“Revealing and informative … Readers will find Leschziner’s stories fascinating, and might even pick up a few tips for getting a more restorative night’s sleep in the process.”


A fascinating book , The Nocturnal Brain by Dr Guy Leschziner is perfect for anyone curious to know more about one of the most mysterious of human activities – sleeping. Using examples and anecdotes from his clinical practice Dr. Leshziner first tries to explain the process and function of sleep, what happens to the brain and why sleep is so important for our overall physical and mental health.

While many of the cases he describes are almost unbelievable, such as a woman who rode her motorcycle in her sleep, or humorous like the young man who mistook his shoe for a phone to hold a sleeping conversation, the truth is that a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality is no laughing matter and can have very serious consequences, as some of his other case studies demonstrate only too clearly.

Over the course of the book, the author explains, as much as current scientific knowledge allows, a variety of sleep disorders from sleep apnoea to sleepwalking, night terrors , insomnia and even rare conditions such as Kleine- Levin syndrome, sometimes called the Sleeping Beauty disease, which can cause prolonged periods of sleeping in teens along with other symptoms.

His explanations are matter of fact and designed for the lay reader, and his warm almost conversational style makes for enjoyable and illuminating reading. Over the course of the book I developed a real sympathy for those who struggle to sleep for any prolonged period of time, having thankfully never had any problems myself in that department, I think I did not really realise the devastating impact it could have .

I would highly recommend this book, not just to anyone struggling with a sleep disorder but to anyone fascinated by the workings of that most fascinating of human organs, the brain.


Reviewed by:

Annette Jordan

Added 8th September 2019