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About The Book

For those fascinated by neurology and for fans of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat comes a powerful exploration of the mind during night time. Here are the mysteries of sleep, explained – from known conditions to the extreme.

‘The Secret World of Sleep 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

World-renowned neurologist and sleep expert, Doctor Guy Leschziner, takes you through various sleep conditions and how they arise and affect people. Insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors and apnoea are just some of the conditions afflicting those struggling with sleep.

Then there are the extreme cases. The people frightened into paralysis by hallucinations. The woman in a state of deep sleep who gets dressed and goes for a drive. The teenager with ‘Sleeping Beauty Syndrome’, stuck in a cycle of excessive unconsciousness. The man who cleans out kitchens while 'sleep-eating'.

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 needed for health and happiness.

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About The Author


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).

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (January 9, 2020)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471176388

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Raves and Reviews

‘With my job on Today, I have become obsessed with sleep. The Secret World of Sleep 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. 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.’

– Guardian

'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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