Cover image for The paradox of sleep : the story of dreaming
The paradox of sleep : the story of dreaming
Jouvet, Michel.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Sommeil et le rêve. English
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 211 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
"A Bradford book."
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QP426 .J68313 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This work takes the reader on a scientific and sociological tour of the history of sleep and dream research, concluding with the author's own ideas on the function of dreaming.

Author Notes

Michel Jouvet was born in Lons-le-Saunier, France on November 16, 1925. During World War II, he fought with the French Resistance. He studied anthropology and ethnography before entering medical school at the University of Lyon. He became a neurosurgical resident there in 1951. He received a doctorate in 1956. He became a research director at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research in 1966 and a professor and the director of the department of experimental medicine at Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in 1968.

He was a neurophysiologist who discovered the region of the brain that controls rapid eye movement (REM) and who helped define REM sleep as a unique state of consciousness common to humans and animals alike. He wrote several books including The Paradox of Sleep: The Story of Dreaming and the novel The Castle of Dreams. He died on October 3, 2017 at the age of 91.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This psychophysiological study will appeal mainly to those who are interested in neurological processes underlying sleep. Jouvet (experimental medicine, Univ. of Lyon, France) recounts traditional and recent explanations for dreams, including the psychoanalytic approach (which he challenges in the light of what researchers know from current scientific studies). The author predicts that future knowledge about paradoxical sleep will emanate from molecular biology, and he advances the novel theory that paradoxical sleep is genetically programmed and that one of the purposes may be to reinforce inherited patterns of behavior in species with time-limited neurogenesis. He includes in this study material related to oneiric behaviors, a cross-species comparison of dream-related processes, dream content analysis, and a comprehensive summary of data related to memory-consolidation during dreaming. The book includes a glossary of biological terms along with a lexicon to help the reader with terminology. Most of the 128 references are in the biological sciences. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty. P. Barker; emeritus, Schenectady County Community College

Table of Contents

Translator's Introductionp. vii
Preface to the French Editionp. xi
1 In the Labyrinth of Sleepp. 1
2 The Natural History of Dreamingp. 27
3 Dream Memoriesp. 61
4 Oneiric Behaviorp. 81
5 Sleep, the Other Side of the Spiritp. 97
6 The Functions of Dreamingp. 111
7 Is Paradoxical Sleep the Guardian of Psychological Individuality?p. 135
8 Forty Years of Dream Research, or The Collapse of Paradigmsp. 159
Glossaryp. 179
Lexiconp. 183
Referencesp. 185
Indexp. 197