One in four adults sleeps badly. Sleeping pill prescriptions have increased dramatically over the last three decades, as have the incidence of sleep clinics. Once considered a natural state, sleep is increasingly an insecure commodity.
But is this crisis really so new? Our troubled relationship to sleep - as individuals and as a society - surfaces and resurfaces throughout history, each time telling us something new about collective psychology, social patterns, and the human condition.
Here Darian Leader delves into the history and pathology of sleep. From the industrial revolution to blue-light on our phones, he explores the shifting norms and expectations, the interplay of sleep and dreams, the cultural and commercial imperatives underlying this universal human experience.