Sleepy Head : Narcolepsy, Neuroscience and the Search for a Good Night
How bad is it really, not to get eight hours of sleep? What happens to our brain when we're sleep deprived? How much sleep should we really be getting?Sleep is something so fundamental that most of us take it for granted, undervalue it, and rarely look directly at it - in the last century, the amount we sleep has fallen by 20%.Henry Nicholls doesn't have this problem - he suffers from narcolepsy, a disorder he developed at age twenty-one. For the healthy but overworked majority, this might sound like an enviable condition, but for Henry, the inability to stay awake is profoundly disabling.Through personal reflections, interviews with fellow narcoleptics, insomniacs and neuroscientists, anecdotes from medical history, and insights from art and literature, Henry Nicholls travels through the half-lit world of sleep. He considers how sleep is seen in contemporary culture, and delves into the history of sleep theory: how it was irrevocably damaged by Freud, and how this has created a medical vacuum for the treatment of sleep disorders.Sleepyhead is a scientific, cultural and autobiographical journey into the hinterlands of sleep, told with penetrating intelligence, humour and gentleness.
An examination of sleep from the perspective of a narcoleptic
Praise for Henry Nicholls: brilliantly clear and enthusiastic...Henry Nicholls manages to combine detail with passion -- David Shukman, BBC Nicholls' passion for his subject and sense of humour are always evident -- Paul Chambers * The Times Literary Supplement * what good science writing is all about - explanation through a ripping narrative. -- Steve Connor * The Independent * [Nicholls] has the skill, rare among scientists, of explaining science in a clear and appealing manner. His writing is easygoing yet informative, and will be accessible to any reader with an interest -- Fintan Enright * Irish Examiner * A master raconteur -- John Mathew, Historian of science Praise for The Galapagos: This is the perfect book to take with you if you are planning a trip to the Galapagos. Even if you are not, this is an enchanting and enlightening account of the most scientifically significant islands in the world. -- Tim Birkhead Thoroughly researched, highly informative, lively and enjoyable, each page is a real pleasure to read. Whether a first time visitor or an old Galapagos 'hand' Henry Nicholls' The Galapagos should accompany you on any physical or virtual trip to these Enchanted Islands -- Ian Dunn, Chief Executive Officer, Galapagos Conservation Trust A thoughtfully executed and excellent read. -- Johannah Barry, president of the Galapagos Conservancy I thought I knew everything about the islands until I read Henry Nicholls's The Galapagos, the best single-volume work I've found and the perfect guide ... A captivating book. -- Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and author of Why Darwin Matters Henry Nicholls has added an informative, fun and up-to-date read to the Galapagos literature. -- Linda J. Cayot, Science Advisor, Galapagos Conservancy Advance Praise for Sleepyhead: 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
Henry Nicholls is a science journalist, specialising in evolutionary biology and conservation, and is a regular contributor to New Scientist, Nature, BBC Focus and BBC Wildlife. He writes a regular column for BBC Earth and The Guardian, and is the author of three books - Lonesome George, The Way of the Panda and The Galapagos.Find him on Twitter @WayOfThePandahttp://henrynicholls.com/