Dreamland by David K. Randall


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 readers from military ...

Details Dreamland

Release DateAug 13th, 2012
PublisherW. W. Norton & Company
GenreNonfiction, Science, Psychology, Health, Medicine

Reviews Dreamland

  • Riku Sayuj
    Wishing Yourself A Good NightWhat do you do when you really don’t have much to tell on a subject, especially when you care a lot about it? You tell anecdotes and try to keep it interesting. Most neuroscience books these days tend to be packed with anecdotes that are weird, but on which there is no scientific consensus. The reader is left to his/her own devices on what to make of all the stories. This book is not much different. It starts with a...
  • Nandakishore Varma
    Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,Chief nourisher in life’s feast.- Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2To die, to sleep,To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there's the rub,For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,Must give us pause. - Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1The Bard has said it all.------------...
  • Melora
    I enjoyed this. It gets a little repetitive, though it's not all that long, but for the most part it kept my interest. Randall decides to research “sleep” after he walks into a wall, hard, during a sleepwalking incident and, after a night in a sleep lab, is told by his doctor,”'I'm going to be honest with you. There's a lot that we know about sleep, but there's a lot we don't know. If the sleepwalking continues, let's try some sedatives. Bu...
  • Orsolya
    Sleep. It is something that children fight against seemingly viewing it as a punishment; while adults wish they had more of the sweet reward. Just how much do scientists truly know about sleep? Honestly: not much. However, David K. Randall shares some of the unique data surrounding the world of sleep in “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep”.“Dreamland” is an instant thought-provoking work as it presents theories and ques...
  • Mauoijenn
    I get insomnia a lot. So this book was interesting and insightful. I learned a bit and know understand different sleep disorders. A good book.
  • Cheryl
    Written by a journalist, so it's easy to enjoy, with lots of tidbits of interest, but light on the science. No agenda, just a bunch of essays about the subject. The take-aways are two: 1. Far too many ppl are not getting enough sleep, including toddlers, teens, soldiers (who are, after all, often teens themselves), and athletes, and 2. more research is needed into a variety of aspects of sleep, including dreaming, circadian rhythms, parasomnias, ...
  • Melissa Prange
    I wanted to like this book, but I ended up finding it incredibly boring. At times, there was interesting information (like the bit about first and second sleep), but too many of the stories felt like repeats. On and on, the author shows how sleep is important. And I wanted to say: Yes, I understand that, but is there anything else you have to say?
  • Aaron Thibeault
    *A full executive summary of this book is now available here: http://newbooksinbrief.com/2012/08/20...We spend up to a third of our lives sleeping, and yet, unless we are not getting enough of it, and/or are experiencing a sleeping disorder of some kind, most of us hardly ever give our sleep a second thought (other than to rue over how much precious time it takes up). Science too largely neglected sleep for the longest time, treating it mainly as...
  • Caren
    This was a moderately interesting look at current research into sleep. There were a few things I hadn't read before, such as that the type of mattress you choose doesn't affect the quality of your sleep; you sleep best on the sort of mattress most familiar to you. I had already known that light affects your Circadian rhythm. While it is helpful to be exposed to natural light in the morning, shun blue screen light (TV, laptop, cell phone) at least...
  • Emily Mishler
    I won a copy of this book in a goodreads giveaway.Randall does an excellent job in keeping his book well grounded in research while also keeping in mind that sleep is still a very new and therefore uncertain science. The book is a summary of much of what is currently known and has been theorized about sleep and how it affects the mind and body. A surprisingly engaging read and very easy to understand as Randall writes in a style that accommodates...
  • Crystal Starr Light
    Bullet Reviews:I've always been fascinated with the brain and sleep so when I saw this book, I snapped it up. Unfortunately, I found most of the information dry or stuff I already knew, and what I was really interested in - the brain and dreams - was a small chunk, squeezed next to soldiers and athletes' sleeping patterns. You know, two areas I didn't really give an origami fish about.For someone looking for the sleep basics, this is a great book...
  • Robyn
    I can't stop sharing all the info I learned from this book!
  • Zahir
    David Randall takes us into the mysterious and fascinating world of sleep. He takes us through a journey that starts with his personal account of waking up after hitting his leg while sleepwalking, into some of the biology that occurs when we go to sleep, and what effect that sleep and rest has on our ability to function. What Randall does exceptionally well is he writes for the layman, and does not lose a non-scientific reader like myself by inc...
  • Anne
    if this book were a college course, its title would be something like Intro to Sleep Science. The author gives a brief overview of the current state of knowledge about various aspects of sleep with references for those who might want to pursue a given topic more in depth. Dreamland contains lots interesting tidbits about the relationship between sleep and SAT scores, sleep and baseball performance, dreams, and, sadly for mattress manufacturers bu...
  • Book
    Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by David K. Randall“Dreamland" is a fun journey through the little known world of sleep. Senior reporter and adjunct professor of journalism at New York University, David K. Randall relays a series of stories, and recent research that will help readers gain a better understanding and appreciation for the impact of sleep. This interesting popular-science 291-page book includes the following t...
