PLEDGE NOW
Science Of Sleep

The science and mystery of sleep and dreams. It’s becoming more clear.

Sleeping on the subway. (MattHurst/Flickr)

Sleeping on the subway. (MattHurst/Flickr)

There’s something about contemporary life that can lean against sleep. Our screens are always on, or could be. The world is always awake somewhere. And if you’re nodding off at noon, there’s a shelf full of “five hour energy” at every checkout.

And yet, we need sleep. It’s a continent of its own. Sometimes blissful. Sometimes a wreck of insomnia, sleep apnea, sleepwalking, wild dreams.

My guest today started out sleepwalking, and dug in to find all the latest in the science of sleep. Including, is it murder if you’re sleepwalking when you do it?

This hour, On Point: the science and mystery of sleep.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David K. Randall, senior reporter at Reuters and an adjunct professor at New York University. His new book is, “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep.”

Rosalind Cartwright, professor emerita at the Rush University Medical Center and professor of neuroscience at Rush University.

From Tom’s Reading List:

Salon “The opening scene of Marcel Proust’s “Swann’s Way” is one of the most famously difficult to get through in literature. That’s not because of its style, which is sublime, but because it describes the experience of falling asleep. Many susceptible readers nod off the first few times they attempt it. All writing about sleep has this problem; of the fundamental human appetites, it’s the least exciting.”

The Daily Beast “It was the oops that ended a presidential campaign. After struggling for almost a minute in a November debate to come up with the third federal agency he’d eliminate should he win the Oval Office, Texas Gov. Rick Perry finally admitted he couldn’t remember. While his campaign quickly tried to limit the damage, there had been earlier signs that Gov. Perry was in trouble that had little to do with his campaign war chest, his policies, or his personal charisma. Instead, they had everything to do with his pillow.”

Wall Street Journal “A growing number of Americans don’t get enough sleep, thanks to higher stress and other factors. David K. Randall, author of “Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep,” talks about the problem and some steps to improve sleep.”

Excerpt: Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep

Playlist

“Enter Sandman” by Metallica

“Sleep” by The Dandy Warhols

“Tossin’ & Turnin'” by Bobby Lewis

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 8, 2016
Sign stands outside property for rent Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in south Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If it feels like rents are sky-high, you’re right. Some now paying more than half their income on rent. Some say crisis. We’ll dig in.

Feb 8, 2016
Legendary film critic  Roger Ebert in an archival image from his early days at the Chicago Sun-Times. (Flickr / WikiCommons)

The critic speaks. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott on how to think about art, pleasure, beauty and truth.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

 
Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 5, 2016
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Spread the word — we FINALLY have both a new website (in beta) and a new newsletter. Sign up, visit and see what’s happening in the On Point digital universe.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #3: Jeb Bush — Cry for Me, America!
Thursday, Feb 4, 2016

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) asked a New Hampshire audience to clap for him — and our own Jack Beatty was there to hear it.

More »
Comment