It turns out there’re people out there that are even more obsessed with sleep than I am. And it’s no wonder that Michael McGirr got interested in this topic – he had twins!
The book is a fascinating read. The author has gone to great lengths to extract any mention of sleep during human history… well, probably not quite, but pretty close. He explored the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome through the prism of their relationship to sleep, looked at sleep in the works of Shakespeare, examined what philosophers had to say about it, went deep into the biographies of famous non-sleepers like Thomas Edison and Margaret Thatcher to get to present day sleep worries like apnea, too much caffeine and addiction to screens (all that in a very entertaining and non-linear way).
I’d never realised that The Odyssey was a tale about getting home to bed, but the author’s point of view about it made perfect sense. And did you know that there were over 200 references to sleep in Shakespeare’s work (probably because he and his wife also had twins)? Or that Florence Nightingale invented the pie chart? There are tons of interesting facts in the book, leading to unexpected conclusions. Add some funny personal stories and you’ve got a great mix!
Linking to Inspire Me Monday.