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Wild nights : how taming sleep created our restless world / Benjamin Reiss.

Reiss, Benjamin, (author.).

"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"-- Provided by publisher.
"Humans have slept since the dawn of our species. And yet the way humans sleep across history has changed dramatically, most disastrously in our own modern era. For the last two centuries sleep, the industrialized West has reduced sleep to one narrow definition: hours of unbroken slumber, in a private chamber, alone or with at most one additional partner. And this artificial cultural definition is now spreading around the world. We've gained much from this sleeping revolution--privacy and security and independence--but along the way added a whole new host of problems: the explosion of sleep disorders, sleep anxieties, and life-style diseases connected to exhaustion and sleeplessness; the devastating rise in addiction to both sleeping pills and caffeine; the nightmarish nightly-battles faced by parents enforcing artificial 'bed times' for children. Our modern world may be founded on taming sleep; and yet our collective exhaustion reveals the extraordinary costs we've all paid"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780465061952
  • ISBN: 0465061958
  • Physical Description: 305 pages ; 25 cm
  • Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2017.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 273-291) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction. The gates of sleep -- Part I: The invention of normal sleep -- Before sleep was normal -- A different drummer -- Part II: Taming sleep -- Lady Macbeth's doctor, or, Sleepwalkers and lunatics -- Sleeping slaves, waking masters -- Part III: Rocking the cradle -- Wild things -- Utopian sleepers -- Part IV: Global weirding -- Beyond normal -- Epilogue. Three chairs.
Subject: Sleep disorders.
Sleep > History.
HISTORY / Social History.
HISTORY / United States / General.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disease & Health Issues.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General.

Available copies

  • 1 of 2 copies available at Berks County. (Show)
  • 0 of 1 copy available at RACC.


  • 0 current holds with 2 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Circulation Modifier Status Due Date Courses
RACC RC547 .R446 2017 (Text) 33624024977249 New Checked Out 07/18/2024

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