The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep

The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep

by Guy Leschziner


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A renowned neurologist shares the true stories of people unable to get a good night’s rest in The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep, a fascinating exploration of the symptoms and syndromes behind sleep disorders.

For Dr. Guy Leschziner’s patients, there is no rest for the weary in mind and body. Insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors, apnea, and sleepwalking are just a sampling of conditions afflicting sufferers who cannot sleep—and their experiences in trying are the stuff of nightmares. Demoniac hallucinations frighten people into paralysis. Restless legs rock both the sleepless and their sleeping partners with unpredictable and uncontrollable kicking. Out-of-sync circadian rhythms confuse the natural body clock’s days and nights.

Then there are the extreme cases. A woman in a state of deep sleep who gets dressed, unlocks her car, and drives for several miles before returning to bed. The man who has spent decades cleaning out kitchens while “sleep-eating.” The teenager prone to the serious, yet unfortunately nicknamed Sleeping Beauty Syndrome stuck in a cycle of excessive unconsciousness, binge eating, and uncharacteristic displays of aggression and hypersexuality while awake.

With compassionate stories of his patients and their conditions, Dr. Leschziner illustrates the neuroscience behind our sleeping minds, revealing the many biological and psychological factors necessary in getting the rest that will not only maintain our physical and mental health, but improve our cognitive abilities and overall happiness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250202703
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/23/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 42,287
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Dr. Guy Leschziner is a consultant neurologist and sleep physician, and am clinical lead for one of the largest sleep services in Europe, based at Guy’s Hospital in Central London. He sees patients with a range of sleep disorders, including narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnoea and nocturnal epilepsy and is actively involved in research and teaching. He has also presented on the radio and have worked in television, all related to sleep.

Table of Contents

1 Greenwich Mean Time

2 I n the Still of the Night

3 Disney Was Right

4 Rumblings

5 The Sleep-Talking Bus Driver

6 Weak With Laughter

7 Buzzing Bees

8 Seized by the Throat

9 Floating Eyeballs

10 Jekyll and Hyde

11 The Waking Effects of Coffee

12 A Peculiar Fairytale

13 Inception

Epilogue: Some General Thoughts on Sleep

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The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Chad Guarino 8 months ago
Dr. Guy Leschziner invites readers to witness some of the most extreme sleep cases he's handled in his career as a neurologist in The Nocturnal Brain. Written in a personable but science based vein akin to The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat (which is referenced early on as an inspiration), Dr. Leschziner's cases truly make you realize that no matter how awful you may feel after a rough night, there are people out there living with far more chronic, life altering conditions. The fourteen case studies in this book typically all follow the same pattern: Dr Leschziner will introduce the sufferer, detail their malady, and then delve deeper into the brain functions, symptoms, and causes associated with their particular condition. Often, sections will be wrapped up with the treatment plan for the patient, which is often successful but in some worrying instances is not. A myriad of sleep disorders are covered, ,from restless legs to sleep eating, 25 hour circadian rhythms to "sexsomnia". Dr. Leschziner is clearly an expert in his field, but mentions multiple times throughout the book about the numerous times he's had to admit to himself and patients that there are things we "just don't know" about sleep and the brain. In these moments, he takes a step back from the clinical and shows his humanity; a man that truly cares about helping his patients. For me, this underlying current is what makes the book succeed. ***I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to St. Martin's Press.**