Hot Best Seller

Sleep Demons: An Insomniac's Memoir

Availability: Ready to download

Bill Hayes grew up in a family in which the question "How'd you sleep?" was as much a staple at the breakfast table as orange juice or coffee, a question that encouraged genuine reflection and, as it turns out for the author, a legacy of life-shaping implications. If there's such a thing as an insomnia gene, he tells us at the outset of this beautifully written memoir, my Bill Hayes grew up in a family in which the question "How'd you sleep?" was as much a staple at the breakfast table as orange juice or coffee, a question that encouraged genuine reflection and, as it turns out for the author, a legacy of life-shaping implications. If there's such a thing as an insomnia gene, he tells us at the outset of this beautifully written memoir, my father passed it on to me, along with his green eyes and Irish melancholy. Bill Hayes' life as an insomniac is rooted in the wry trappings of irony: his father ran a Coca-Cola factory, of all things. I've often wondered if all that sugar and caffeine altered my neurochemical makeup. Moving seamlessly to and from his present vantage point in San Francisco, Hayes' narrative affords an intimate look at one man's singular journey through contemporary life -- from his sleep-disturbed childhood through his sleepwalking in adolescence to the height of his insomnia, when his partner struggles with AIDS and Hayes must face an increasingly troubling and debilitating sleep disorder. Along the way, armed with an infectious curiosity and an obsession with the mysteries of his personal demons, Hayes leads us on a fascinating exploration of disorders such as sleep-talking, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea and contends with all manner of theories and experimentation, from the conceptions of sleep in ancient mythology to today's state-of-the-art sleeping aids and clinics. As with desire, sleep resists pursuit. It must come find you. Nevertheless, I look for it. This powerful book is the result of Bill Hayes' lifelong search for sleep.


Compare

Bill Hayes grew up in a family in which the question "How'd you sleep?" was as much a staple at the breakfast table as orange juice or coffee, a question that encouraged genuine reflection and, as it turns out for the author, a legacy of life-shaping implications. If there's such a thing as an insomnia gene, he tells us at the outset of this beautifully written memoir, my Bill Hayes grew up in a family in which the question "How'd you sleep?" was as much a staple at the breakfast table as orange juice or coffee, a question that encouraged genuine reflection and, as it turns out for the author, a legacy of life-shaping implications. If there's such a thing as an insomnia gene, he tells us at the outset of this beautifully written memoir, my father passed it on to me, along with his green eyes and Irish melancholy. Bill Hayes' life as an insomniac is rooted in the wry trappings of irony: his father ran a Coca-Cola factory, of all things. I've often wondered if all that sugar and caffeine altered my neurochemical makeup. Moving seamlessly to and from his present vantage point in San Francisco, Hayes' narrative affords an intimate look at one man's singular journey through contemporary life -- from his sleep-disturbed childhood through his sleepwalking in adolescence to the height of his insomnia, when his partner struggles with AIDS and Hayes must face an increasingly troubling and debilitating sleep disorder. Along the way, armed with an infectious curiosity and an obsession with the mysteries of his personal demons, Hayes leads us on a fascinating exploration of disorders such as sleep-talking, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea and contends with all manner of theories and experimentation, from the conceptions of sleep in ancient mythology to today's state-of-the-art sleeping aids and clinics. As with desire, sleep resists pursuit. It must come find you. Nevertheless, I look for it. This powerful book is the result of Bill Hayes' lifelong search for sleep.

30 review for Sleep Demons: An Insomniac's Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Donald

    Recently there was a column in the NYTimes on insomnia. One of the authors had also written a book so I sought it out. It ends up that this is sort of a gay memoir by a guy who suffers from insomnia. As he is only a few years younger than I, I could relate to his memories of growing up and coming out. As I do most of my reading before falling asleep or at 3:00 a.m. when I have awakened with thoughts of work and cannot go back to sleep, it seemed apropos that I should be reading a book about inso Recently there was a column in the NYTimes on insomnia. One of the authors had also written a book so I sought it out. It ends up that this is sort of a gay memoir by a guy who suffers from insomnia. As he is only a few years younger than I, I could relate to his memories of growing up and coming out. As I do most of my reading before falling asleep or at 3:00 a.m. when I have awakened with thoughts of work and cannot go back to sleep, it seemed apropos that I should be reading a book about insomnia! It drags a bit toward the end, but it was an interesting read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Becky Loader

    Hayes' discourse on sleep is just as good as his discourse on blood. As a life-long insomniac, he wanted to find out all he could about sleep, and he did. I would love to talk to this man over coffee! Hayes' discourse on sleep is just as good as his discourse on blood. As a life-long insomniac, he wanted to find out all he could about sleep, and he did. I would love to talk to this man over coffee!

