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The neuroscience of sleep and dreams

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’This book is an introduction to sleep and dreams but because of the learning objectives, review questions and further reading lists, it would also be useful to students and researchers at various stages on their careers.’

Title: The Neuroscience of Sleep and Dreams

Author: Patrick McNamara

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Reviewer: Carol Singleton, Queen’s Nurse

What was it like?

This book provides an interesting introduction to the neuroscience of sleep and dreams, divided into two main sections, firstly sleep is explored from how it changes across the human lifespan, to the characteristics of REM and NREM sleep, discussing what it is and lastly looking at sleep disorders. The second section starts by describing what dreams are and continues to explore the same areas as described in the sleep section with the addition of dream varieties and theories of dreaming.

What were the highlights?

I found the chapter on dream varieties the most interesting, it is the longest chapter too and includes the characteristics of the wide variety of dream types reported by people.

Strengths & weaknesses:

There is an appendix of “Methods” at the back of the book, which describes a variety of methods that could be used to study dreams and sleep, including the use of sleep logs/ diaries, and interestingly six Big Data resources on sleep and dreams are provided with details on how they can be accessed and used.

Each chapter has a list of learning objectives on the first page before the introduction describing what will be covered in the chapter and at the end there are review questions and a list of further reading including both articles and books.

The references are list in alphabetical order in one list at the back of the book making them easy to find but personally I prefer to see the references within the chapter they are referred to.

Who should read it?

This book is an introduction to sleep and dreams but because of the learning objectives, review questions and further reading lists, it would also be useful to students and researchers at various stages on their careers.

the neuroscience of sleep and dreams cover

the neuroscience of sleep and dreams cover

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