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Why We Dream: The Science, Creativity and Transformative Power of Dreams

Alice Robb



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28 January 2020
Sleep & dreams; Mathematics & Sciences; Popular science; Popular psychology; Dreams & their interpretation
We all dream, and 98 per cent of us can recall our dreams the next morning. Even in today's modern age, it is human nature to wonder what they mean.

Now, groundbreaking science is putting dreams at the forefront of new research into sleep, memory, the concept of self and human socialization. Once a subject of the New Age and spiritualism, the science of dreams is revealed to have a crucial role in the biology and neuroscience of our waking lives.

In Why We Dream, Alice Robb, a leading American science journalist, will take readers on a journey to uncover why we dream, why dreaming matters, and how we can improve our dream life - and why we should. Through her encounters with scientists at the cutting edge of dream research, she reveals how:

- Dreams can be powerful tools to help us process the pain of a relationship break-up, the grief of losing a loved one and the trauma after a dramatic event - Nightmares may be our body's warning system for physical and mental illness (including cancer, depression and Alzheimer's) - Athletes can improve their performance by dreaming about competing - Drug addicts who dream about drug-taking can dramatically speed up their recovery from addiction.

Robb also uncovers the fascinating science behind lucid dreaming - when we enter a dream state with control over our actions, creating a limitless playground for our fantasies. And as one of only 10 per cent of people with the ability to lucid-dream, she is uniquely placed to teach us how to do it ourselves.

With incredible new discoveries and stunning science, Why We Dream will give you dramatic insight into yourself and your body. You'll never think of dreams in the same way again.
By:   Alice Robb
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   210g
ISBN:   9781509836277
ISBN 10:   1509836276
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   28 January 2020
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction - i: INTRODUCTION Chapter - 1: How We Forgot About Dreams Chapter - 2: The Vanguard Chapter - 3: Dreams Enter the Lab Chapter - 4: The Renaissance of Sleep Research Chapter - 5: Problem-Solving Chapter - 6: Preparation for Life Chapter - 7: Nightmares Chapter - 8: Diagnosis Chapter - 9: Dream Groups Chapter - 10: Control Chapter - 11: My Night Life Section - ii: Acknowledgments Section - iii: Notes Index - iv: Index

Alice Robb is a writer in Brooklyn. She has contributed to The New York Times, New Statesman, Elle, The Washington Post, and the New Republic, where she was a staff writer. Before that, she studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford. In her book, Why We Dream, Alice looks at the science and power of dreams.

Reviews for Why We Dream: The Science, Creativity and Transformative Power of Dreams

Alice Robb's Why We Dream was for me a gentle and affecting invitation to reconsider a seemingly boring daily routine. ....the nightly journey idea makes getting into bed feel like preparing for an adventure. Robb's encouragement to think of dreams as rehearsals for waking hopes and fears has also been especially eye-opening. * The Cut * After reading this gripping and deeply researched book, you'll never again be tempted to dismiss the surreal narratives of our nighttime lives as trivial or meaningless. Blending centuries of cultural history with cutting-edge science, Alice Robb makes a compelling case for dreams-as sources of wisdom and creativity, as a vital ingredient in psychological health, and as a portal to the strange and fascinating worlds lurking within yourself and everyone you know. -- Oliver Burkeman, Guardian columnist and author of <i>The Antidote</i> Who knew that the netherworld of sleep contained such psychological depths and biological purposes? A thrilling account of the wayward history of dream research, Why We Dream opens a door into the creative life of dreaming, ensuring that you will never fall asleep again without a sense of the vision-filled journey ahead. -- Daphne Merkin, critic, novelist, and author of <i>This Close to Happy</i> Why We Dream is an illuminating, surprising, often astounding look at the purpose and power of dreams. I hadn't even finished by the time I was convinced to start my own dream journal. This is a beautiful work of science writing that will change the way you think of your own nightly voyage. -- David Epstein, best-selling author of <i>The Sports Gene</i> For anyone who's ever kept a dream journal or fixated on the idea of lucid dreaming, a thorough exploration of the mysterious nightly phenomenon from a scientific point of view. * Elle * Why We Dream is a spirited, cogent defense of dreams and dream-telling...We may not know why dreams 'traffic in garbled metaphor and disjointed imagery,' but by learning to decode them, we can learn to decode ourselves... All we need to do, Robb wants us to know, is pay attention. * NPR * Why We Dream is a spirited rebuke to the idea of sleep as a mere parting with consciousness. In exploring the pleasures and uses of dreams, [Alice Robb] seeks to persuade us that sleep is not just the off to waking's on but another realm of being, a second consciousness, rich in adventure and wisdom... In celebrating dreams as poetic artifacts, Robb offers a welcome antidote to the medicine administered by most sleep gurus. * New Yorker * In a book that looks at the historical and social importance of dreams, and analyzes the latest science, Robb attempts to correct our misguided forsaking of this feature of our unconscious. Dreams don't make for boring conversation, Robb argues in this persuasive, personable book. * Vogue *

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