In this examination of the facts and folklore of sleep, Stanley Coren provides evidence that we are becoming an increasingly sleep-deprived society, and that this condition is seriously affecting our work, posing a danger to ourselves and to others. He argues that the "Exxon Valdez" oil spill and the space-shuttle "Challenger" disaster were associated with people suffering from sleep deprivation. He also looks at some of the more subtle and insidious effects of sleep loss on our physical and mental health. Coren asks questions such as: do fish sleep?; are there really "morning" and "night" people?; do some people really only need four hours' sleep a night? There are stories about sleep oddities, such as people who commit murder in their sleep, and descriptions of strange sleep disorders that affect a large number of people and might even be involved in unexplained infant deaths. Finally, the book describes specific techniques to improve the quality and efficiency of your own sleep.
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