  • Tahlia
    This was SUCH an interesting book that detailed literally every aspect of sleep.Highlights for me included- how the invention of light bulbs/electric lamps changed how we sleep - shops started to stay open later, artificial light affected our body clocks- how sleep is classified in the legal system, especially in cases where people commit crimes and even MURDER whilst sleepwalking- insomnia and how different people treat it - including amphetamin...
  • Rebecca
    This book was recommended to me by an internet stranger in a Facebook group, and it's so good and so fascinating. I read it in chapters at bedtime over several nights and enjoyed it thoroughly. Would recommend to anyone who sleeps.
  • Sergey Shishkin
    It's a more journalistic coverage than a scientific survey of current sleep research. The book tells curious stories but practicality doesn't go beyond what is already covered in magazine articles numerous times.UPDATE: After trying a few things from the book myself, I'm even more skeptical of its revelations, and would take it with even larger grain of salt.
  • Chy
    Totally an assignment/research book. I needed a refresher on sleep and dreams, on account of a character who meddles with people's dreams. And this turned out to be just what I needed. Though, to be fair, probably a lot of books on the subject, as well as an internet search, could have been just what I needed. It was just there in the library, and I prefer to have my research in my hands rather than at the click of a mouse.This had a lot of cool ...
  • Tom
    I once saw a sleep specialist because I was having trouble falling asleep at night. At one point during the visit I asked him, "But why is this happening?" He looked at me and said, and I quote, "I don't know. Sleep is weird, man."In Dreamland, David K. Randall sets out to explore just how little we know about sleep and how very weird it is. We don't, for example, know why we sleep in the first place! But we do know that if you don't get sleep ev...
  • astried
    You know how with those most important thing in life you take it for granted until it's gone? That's how I used to think about sleeping, which is not thinking about it at all. Back then I'd sleep early or late, wake up whenever I have to without a thought. Then, (ah.. the unavoidable significant moment) I had my life turned upside down. Then I started to notice that sleep ceased to be an enjoyable activity. I'd be lying dead tired but not only I ...
  • Meadow
    I read this book while in the midst of a severe sleep deprivation time due to a colicky baby who would not sleep more than 2 hours at a time day or night! I was fascinated by anything scientific that might help me understand sleep, and the consequences of lacking it. This book was a great read, as it introduced me to quite a few studies on sleep I had never heard of. From this book I went on to enjoy the true story movie "Sleepwalk with Me", and ...
  • Deb
    **A wake-up call to the power of sleep**It seems that as our lives get busier, the first thing to be sacrificed is sleep. Sure, that tradeoff may give us more hours for the doing, but it also takes quite the toll on our quality of lives. As the author explains:“Health, sex, relationships, creativity, memories—all of these things that make us who we are depend on the hours we spend each night with our heads on the pillow. By ignoring something...
  • Virginia
    I wish there were footnotes instead of endnotes for this book. (Actually, I wish that about all books. Footnotes are awesome.) I felt like this was a good overview of the current research about sleep medicine, but it did not really get into next steps, or future solutions. The writing style was great, though, very easy to read. I wish more people (and by people I mean corporations) took sleeping more seriously. Especially since it can affect so m...
  • Hakan Jackson
    It's amazing how little we know about something we spend a good chunk of our lives doing. That little bit of what we know as of 2012 is covered in this book. What really makes this book great is that one two punch of science and history-it's a combination I wish all non-fiction had. It does go a bit autobiographical from time to time, but just enough to keep the book interesting. Now, if only I could find something written more recently so I can ...
  • Ash
    I was hesitant to read a book like this. I was afraid that it was going to be a, pun fully intended and proud of it, snoozefest. Thank goodness, it was not! I'm not sure what I could have gotten through nearly 300 pages about sleep. David K. Randall's Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep is, well, about sleep. Specifically, about the biology of why humans sleep, what the levels of sleep are, sleep disorders, and everything else i...
  • Juliej
    This a light read for the layman. There are a few interesting facts, but not really many answers to the issues that may have prompted the reader to pick up this book.I understand that is largely because, as the author says, we don't know a lot about sleep. But he has chosen to write a book about it, so I think he could have found a bit more to say.I myself was interested by the question he raised of culpability for a crime committed while sleep-w...
  • Ann
    This non-fiction book meanders through the various aspects of sleep and dreaming. It never gets very technical and the author barely skims the surface of this fascinating subject. We hear about how the marital bed may be bad for a good night’s sleep, how babies around the world sleep, how sleep deprivation is responsible for all sorts of bad things, including deaths of American service personnel by friendly fire, about devices develped to monit...
  • Heather Pagano
    I wanted Randall to say something beyond: sleep is super important. But the message he wanted to give was just that, nothing more, and he said it fairly well. This book was very basic introduction and intended to do little more than develop an appreciation for the role sleep plays in our lives as individuals and in our society. There were some interesting facts and anecdotes, the tone of the book was very personable. The rigor of some of the stud...