A fascinating and partly mysterious phenomenon without which existence would be impossible, sleep governs our quality of life, our mood, our efficiency during the day. Wakefulness can cause discomfort and serious disorders. A great scientist and pioneer in using sleep as a fertile terrain for clinical and neurological research, and one of the major international experts in sleep studies, here describes one of the most important areas of medicine. After offering a brief overview of human slumber from ancient to modern times, the author explains why we sleep and what exactly goes on in our brains when we do. He also illustrates the various stages of sleep, the different kinds of insomnia and other sleep disorders, and the corresponding therapies and remedies.
Elio Lugaresi is professor emeritus of Neurology at the University of Bologna and honorary president of the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine. He was recently awarded the prestigious Interbriew-Baillet Latour de la Santé for his contributions to sleep medicine.