'With my job on Today, I have become obsessed with sleep. The Nocturnal Brain interweaves bizarre real life stories with cutting edge neurological science in the true tradition of Oliver Sacks. A fascinating read.' Martha Kearney, BBC Radio 4 'Casebooks of neurological disorders are often strange and wonderful, but this one is special.'Sunday Times 'The Nocturnal Brain will not promise to cure your insomnia, but it does make for an entertaining and thought-provoking bedtime read.’ The Guardian
For Guy Leschziner's patients, there is no rest for the weary in mind and body. Insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors, apnoea and sleepwalking are just a sample of the conditions afflicting sufferers who cannot sleep – and their experiences in trying to are the stuff of nightmares. Demonaic hallucinations frighten people into paralysis. Restless legs rock both the sleepless and their sleeping partners with unpredictable and uncontrollable kicking. Out-of-sync circadian rhythms confuse the natural body clock's days and nights.
Then there are the extreme cases. A woman in a state of deep sleep who gets dressed, unlocks her car and drives for several miles before returning to bed. The man who has spent decades cleaning out kitchens while 'sleep-eating'. The teenager prone to the serious, yet unfortunately nicknamed, Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, stuck in a cycle of excessive unconsciousness, binge eating and uncharacteristic displays of aggression and hypersexuality while awake.
With compassionate stories of his patients and their conditions, Leschziner illustrates the neuroscience behind our sleeping minds, revealing the many biological and psychological factors necessary in getting the rest that will not only maintain our physical and mental health, but also improve our cognitive abilities and overall happiness.
Prof Guy Leschziner is a neurologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, where he leads the internationally renowned Sleep Disorders Centre, one of the largest sleep services in Europe, and is Professor of Neurology and Sleep Medicine at King’s College London. Alongside his clinical work, he is the presenter of two series on clinical neuroscience on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service - Mysteries of Sleep and The Senses - and author of The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience and The Secret World of Sleep. He is also editor of the forthcoming Oxford Specialist Handbook of Sleep Medicine (OUP), and is neurology section editor for Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (Elsevier).
‘With my job on Today, I have become obsessed with sleep. The Secret World of Sleepinterweaves bizarre real life stories with cutting edge neurological science in the true tradition of Oliver Sacks. A fascinating read.’
– Martha Kearney, BBC Radio 4
'Casebooks of neurological disorders are often strange and wonderful, but this one is special. Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’s who specialises in sleep problems. And his patients experience the most extraordinary things…'
– James McConnachie, Sunday Times
‘The Secret World of Sleep will not promise to cure your insomnia, but it does make for an entertaining and thought-provoking bedtime read.’
'The Secret World of Sleep combines two of my favourite things – humanity and medical science. Dr Leschziner weaves wonderful stories that highlight how sleep disorders affect the lives and health of patients and their families. Along the way we are guided into the fantastic science of sleep. What a wonderful journey!'
– Meir Kryger MD FRCPC, Professor, Yale University, author of Mystery of Sleep
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