Wild Nights

Wild Nights

How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World

Book - 2017
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"Why the modern world forgot how to sleep Why is sleep frustrating for so many people? While human history presents a vast diversity of sleeping styles, today we define a good night's sleep very narrowly: eight hours in one shot, sealed off in private bedrooms, children apart from parents. These sleeping rules have become ingrained in our culture over the past two hundred years, yet few seem able to live by them. For the world's poor, modern sleep is full of financial and physical risk, and even the well-off require drugs and gadgets to regulate waking and sleeping. Taming sleep is big business, but it has come at enormous cost to our well-being. In Wild Nights, Benjamin Reiss draws on centuries of literary, medical, and scientific writings to show how ordinary lives were upended as sleep became modern. In so doing, he offers hope to weary readers: as sleep was transformed once before, so too can it change today"--
Publisher: New York :, Basic Books,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780465061952
Branch Call Number: 616.8498 REI
Characteristics: 305 pages ; 25 cm

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carleoellen
Sep 08, 2017

I no longer feel bad about my insomnia, for I discovered that I am in good company. Millions, famous and unknown, contemporary and historical, have suffered from disrupted sleep. Reiss explains that our sleep norms were created -- mostly to fit society into the rhythms of an industrial society -- and these norms are evolving as our world becomes increasingly wired. I would recommend this book, but I thought it was overwritten in places. For example, how often does he need to say that our practice of separating children into separate rooms to sleep is not the way most people, globally and historically, have slept? Overall, it was eye-opening.

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