Does the firmness of your mattress make a difference in getting a good night’s sleep?  With a conversational tone that draws on scientific inquiry, David Randall, a sleepwalking journalism professor describes his own “Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep” in Dreamland.

Prompted by his own middle of the night excursions, Randall searched for the solution to the perfect night of rest through thirteen chapters of history, experiments, and advice that includes anecdotes ranging from the influence of medieval gates to Edison’s light bulb. Randall addresses sleep apnea, sleepwalking, insomnia, getting infants to sleep, sharing a bed, interpreting dreams, and the problems of sleep deprivation, and jet lag – with suggestions for each.

“Health, sex, relationships, creativity, memories—all of these things that make us who we are depend on the hours we spend each night with our heads on the pillow.”

An enjoyable, informational journey, Dreamland is an easy-to-read examination of sleep’s mysteries that will not put you to sleep but might be a good pick to get you into the mood before bedtime.  The last chapters end with a few suggestions from “Mr. Sandman,”  that you may already know:

  • dim the lights a half hour before bedtime
  • forego electronic blue lights before heading to bed (no TV or computers/tablets)
  • no caffeine late in the afternoon
  • keep the room dark and cool (or sleep without pj’s and with eye shades)

Randall found that “What people think is more important than what they do.”  Shut down your brain and the mattress won’t matter (unless you think it does).  I favor a nice cool pillow.

2 thoughts on “Dreamland

  1. I’ve never been a good sleeper. I like to sleep but go through periods of insomnia and trouble staying away. I’m in one of those spells right now so I should probably take a look at this. I break a lot of sleep rules already!

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