The powerHouse Arena invites you to
a reading & discussion for
Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep
Thursday, September 6, 7–9 PM
The powerHouse Arena · 37 Main Street (corner of Water & Main St.) · DUMBO, Brooklyn
For more information, please call 718.666.3049
RSVP appreciated: rsvp@powerHouseArena.com
Journalist David K. Randall discusses Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, his excursion through the bizarre world of sleep science.
One night, journalist David K. Randall awoke to find himself in the hallway near his bedroom, clutching his leg "like a wounded bear." While it was the first time he had sleepwalked, he had long been plagued by certain sleeping conditions. As a child, he would unnerve both his parents and friends by falling asleep with his eyes wide open. In college, Randall’s roommates would wake up to find him sitting upright in his bed yelling nonsense at the top of his lungs. Later in life, Randall’s wife would be forced to wear earplugs in order to sleep through a nightly performance of "talking, singing, laughing, humming, giggling, grunting, bouncing, and kicking."
We spend nearly a third of our lives asleep, but most of us have only the faintest idea of how it affects us. We’re not alone. One out of every seven Americans has a long–term sleep disorder. Another twenty million are thought to suffer from short–term insomnia at any time, and there are more than seventy–five recognized sleep disorders. Sleep, it turns out, is the dirty little secret of science. Despite the fact that every animal does it, scientists still don’t know why, exactly, we need to sleep in the first place. In fact, when Randall went to seek help from sleep therapists, even they told him that they didn’t know what was going on or how it could be stopped. With more questions than answers, Randall began his adventure into the strangest of biological phenomena. The result is DREAMLAND: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, a sweeping tour of the often odd, sometimes disturbing, and always fascinating things that happen in the peculiar world of sleep.
In Dreamland, readers meet a range of people experimenting with and learning about sleep: the Harvard professor who uses video games to investigate what role dreams play in learning a new skill; the Olympic trainer who tweaks athletes’ sleep cycles in an attempt to break world records; the high-ranking military doctor with a plan to improve soldiers’ sleep so that they make better decisions. Taking readers from corporate boardrooms to bedrooms, Dreamland answers questions about sleep that aren’t as simple as they seem. Do women sleep differently than men? Why is it so hard for new parents to get their kids to sleep? And if you kill someone while sleepwalking, is that considered murder?
Showing its implications for everything from what we remember to how we raise our children, to how we learn and how productive we are at work, Randall brilliantly combines practical advice from experts with analysis and insights into dreaming, parenting, sports, sex, and psychology. The result is a groundbreaking book that will appeal to any fan of Mary Roach, Oliver Sacks, or Tom Vanderbilt.
Indeed sleep, the overlooked third of life, affects us in important ways that we are only now beginning to understand. This is the first book to fully illustrate how sleep impacts our daily lives in surprising and sometimes shocking ways. From dream studies to sleep apnea machines, Dreamland not only has something for everyone but also conclusively demonstrates that Aldous Huxley was correct when he famously wrote, "That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep."
About the Author:
David K. Randall received his BA from the University of California, Riverside, and his MA in journalism at New York University. He is currently a senior reporter at Reuters and was previously a business reporter at the Associated Press. He has written for Forbes, the New York Times, and New York. He is also an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.