Book 102: The Secret Life of Sleep by Kat Duff

The Secret Life of Sleep by Kat Duff

Finished reading on January 23rd, 2014

Rating: 7/10

Sleep is something that I’ve always had strange feelings for, so reading this book was in some ways a reminder and an eyeopener about one of the activities that takes up a lot of our time in life.

This book covers almost all aspects of sleep, but only almost.

It starts naturally enough with falling asleep and staying sleep and waking up. So in a way it was quite interesting to read about how for example people are trying to reduce the time spent in a state that’s somewhere between being awake and being asleep – the drowsiness or sleepiness – a time when you either don’t want to really wake up, or just can’t fall asleep. For example sleeping pills to make you fall asleep (but apparently don’t really make you sleep much longer, only about 12 minutes – seriously who’d pay for sleeping 12 more minutes? Apparently a lot of people, but the main point is the falling asleep faster part…) And coffee – helping to get rid of the drowsiness and make you happier…for a while.

I’ve been cutting back on coffee for a few months, and I actually feel it’s easier to wake up and fall asleep without having coffee…

And then you can read about dreaming – what’s it for anyway. It’s suggested in this book that dreaming has a learning or practicing function – you can practice how to act in different situations or dangers, without hurting yourself, but if it would really happen to you in real life, you’d be able to act faster, as your unconscious has been in a situation like that before – that was something new, that I hadn’t read about before. It was quite interesting.

Actually there were several curious things in the book – for example how the sleeping arrangements of a person when they’re a baby influence their personality. It made me feel sad for all the people who sleep alone at night…

Overall I think it was a really interesting book for most parts, but it did make me sleepy in others (though reading about sleeping should have that effect)

I’d recommend reading it, as you’ll find out a lot about those hours spent asleep – what’s really going on.

Ofcourse since everyone (mostly) is familiar with sleep, then I spent a lot of time thinking about how I sleep or whether I remember my dreams or get drowsy in the evening or don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, and about how sometimes you can’t really remember what day it is and where you are and what you’re supposed to be doing when you wake up at a strange time – I always feel kind of lost, when I take an afternoon nap and wake up a little later – it feels as if life is different in a way and I’ve missed something and I’d feel totally lost.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.

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