An engrossing examination of the science behind the little-known world of sleep.
Like many of us, journalist David K. Randall never gave sleep much thought. That is, until he began sleepwalking. One midnight crash into a hallway wall sent him on an investigation into the strange science of sleep.
In Dreamland, Randall explores the research that is investigating those dark hours that make up nearly a third of our lives. Taking listeners from military battlefields to children’s bedrooms, Dreamland shows that sleep isn't as simple as it seems. Why did the results of one sleep study change the bookmakers’ odds for certain Monday Night Football games? Do women sleep differently than men? And if you happen to kill someone while you are sleepwalking, does that count as murder?
This book is a tour of the often odd, sometimes disturbing, and always fascinating things that go on in the peculiar world of sleep. You’ll never look at your pillow the same way again.
©2012 David K. Randall (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
There have been many recent advances in sleep science and the author takes you on a slightly dreamy tour of them. The performance assaults your ear with bad foreign accents an unnecessary caricatures.
The material is disjointed and the author repeats himself in different sections--possibly because he expected people to jump around to the chapters they were interested in. Not being a scientist he makes the various sources understandable for the layperson. But this also makes it difficult for him to analyse the material and he often presents conflicting points of view without any effort to say which is more likely to be correct. He's basically serving up everything he read and letting you sort through it.
I had to skip certain sections because the reader adopts a nasal, whiny voice whenever he's quoting a study or an interviewee--even ones that are clearly authoritative or completely correct. It's like he's saying "this is how all geeks and nerds talk." He also feels obliged to use British, French and Austrian (Freud) accents if the source material allows.
Without good synthesis or a critical eye for the data you could do almost as well for yourself by Googling "sleep science."
Dreamland by David. K. Randall was an interesting foray into the subject of sleep, and it did have scientific merit (I particularly enjoyed the part about sleep studies), but it fell off the deep end in a couple of places, especially where dreams are discussed.
There is a lot to be said for the amount of research that went into this book. The explanations of what physically happens when we sleep, the discussion of various sleep medications, and the evidence used to support the importance of sleep were well presented.
The narrators performace was good - not stellar - but good.
The problem that I had with the scientific merit of the book came primarily with the discussion of dream interpretation. First of all, I should say that I studied that topic in college - I don't have a degree in it or anything - but I studied it enough to write a well-researched paper about dreams.
There are a myriad of factors that can influence dreams including, but not limited to: allergies, bedding, sounds you hear while you're sleeping, effects of medications, foods you've eaten (particularly the acidity of the foods), things you've experienced that day (like watching a weird TV show or movie), the weather, etc. I don't recall any of these factors being seriously presented. If they were, it was in passing to the point that I don't remember it with the exception of a limited discussion about things you've experienced that day. The author did account for that one factor, but the other factors are so important that to dismiss them and concentrate solely on Freudian and superstitious interpretation was, in my opinion, downright irresponsible.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in studying sleep, just note that some of it is, at best, poorly researched.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content