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The Neuroscience of a Good Night's Rest

A narcoleptic’s tireless journey through the neuroscience of disordered sleep

Whether it’s a bout of bad jet lag or a stress-induced all-nighter, we’ve all suffered from nights that left us feeling less than well-rested. But for some people, getting a bad night’s sleep isn’t just an inconvenience: it’s a nightmare. In Sleepyhead, science writer Henry Nicholls uses his own experience with chronic narcolepsy as a gateway to better understanding the cryptic, curious, and relatively uncharted world of sleep disorders. We meet insomniacs who can’t get any sleep, narcoleptics who can’t control when they sleep, and sleep apnea victims who nearly suffocate in their sleep. We learn the underlying difference between morning larks and night owls; why our sleeping habits shift as we grow older; and the evolutionary significance of REM sleep and dreaming. Charming, eye-opening, and deeply humanizing, Sleepyhead will help us all uncover the secrets of a good night’s sleep.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Science / Life Sciences / Neuroscience

On Sale: September 4th 2018

Price: $17.99 / $22.99 (CDN)

Page Count: 368

ISBN-13: 9781541672567

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reader reviews


"Henry Nicholls is one of my favourite science writers and this may be his best book yet. He effortlessly weaves his very personal experiences of living with narcolepsy with the history of sleep science (which reads like a great detective story) to create a gripping journey into the mysteries of sleep. Revelatory."—Lucy Cooke, author of The Truth About Animals
"An authentic and insightful read that brings to life the hopes and dreams of generations of scientific explorers and people in search of a better night's sleep. We all have something to gain from reading Sleepyhead."—Julie Flygare, author of Wide Awake and Dreaming
"Sleepyhead is utterly engrossing, keeping me awake far past my bedtime. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written."—Emma Byrne, author of Swearing is Good For You
"A fascinating personal and scientific journey through the mysterious realm that we lose ourselves in for a third of our lives. Dr. Nicholls is an amusing and perceptive host, on a trail from Dionysius to Dante, Dickens to Didgeridoos, as we discover just what our minds get up to when we're asleep."—Gaia Vince, author of Adventures in the Anthropocene
"The most fascinating sleep book ever."—Sarah Franklin, author of Shelter
"A fantastic meander through the science and personal experience of narcolepsy--fascinating!"—Dr. Guy Leschziner, Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Lead for Sleep at Guy's Hospital
"A revelation: perceptive, powerful and passionate."—Tim Birkhead, Fellow of the Royal Society
"A master raconteur."—John Mathew, historian of science