Why We Dream


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Named a “Must-Read Book of the Fall” by VogueElleLiterary Hub, TIME, New York Magazine, and The London Evening Standard 

A Top 10 book about insomnia (The Guardian

A Best Health and Science book of 2018 (The Cut)

“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 

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

 “A convincing case for cherishing our dream worlds.”New York Post

 “Alice Robb’s Why We Dream: The Transformative Power of Our Nightly Journey 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

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.org

While on a research trip in Peru, science journalist Alice Robb became hooked on lucid dreamingthe uncanny phenomenon in which a sleeping person can realize that they’re dreaming and even control the dreamed experience. Finding these forays both puzzling and exhilarating, Robb dug deeper into the science of dreams at an extremely opportune moment: just as researchers began to understand why dreams exist. They aren’t just random events; they have clear purposes. They help us learn and overcome psychic trauma.

Robb draws on fresh and forgotten research, as well as her experience and that of other dream experts, to show why dreams are vital to our emotional and physical health. She explains how we can remember our dreams better—and why we should. She traces the intricate links between dreaming and creativity, and even offers advice on how we can relish the intense adventure of lucid dreaming for ourselves.

Why We Dream is a clear-eyed, cutting-edge examination of the meaning and purpose of our nightly visions and a guide to changing our dream lives in order to make our waking lives richer, healthier, and happier.