Sean Coughlan

The Sleepyhead's Bedside Companion
  • The Sleepyhead's Bedside Companion

  • This is a quirky, amusing, information-packed book for all lovers of sleep. It's a celebration of nature's greatest free gift, the perfect companion for the bedside table. It's the book to curl up with before falling asleep.

    It looks at the history, culture, folklore, language and science of sleep. Did you know that the siesta was once a British tradition? Why do we say 'sleep like a top'? Does counting sheep work? What are the very best sleeps? Who invented pyjamas? If dogs sleep so much, why are they always yawning? What are the best films about sleep? Do today's children have less sleep than Edwardian children? Does booze help or hinder sleep?

    Not only is sleep a great natural pleasure, it's also essential to good health. The book examines how a lack of sleep is increasingly seen as a health risk.

    Sleep is also the place of dreams and nightmares. Why are so many dreams the same and what are the archetypal recurring dreams? What is the origin of the word 'nightmare'? And what do Bugs Bunny, the surrealists and Freud have to do with dreaming?

    Sleep is there to be enjoyed. It's not worth getting into bed for anything else.

Sean Coughlan is a journalist, author and frustrated sleep enthusiast. He writes news and features for the BBC. For six years, he wrote a weekly funny column about money for the Guardian. He is 45 years old, born in Portsmouth and lives in London. He has three young daughters. Hence the interest in sleep.