Wild nights: how taming sleep created our restless world

By Benjamin Reiss

Wild nights: how taming sleep created our restless world by Benjamin Reiss
Added December 5, 2018

Why the modern world forgot how to sleep. Why is sleep frustrating for so many people? While human history presents a vast diversity of sleeping styles, today we define a good night's sleep very narrowly: eight hours in one shot, sealed off in private bedrooms, children apart from parents. These sleeping rules have become ingrained in our culture over the past two hundred years, yet few seem able to live by them. For the world's poor, modern sleep is full of financial and physical risk, and even the well-off require drugs and gadgets to regulate waking and sleeping. Taming sleep is big business, but it has come at enormous cost to our well-being. In Wild Nights, Benjamin Reiss draws on centuries of literary, medical, and scientific writings to show how ordinary lives were upended as sleep became modern. In so doing, he offers hope to weary readers: as sleep was transformed once before, so too can it change today. –Summary provided by the publisher

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