Night Terrors: Troubled Sleep and the Stories We Tell About It by Alice Vernon


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A history of dreaming – and the darkest parts of our sleeping lives. Ever since she was a child, Alice Vernon has slept strangely. From episodes of sleepwalking to hallucinations of sinister figures in her bedroom, her nights are often eventful and sometimes frightening. She’s not the only one. Drawing on scientific, historical and literary sources, as well as her own experiences, sleep historian Vernon explores the history of our relationship with bad dreams: how we’ve tried to make sense of and treat them, from some decidedly strange ‘cures’, like peacock’s dung and magical mare stones, to research on how video games might help people rewrite their dreams. Along the way we explore the Salem Witch Trials and sleep paralysis, Victorian ghost stories, and soldiers’ experiences of PTSD.

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