Lights Out, But First: The 10 Best Sleep Books to Read Now
by JESSICA MIZZI, September 15, 2017, first appearing on Signature Reads
Sleep: We all do it. Some do it well and knock out as soon as they lay down to rest, while others struggle to fall asleep, spending hours on end trying to get their mind and body to relax. Most of us wonder how we can sleep better and longer, and what our dreams mean. Others ponder how they can control their dreams, what would happen if they couldn’t doze off – or if they didn’t wake up. There’s a certain curiosity about the supernatural side of sleep – an interest in the questions left unanswered.
These books are a mix of fiction and nonfiction, so you’ll be able to explore the world of sleep through science and facts and through imagination, in places beyond your wildest dreams … and nightmares. Pick up one (or several) of these books, climb into bed, and read away. Then turn out the lights and let your unconscious take over as you make your way to the land of dreams.
The Nocturnal Journal
Have trouble falling asleep at night? If so, this engaging, creative journal might be the perfect solution for you. The Nocturnal Journal is designed for anyone who finds themselves always awake, and more importantly, it will help them to understand what keeps them up at night. Each entry has a prompt or illustration meant to draw out pressing thoughts, unanswered questions, everyday anxieties, and inventive ideas that aren’t fully formed yet. This journal will surely provide peace of mind before bedtime and hopefully help lead to a more restful night’s sleep.
The Family That Couldn’t Sleep
D. T. Max
Have you ever heard of prions? Prions are proteins in the human system that sometimes go haywire, for no known reason, resulting in fatal neurological illnesses. Scared yet? Even more terrifying: Malfunctioning prions are essentially impossible to destroy because they are not alive and have no DNA, and people around the world have been affected by neurological diseases caused by these nasty little buggers. This book centers on the true story of a noble Venetian family who, for two hundred years, was plagued by an inherited disease that struck in middle age, prevented sleep, and ate holes in their brains until they died (only months later).
The Sleep Solution
W. Chris Winter, M.D.
The Sleep Solution is a collection of Dr. Chris Winter’s neurological and sleep expertise, and with twenty-four years of experience, he knows how to help those suffering from insomnia achieve a healthy sleep pattern without medication. According to Dr. Winter, the key to fixing deep-rooted sleep problems is understanding what the problems are and why they came about. This book leads readers on a journey of sleep self-discovery to uncover the issues hidden beneath the surface, and will help to create a custom rehabilitation plan to fit every lifestyle.
Before I Go To Sleep
S. J. Watson
A worldwide bestselling novel and major motion picture, this thriller follows the story of Christine, an amnesiac who wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man – her husband, Ben, of many years. She doesn’t recognize herself, or her home, or her friends. And every morning, Ben must explain everything to Christine: He is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident twenty years ago affected her ability to form new memories. Every day, Christine reconstructs her past from scratch, and when she starts to piece together what happened, she realizes she can’t trust anyone.
The Sleep Revolution
In this New York Times bestseller, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington demonstrates how society’s view of sleep as wasted time negatively impacts all aspects of our lives, from work to relationships, and our health and happiness. The current sleep deprivation crisis will only come to an end with a sleep revolution – we need to change our outlook on sleep to change our lives. Huffington tackles many issues, such as the sleeping pill industry, the rise in chronic diseases, and our extreme addiction to technology. Additionally, she offers helpful tips from leading scientists on how we can get better and more restorative sleep, and wield its power to our advantage.
Insomnia has become a worldwide epidemic in this gripping novel, and it has affected everyone Biggs knows, including his wife, Carolyn. People are walking zombies, with red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech, and cloudy minds, and before long, they disappear. Biggs has not succumbed to insomnia. He can still sleep and dream, which allows him to function properly. This is something that people are dying for – something that people would kill for. When Biggs’s wife goes missing, he sets out to find her. With sleep such a precious commodity, Biggs is putting his own life on the line by looking for his wife. Will he find her in time?
Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep
David K. Randall
Though sleep is a large part of our life, most people including journalist David K. Randall don’t give it too much thought – until he began sleepwalking. After crashing into a wall one night, David decided to conduct a serious investigation into the strange science of sleep. In Dreamland, Randall shares his in-depth research with us, taking readers on a journey from military battlefields to children’s bedrooms. The conclusion? Sleep isn’t simple. Once you’ve finished reading this book, you’ll never see sleep in the same way again.
The House of Sleep
Sarah is a narcoleptic with dreams so vivid she thinks they’re actually happening, and her condition has changed Robert’s life. Meanwhile, Terry spends his nights wide awake watching movie after movie, and Gregory, a doctor, sees sleep as a decimating disease that must be eradicated. Besides their complicated relationships with sleep, what do these four have in common? They all were friends in college. And now, ten years later, their reunion plays out in a Gothic cliffside manor being used as a clinic, and unexpected discoveries are made.
Snooze: The Lost Art of Sleep
In Snooze, McGirr takes a serious look at the puzzling world of sleep. He examines the many benefits of a good night’s sleep, and the consequences of not getting enough. Why is sleep so elusive, and why do we stay up all night, tossing and turning? McGirr attempts to explain these phenomenons by drawing connections to our increasingly fragmented world. He also showcases the abnormal sleep patterns of some of history’s greatest minds, including Aristotle, Homer, Shakespeare, Florence Nightingale, Thomas Edison, and more, which demonstrates that even the smartest people need help with sleep.
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D., and Howard Rheingold
This workbook is highly researched, and establishes plans for actually using lucid dreaming – the act of consciously influencing the your dreams. Indeed, crazy stuff. Based on Dr. Stephen LaBerge’s extensive laboratory work at Stanford University, this book outlines the mind/body relationship during the dream state, as well as the teachings of Tibetan yogis and other scientists, and will show you how to use your dreams to create solutions to your problems, have more self-confidence; improve creativity, and more.