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Mapping the Darkness: The Visionary Scientists Who Unlocked the Mysteries of Sleep (Hardback)Kenneth Miller (author)
‘Fascinating, magisterially researched, and brilliantly written.’ Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes
Thirty-two days underground. No heat. No sunlight.
4 June 1938. Nathaniel Kleitman and his research student make their way down the seventy-one steps leading to the mouth of Mammoth Cave. They are about to embark on one of the most intrepid and bizarre experiments in medical history, one which will change our understanding of sleep forever. Undisturbed by natural light, they will investigate what happens when you overturn one of the fundamental rhythms of the human body. Together, they enter the darkness.
When Kleitman first arrived in New York, a penniless twenty-year-old refugee, few would have guessed that in just a few decades he would revolutionise the field of sleep science. In Mapping the Darkness, Kenneth Miller weaves science and history to tell the story of the outsider scientists who took sleep science from the fringes to a mainstream obsession. Reliving the spectacular experiments, technological innovation, imaginative leaps and single-minded commitment of these early pioneers, Miller provides a tantalising glimpse into the most mysterious third of our lives.
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 30 mm
‘A propulsive, utterly engrossing history.’ —New York Times
‘By profiling the daring pioneers of sleep science, this fascinating, magisterially researched, and brilliantly written book pulls back the covers on one of the great mysteries of being human: why we spend a full third of our lives engaged in an activity that scientists are only beginning to understand. You'll never think about something you do every night the same way again.’ —Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes
‘A sweeping journey of discovery about dreams, sleep and the terra incognita of unconsciousness; and a wake-up call about the dangers of chronic exhaustion.’ —Wall Street Journal
‘A new book from Kenneth Miller, a science journalist, sets out to chronicle the field’s short but fascinating history… It roams from the discovery of rapid-eye-movement (rem) sleep and circadian rhythms – the biological clocks that govern humanity’s days – to the effects of sleep deprivation (which can be fatal, at least in lab animals). It also probes the purpose, if any, of dreams… Mr Miller has a good eye for a great scientific story… The author is happy to show research as it is really done, indignities and all… For anyone curious about asking the right questions [about the mysteries of sleep], Mr Miller’s book is a good place to start.’ —Economist
‘Is there anyone who hasn't—somewhere in the middle of a lost night—pondered the stubborn mystery of sleep? You'll find some of the best answers to that riddle here in Mapping the Darkness: an addictively readable history of the scientists who changed our thinking about the nature and necessity of rest itself.’
‘Combining the best of science writing and biography, Kenneth Miller spins a gripping story of how we have come to understand sleep from its basic biology to its impact on personal and public health.’
‘Thoroughly researched and admirably rendered, Mapping the Darkness is a must-read for anyone who has thought about sleep or the lack thereof.’
‘In Mapping the Darkness, Kenneth Miller reveals the captivating story of how a quartet of scientists invented sleep science and set the stage for today’s revolt against the epidemic of sleep deprivation… Don’t start reading this book right before bed, or you will be so engrossed you may stay up all night.’
‘Eye-opening… The biographical background humanises the scientific history, and Miller excels at drawing out the real-world implications of the research… Readers will have no problem staying alert through this fascinating scientific history.’
‘An interesting examination of an issue that affects us all. Miller shows us how a good night’s sleep came to be recognized as critical for health and development.’
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