Sleepyhead explores what sleep disorders have taught us about sleep, both bad and good. In my 20s, I developed narcolepsy, a disabling condition marked by uncontrollable lapses into sleep during the daytime but also boasting a host of other symptoms that offer real connections to other common sleep disorders.
Narcolepsy affects some 3 million people around the world and is the perfect vantage point from which to survey the neuroscience behind circadian sleep disorders, sleep apnea, parasomnias like sleep walking and sleep sex, chronic insomnia, restless legs syndrome and sleep deprivation. This work is an affirmation of the importance of good sleep and offers evidence-based advice on how to avoid the devastation that results when sleep goes wrong.
Nicholls is an amusing and perceptive host, leading us on a journey from Dionysius to Dante, Dickens to didgeridoos, as we discover just what our minds get up to when we’re asleep.Gaia Vince, author of Adventures in the Anthropocene
Henry Nicholls effortlessly weaves his very personal experences of living with narcolepsy with the history of sleep science (which reads like a great detective story) to create a gripping journey into the mysteries of sleep. Revelatory. His best book yet.Lucy Cooke, author of The Unexpected Truth About Animals
Sleepyhead is utterly engrossing, keeping me awake far past my bedtime. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written.Emma Byrne, author of Swearing is Good For You
A fantastic meander through the science and personal experience of narcolepsy – fascinating.Dr Guy Leschziner
The most fascinating sleep book everSarah Franklin, author of Shelter
Expertly weaves anecdote and scienceTom Whipple, The Times
Nicholls’ passion for his subject and sense of humour are always evidentPaul Chambers, The Times Literary Supplement
The most in-depth and accessible insight into narcolepsy that I’ve come acrossDan Collins, Fresh Tracks
[Nicholls] has the skill, rare among scientists, of explaining science in a clear and appealing manner. His writing is easygoing yet informative, and will be accessible to any reader with an interestFintan Enright, Irish Examiner