Jan 6, 2008
What’s really going on inside your head when you sleep, dream, or are wide-awake? In his fascinating new book, The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness (Random House, $24.95), science writer Jeff Warren explores some familiar and some less familiar states of consciousness, everything from daydreams to lucid dreams. Warren talked to scientists and Buddhist monks, slept in sleep labs, and spent time in a secluded mountain cabin to experience firsthand various states of consciousness. Along the way, he discovered perception-shifting information about how people sleep in different cultures. Westerners prefer a quiet bedroom, sleeping alone or with a partner. Egyptians commonly sleep with several family members in the same room and, even in a noisy city like Cairo, with the windows wide open. In the excerpt below, Warren meets with one of the few anthropologists who study the culture of sleep. —Jane Bosveld .