriguing and educational. Being a psychology teacher, I found a lot of stories that would add to student understanding of sleep disorders. It is easy to read but some technical language can be tricky.
Luciano Elementi
Not expecting that reading about sleep pathologies we learn so much about what makes sleep normal, I like the chapter differentiation and the learning about my own sleep and process very much.
Thank you,
Katie
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything you wanted to know about sleep disorders!

If you are interested in sleep disorders, this is the book for you! Educational and accessible. Contains a good balance of anecdotes and science.
Krishna
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read with each chapter devoted to a particular sleep disorder, illustrated with one or two of the author's patients, and then with a (detailed scientific and clinical) explanation of the pathophysiology and management options.
Richard
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I didn't know much of dreaming or neurological disorders before and I'm not sure I am any more enlightened. Dr. Leschziner rambles a bit about a few of his cases but concludes that there are just to few people effected to conduct any case studies.
Gerry
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very interesting discussion of why we sleep, why we dream, and how the many disorders of sleep impact our lives. Leschziner includes many interesting case studies to illustrate the process of diagnosing and treating sleep disorders.
Schmacko
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a very good book, made great because I have a couple of these issues... It helped me know I wasn’t altogether unique.
Rachel Melinek
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interesting over views of sleep disorders and how they affect the lives of the sufferer. Brings a very human element to the conditions. If you love writers such as Oliver Sacks you'll love this.
PWRL
Aug 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
A
Andres Kabel
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing tales from a noted sleep researcher and neurologist. Some of the oddities and pathologies seem beyond belief. I enjoyed the author's careful survey of our state of knowledge about sleep.
Richard Burke
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book delves into the science of sleeping disorders, and if there's one thing to take away it's that strange things happen at night. It takes a whirlwind tour of all manner of nocturnal weirdness, from people who drive their car in their sleep to a man whose partner lies about what he says while sleeping.

For the most part, the author does a good job of explaining the science behind the various disorders, but I found some of the cases a little repetitive.

If you suffer from sleeping problems,
...more
Heather Bennett
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Nocturnal Brain is a interesting and informative book. The book is well written and researched. I learned some interesting science about sleeping.
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Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London, where he leads the Sleep Disorders Centre, one of the largest sleep services in Europe, and a reader in neurology at King’s College London. He also works at London Bridge and Cromwell Hospitals. Alongside his clinical work, he is the presenter of the Mysteries of Sleep series on BBC Radio 4, is editor of the fo ...more