In January of 1997, an otherwise nonviolent man under great stress at work brutally murdered his wife in their backyard. He then went back to bed, awakening only when police entered his home. He claimed to have no memory of the event because, while his body was awake at the time, his mind was not. He had been sleepwalking.
In The Twenty-four Hour Mind, sleep scientist Rosalind Cartwright brings together decades of research into the bizarre sleep disorders known as parasomnias to propose a new theory of how the human mind works consistently throughout waking and sleeping hours. Thanks to increasingly sophisticated EEG and brain imaging technologies, we now know that our minds do not simply "turn off" during sleep. Rather, they continue to be active, and research has indicated that one of the primary purposes of sleep is to aid in regulating emotions and processing experiences that occur during preceding waking hours. As such, when sleep is neurologically or genetically impaired or just too short, the processes that good sleep facilitates--those that usually have a positive effect on our mood and performance--can short circuit, with negative results that occasionally reach tragic proportions. Examining the interactions between conscious and unconscious forms of thinking as they proceed throughout the cycles of sleeping, dreaming, and waking, Cartwright demystifies the inner workings of the human mind that trigger sleep problems, how researchers are working to control them, and how they can apply what they learn to further our understanding of the brain. Along the way, she provides a lively account of the history of sleep research and the birth of sleep medicine that will initiate readers into this fascinating field of inquiry and the far-reaching implications it will have on the future of neuroscience. The Twenty-four Hour Mind offers a unique look at a relatively new area of study that will be of interest to those with and without sleep problems, as well as anyone captivated by the mysteries of the brain--and what sleep continues to teach us about the waking mind.
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Rosalind D. Cartwright is Professor Emeritus of Rush University Medical Center's Graduate College Neuroscience Division, and was chair of the College's Department of Behavioral Sciences until 2008. In 1978 she founded the first Sleep Disorder Service and Research Center to be accredited in the state of Illinois. She is the author of numerous journal articles and several books, and has served as an expert witness in sleep-related criminal cases, including one murder trial.
"Professor Rosalind Cartwright is a true pioneer of sleep research. She was there in the field's formative years and her particular interest in the function and meaning of dreams is reflected in a record of high-quality scientific publications spanning more than four decades. In The Twenty-four HourMind, Cartwright describes both her research as well as that of many other sleep scientists in an exciting, eminently readable and thought provoking narrative. She examines numerous important and intriguing topics, including insomnia, depression, sleep walking, forensic sleep medicine and the role of dreams in human consciousness. In her Introduction, Cartwright writes, 'Come Along. I promise it will be an interesting ride.' The Twenty-four Hour Mind is a promise well kept!"--Michael V. Vitiello, University of Washington, Seattle, and Past President, Sleep Research Society "Rosalind Cartwright has been a leader among psychologists and psychiatrists trying to tease out the purpose of thoughts and images of dreams. Her excellence as a scientist and clinician has earned her the title of Queen of Dreams. Her book takes us across a panorama of laboratory studies and clinical areas. In a reader friendly fashion, she ranges from REM deprivation and dream categorizing studies to the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia, the role of depression in sleep, and the exotica of sleep walking and REM state aggression."--Wilse B. Webb, Department of Psychology, University of Florida "Cartwright's accounts of the earliest and most contemporary laboratory tests of the sleeping and dreaming mind are informative and absorbing; she has a personal, informal style that treats the reader to insights on the unfolding nature of experimental methods and of working with patients. Her descriptions of patients, perpetrators, and her participation as a witness for the defense are spellbinding. In the end, Cartwright entwines the threads of this narrative into a tapestry explaini
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