- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (March 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465061958
- ISBN-13: 978-0465061952
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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"[Wild Nights] is a new cultural and anthropological examination of sleep through the ages.... Sleep remains a universal experience, but it's lived seven billion different ways. One finishes Wild Nights with the feeling that our modern-day anxieties about sleep are the symptom of another, more complicated disease."―Jacob Silverman, New Republic
"Sleep is a culturally fluid phenomenon, reveals Benjamin Reiss in this marvelous scientific and literary study."―Nature
"Get a solid eight hours in, no electronic screens in bed, wake up at the same time every morning, yeah, yeah. We modern fold have it all figured out, don't we? Maybe not, says Reiss, as he explores how getting a good night's sleep evolved and why it varies from one culture and era to the next."―Gemma Tarlach, Discover
"In his book on the mysteries of human sleep, [Reiss] looks for guidance to the latest scientific studies, yes, but he also ventures beyond the realm of the scientific, including insights from history and literature."―Science of Us
"[Wild Nights is] a great, collective blend of scientific, historical, and literary works that is as well-written and enjoyable as it is provocative and informative.... Undoubtedly, this book is an important contribution for everyone who sleeps, scientists and other citizens alike."―Sleep Health Journal
"[Wild Nights] is a captivating examination and Reiss gives readers much to ponder long into the night."―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[Wild Nights is] a thorough probing into why sleep is such a problem for so many in contemporary society.... A fresh approach to a familiar phenomenon."―
"Reiss's interdisciplinary approach to the topic offers varied perspectives, compelling anecdotes, and a well-researched bibliography for readers interested in learning more about the global state of sleep affairs."―Library Journal
About the Author
Benjamin Reiss is a professor of English at Emory University. The author of The Showman and the Slave and Theaters of Madness, and the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, he lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Interesting to a point, well written. Some interesting perspectives, long winded at times. Comes across as somewhat academic which is not surprising as the author is an academician, but with a bit of a sense of humor.
There are 56 pages of notes and citations in case you want to check anything out.
I can't fault the research and thoroughness, but am looking at this book as a consumer of popular non fiction.
The point that keeps arising is that sleeping on a schedule, in a quiet dark place, with some degree of privacy is somewhat of a modern, western concept as is, I suppose, eating three meals a day and bathing regularly. (and getting the kids to bed)
Henry David Thoreau keeps popping up throughout the book. Apparently he was an insomniac, and wandering around Walden Pond may or may not have helped, we can't be sure, but listening to the crickets was nice.
This book doesn't really give much advice on how to sleep better, but I'm pretty sure it won't include sharing my bed with several of my fellow tribesmen who just want to make sure I'm not lonely.