  3. 4 out of 5

    cosmo

    dnfing this sadly. I'll probably pick it up again in the future, but i went into this thinking the author would share a lot of his personal struggles with sleep, but it read more like a textbook with a bunch of facts about sleep and that wasn't what i was looking for dnfing this sadly. I'll probably pick it up again in the future, but i went into this thinking the author would share a lot of his personal struggles with sleep, but it read more like a textbook with a bunch of facts about sleep and that wasn't what i was looking for

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paulo Santos

    Another very good book by Bill Hayes. I particularly love how he weaves his memoirs along with the depictions of sleep disturbances. And how moving and engaging his memoirs of the AIDS epidemic are. As is the narrative of his coming to terms with his sexuality and his life. And his writing is extremely elegant and intelligent. I highly recommend his books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Kerr

    Hayes memoir - ostensibly about struggling with insomnia - covers his youth, his experiences of coming out, surviving the AIDS crisis, and the science of sleep. Somehow, it all works pretty well, even though it might seem a bit all-over-the-map. The success of the book is a tribute to the quality of writing.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Wershing

    There is a lot of interesting history of sleep research and disorders in here. At first, mixing them in with the author's biography was interesting. Eventually, though, it wore off and I lost interest near the end of the book. There is a lot of interesting history of sleep research and disorders in here. At first, mixing them in with the author's biography was interesting. Eventually, though, it wore off and I lost interest near the end of the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ale Vergara

    De este libro me sorprende su tejido; la destreza con la que una autobiografía se va intercalando con datos sobre el sueño y el insomnio. Los últimos capítulos están llenos de corazones calentándose y huecos en el estómago. Quiero leer más de Hayes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I liked this book because I am a sucker for science/memoir mashups.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vincent Desjardins

    Unlike those of us who may have experienced an occasional night of lying awake, minds racing, one thought flowing into the next, Bill Hayes has spent most of his life fighting insomnia. His book effortlessly drifts between topics, blending research on sleep disorders with a candid memoir that examines his adolescent struggles with his sexuality, and his eventual coming out as a gay man. This humorous and engaging look at one man’s efforts to catch a decent nights sleep had me taking a closer loo Unlike those of us who may have experienced an occasional night of lying awake, minds racing, one thought flowing into the next, Bill Hayes has spent most of his life fighting insomnia. His book effortlessly drifts between topics, blending research on sleep disorders with a candid memoir that examines his adolescent struggles with his sexuality, and his eventual coming out as a gay man. This humorous and engaging look at one man’s efforts to catch a decent nights sleep had me taking a closer look at my own sleep habits, while at the same time, it kept me up reading late into the night.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I was expecting it to be more about the author's problems with insomnia. Something I can relate to. Instead it spends many pages on sleep disorders in general. I'd rather read a book that either focused on the personal story or on the scientific research. On the whole, well-written and readable. I was expecting it to be more about the author's problems with insomnia. Something I can relate to. Instead it spends many pages on sleep disorders in general. I'd rather read a book that either focused on the personal story or on the scientific research. On the whole, well-written and readable.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krini

    been having trouble sleeping and this book isn't helping. interesting book though been having trouble sleeping and this book isn't helping. interesting book though

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zhihua

    A nice story about sleep disorders, homosexuality, AIDS, and love.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jess Driscoll

    page 5: Sleep acts, in this regard, more like an emotion than a bodily function. As with desire, it resists pursuit. Sleep must come find you. Nevertheless, I look for it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Bingham

    I started this book but did not read it. The last thing I want to read at night before going to bed is a book about insomnia!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joe Yellin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anna Molnar

  17. 5 out of 5

    Moira Carlock Rivas

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pistol

  20. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

  21. 4 out of 5

    Temnospondyli

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brooke O'Dell

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gabbygateway

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pete

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sudie

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...