From the brilliant psychoanalyst behind Strictly Bipolar and What is Madness, a short and fascinating guide to the history of human sleep – and why we can’t seem to sleep any more
‘Persuasive, absorbing and refreshingly sane… [A] bracing and important intervention in the debate… Leader points the way to a richer and more humane understanding of our problems with sleep’ Guardian
One in four adults sleeps badly.
Sleeping pill prescriptions have increased dramatically over the last three decades, as have the incidence of sleep clinics.
Sleep used to be a natural state, easy as breathing, but increasingly it is an insecure commodity.
Our relationship to sleep surfaces and resurfaces throughout human history, each time telling us something new about our indivudual and collective psychology. From the industrial revolution to blue-light on our phones, from the ancient art of dream interpretation to the modern science of Freud, sleep is connected to wider social patterns, to shifting norms and expectations. Weaving together cultural, social, economic and psychoanalytic influences, Darian Leader delves into the truth about this universal human experience.