Sleepyhead (Hardback)

Narcolepsy, Neuroscience and the Search for a Good Night

Henry Nicholls

An examination of sleep from the perspective of a narcoleptic

When Henry Nicholls was twenty-one, he was diagnosed with narcolepsy: a medical disorder causing him to fall asleep with no warning. For the healthy but overworked majority, this might sound like an enviable condition, but for Henry, the inability to stay awake is profoundly disabling, especially as it is accompanied by mysterious collapses called cataplexy, poor night-time sleep, hallucinations and sleep paralysis.

A writer and biologist, Nicholls explores the science of disordered sleep, discovering that around half of us will experience some kind of sleep dysfunction in our lives. From a CBT course to tackle insomnia to a colony of narcoleptic Dobermans, his journey takes him through the half-lit world of sleep to genuine revelations about his own life and health.

Told with humour and intelligence, Sleepyhead uses personal reflections, interviews with those with sleep disorders and the people who study them, anecdotes from medical history and insights from art and literature to change the way we understand our sleeping hours.

Publication date: 01/03/2018

£16.99

ISBN: 9781781255872

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Science & Mathematics

Sleepyhead (Ebook)

Narcolepsy, Neuroscience and the Search for a Good Night

Henry Nicholls

An examination of sleep from the perspective of a narcoleptic

When Henry Nicholls was twenty-one, he was diagnosed with narcolepsy: a medical disorder causing him to fall asleep with no warning. For the healthy but overworked majority, this might sound like an enviable condition, but for Henry, the inability to stay awake is profoundly disabling, especially as it is accompanied by mysterious collapses called cataplexy, poor night-time sleep, hallucinations and sleep paralysis.

A writer and biologist, Nicholls explores the science of disordered sleep, discovering that around half of us will experience some kind of sleep dysfunction in our lives. From a CBT course to tackle insomnia to a colony of narcoleptic Dobermans, his journey takes him through the half-lit world of sleep to genuine revelations about his own life and health.

Told with humour and intelligence, Sleepyhead uses personal reflections, interviews with those with sleep disorders and the people who study them, anecdotes from medical history and insights from art and literature to change the way we understand our sleeping hours.

Publication date: 01/03/2018

£9.99

ISBN: 9781782832249

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B074V4TQ9R

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Science & Mathematics

Reviews for Sleepyhead

'Praise for Henry Nicholls: brilliantly clear and enthusiastic...Henry Nicholls manages to combine detail with passion'

David Shukman, BBC 

'Expertly weaves anecdote and science'

Tom Whipple The Times

'Nicholls' passion for his subject and sense of humour are always evident'

Paul Chambers The Times Literary Supplement

'The most in-depth and accessible insight into narcolepsy that I've come across.'

Dan Collins, Fresh Tracks 

'what good science writing is all about - explanation through a ripping narrative.'

Steve Connor The Independent

'Sleepyhead represents a successful attempt by Henry to provide a concise, readable and scientific overview of the sleep disorders most prominent within society, as well as sleep in general...By shedding a light on the most disabling-end of narcolepsy, of cataplexy, of sleep apnoea and so forth, Henry has provided a voice for those that were previously ignored.'

Jonathan Watkins Myza

'[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

'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 Galápagos, 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 

'A revelation: perceptive, powerful and passionate.'

Tim Birkhead, Fellow of the Royal Society 

'Nicholls is an amusing and perceptive host, leading us on a journey from Dionysius to Dante, Dickens to didgeridoos, as we discover just what our minds get up to when we're asleep.'

Gaia Vince, author of Adventures in the Anthropocene 

'A fantastic meander through the science and personal experience of narcolepsy - fascinating!'

Dr Guy Leschziner Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Lead for Sleep at Guy's Hospital 

'An authentic and insightful read that brings to life the hopes and dreams of generations of scientific explorers and people in search of a better night's sleep. We all have something to gain from reading Sleepyhead.'

Julie Flygare, author of Wide Awake and Dreaming: A Memoir of Narcolepsy 

'Henry Nicholls is one of my favourite science writers and this may be his best book yet. He effortlessly weaves his very personal experiences of living with narcolepsy with the history of sleep science (which reads like a great detective story) to create a gripping journey into the mysteries of sleep. Revelatory.'

Lucy Cooke, author of The Unexpected Truth About Animals 

'A master raconteur'

John Mathew, Historian of science 

'The most fascinating sleep book ever'

Sarah Franklin, author of Shelter 

'Sleepyhead is utterly engrossing, keeping me awake far past my bedtime. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written.'

Emma Byrne, author of Swearing is Good For You 

'Stimulating'

 Publishers Weekly

Henry Nicholls

Henry Nicholls

Henry Nicholls is a journalist, author and broadcaster,in evolutionary biology, conservation and history of science. He is the author of The Way of the Panda (9781846683688). His first book Lonesome George was about the Galapagos Archipelago and global conservation.

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