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Snooze takes readers on a journey through the knowledge of the great Western thinkers, their fascinations and views on sleep, wakefulness and dreams.

From bestselling author Michael McGirr comes Snooze, a revised edition of the entertaining and enlightening The Lost Art of Sleep (2009).

Michael always had trouble sleeping, but the arrival of twins made him realise he’d never known true exhaustion. While he celebrated these small children who brought him so much joy, he also found himself desperately searching for a few extra winks a night.

In Snooze, McGirr delves into the mysterious world of sleep: its many benefits, its stubborn elusiveness and what our brains get up to while we’re in bed. He takes readers on a tour through the odd sleep patterns of some of history’s greatest figures, including Plato and Homer, Shakespeare and Dickens, Florence Nightingale (who slept a great deal) and Thomas Edison (who hardly slept at all).

He looks at the demise of sleep in our ever more fragmented world, and what that means for everyone from average sleepers to those with serious sleep disorders. And he describes his own family’s quest to master the ancient art of getting a decent kip.

A profound and humorous exploration of the precious resource of sleep—and the causes and consequences of getting too little of it - Snooze is the perfect book for sleepless nights.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 19, 2017


    256 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Michael McGirr

Things You Get For Free: updated edition


The Better Angels Of Our Nature
Keeping Women in Science
The Knowledge Wars
Cracking the Code
The Joy Of Physics
The Geek Manifesto
Self Comes to Mind
Stripping Down Science
The Sleepyhead's Bedside Companion
The Genesis Enigma
Sex, Science And Profits
Too Far From Home
Programming The Universe
Religion Explained
Alas Poor Darwin
Food Of The Gods
Survival Of The Fittest