12 Books That Will Help You Understand How You Sleep — And Why You Dream

If you're having trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or getting restful, restorative sleep, I have 12 books about sleep to help you get the rest you need. No matter whether your problem is insomnia or nightmares, the books on the list below can help you cure what's ailing you.

A variety of issues and conditions exist under the umbrella term of "sleep disorders." These include insomnia, sleep apnea, night terrors, and sleep paralysis, among many other conditions. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, there are more than 80 different sleep disorders, and more than 50 million Americans experience them every year.

As you can see, sleep disorders are quite common. I occasionally experience hypnagogic hallucinations: visual, auditory, and tactile sensations that jolt me out of the early part of my sleep cycle. Even a condition like mine — which, in my experience, few people have ever heard of — may be experienced by up to 25 percent of all people, according to the American Sleep Association.

If you or your partner is having trouble sleeping, or if you're itching to find out what a recurring dream means for your life, check out the 12 books about sleep on the list below for answers.

'Why We Dream' by Alice Robb

After becoming interested in lucid dreaming — a phenomenon in which the person is conscious of the fact that they are dreaming and can control the events of the dream — journalist Alice Robb wrote this book, an investigation into how our sleeping adventures influence our waking lives.

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'Insomnia' by Marina Benjamin

This memoir by The Middlepause author Marina Benjamin chronicles her search to find a cure for her sleep disorder, which included medication, naturopathy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

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'The 5 AM Club' by Robin Sharma

At some point, you've probably aspired to get up early and be super productive before the work day kicks off. In The 5 AM Club, life coach Robin Sharma offers strategies for claiming and protecting the early hours of your day, which might help some folks fall into a sleep pattern that works for them.

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'The Complete Book of Dreams' by Pam Ball

Ever wondered what your dreams mean? Pam Ball's The Complete Book of Dreams deciphers 10,000 common — and not so common — symbols and sequences, so you have no excuse for not knowing exactly what your dreams are trying to tell you.

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'Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life' by Suhas Kshirsagar

Did you know there's evidence to suggest that your circadian rhythm is influenced by your genetics? Suhas Kshirsagar's Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life combines genetic research and Eastern mysticism to provide 30-day solutions to your sleep-related problems.

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'Nodding Off' by Alice Gregory

You might have noticed your sleep patterns and preferences changing as you age. That's normal! In Nodding Off, Alice Gregory reveals the secrets of sleep cycles, including why babies and adolescents need the most sleep, and how sleep deprivation takes a toll on every aspect of your life.

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'This Book Will Put You to Sleep' by K. McCoy and Hardwick

If you're having trouble falling asleep at night, check out This Book Will Put You to Sleep: a compendium of short, boring texts guaranteed to dull you into a peaceful slumber. Be warned, however, as some readers actually found the material to be engaging and witty.

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'Nightmares' by Stase Michaels

Another dream interpretation book, Stase Michaels' Nightmares focuses on explaining away the bad dreams that haunt you long after you've woken up and gone about your day.

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'The Sleep Solution' by W. Chris Winter

A different kind of sleep book, W. Chris Winter's The Sleep Solution posits that a person must know the science behind sleep in order to determine what's go wrong with their own sleep pattern and how to fix it.

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'The Little Book of Sleep' by Nerina Ramlakhan

Another book that melds together different philosophies to form a sleep solution, Nerina Ramlakhan's The Little Book of Sleep recommends a combination of yoga, ayurveda, and other practices to cure what ails your nighttime ritual.

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'Sleepyhead' by Henry Nicholls

In Sleepyhead, science writer Henry Nicholls introduces readers to individuals who live with a variety of sleep disorders and disturbances, including the author himself, who has been diagnosed with chronic narcolepsy.

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'Your Bed Loves You' by Meredith Gaston

After reading Meredith Gaston's Your Bed Loves You, you'll never feel guilty for sleeping in again. In this handy little book, Gaston explains how rest and relaxation can have a positive impact on almost every aspect of your life.

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